Top IT Needs for Small Businesses
The definition of a small business differs depending on who you ask. Many people base that distinction on the number of workers an organization employs, but others classify small businesses based on their revenue. It’s fair to say that a small business employs less staff and brings in less annual revenue than a corporation or the average-sized business. In establishing or purchasing a small business, owners must consider the IT needs of the business as these provide the foundation of operations and daily activities of most companies.
A Secure, Effective, & Scalable IT Infrastructure
It’s not enough to purchase equipment/devices for employees in preparation for daily activities. A solid IT infrastructure provides a base from which to build upon as the organization operates – and hopefully, grows. Depending on the size and needs of a business, that infrastructure can look different (and more or less complex). In general, creating that infrastructure involves identifying the following:
- Hardware Requirements: Hardware includes computers, employee laptops or mobile devices, WiFi routers, and servers.
- Software Needs: any software programs or applications necessary for operating. The types of software available to businesses is almost limitless, but often include operating systems, HR software, payment processing applications, and even basic word processing software.
- Data Management/Storage: A business may choose to store and maintain data in-house or via cloud services.
- Security: A plan to effectively protect an organization’s website – as well as all business, employee, and customer data – is an integral part of maintaining a secure IT environment.
For small businesses looking to grow over time, scalability should be considered when selecting hardware/software and data storage options for the business. IT should support growth, not inhibit it. Choosing options that are easily scaled as the business grows will save both time and money when that time comes.
Ongoing IT Security
Establishing an initial, secure IT environment is just the beginning of protecting a business and its information as it operates. Cyber attacks continue to rise in frequency and impact a growing number of businesses each year. While efforts to protect against these attacks or other potential instances of data loss should be factored into establishing an initial IT infrastructure, ongoing protection is equally as crucial for businesses and their information to remain secure.
Most small businesses can’t effectively implement and manage cybersecurity measures for their organization because of a lack of resources or expertise. Such measures include access limitations to keep certain tools or information reserved for specific audiences, protection against cyber attacks such as malware and ransomware, and proactive plans to protect against data or equipment loss from a natural disaster or another catastrophic event.
Because effective IT security requires specific tools and expertise, many small businesses opt for securing a managed IT services contract from a local team of IT experts rather than trying to tackle the need themselves.
Hardware and Software Maintenance and Ad Hoc IT Support
While technological advancements have transformed the way business is conducted, those advancements and new technologies aren’t as valuable over time if not properly and regularly maintained. Both hardware and software require ongoing maintenance to remain effective over time.
With software, it’s normal for bugs to appear in applications and programs. Creators aim to develop fixes for any bugs as soon as they are noticed, and regular software updates apply those fixes within an organization and its devices using the software. Failing to regularly update programs allows bugs to grow and potentially negatively impact the business or its information. Regular updates also improve program performance, remove or replace outdated functionality and allow users to utilize newly developed features without re-purchasing the software.
On the hardware side, regular hardware maintenance acts as an insurance policy for IT equipment and devices. It often identifies issues before they have a chance to escalate – allowing businesses to make immediate repairs and prevent major disruptions to operations for major fixes. Preventative maintenance on hardware often extends its lifespan. Like software, neglected or poorly maintained hardware makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. It makes sense that one aspect of protection for hardware is installing and maintaining anti-malware software.
Within IT, as within any business function, issues arise over time. This remains true no matter how advanced or well-maintained an IT infrastructure is. Even a small IT hiccup can completely stall operations, so it’s important small businesses that don’t have an in-house team to address those issues have a trusted team to call for ad hoc support.
The Choice for IT Support for Florida Small Businesses
A managed IT contract provides small businesses with the tools, expertise, and guidance needed to successfully operate, supported by a thriving IT function. For Florida business owners, that privilege is granted time and time again to the team at Kustura Technologies. This is largely due to the Peace of Mind IT plans from Kustura give business owners, allowing them to focus their efforts on business success and growth.
As the MSP (managed service provider) of choice, Kustura remains committed to delivering comprehensive, quality IT solutions and services to businesses across a number of industries. Experts are available 24/7, meaning that support doesn’t end with the work day. We strive to help operations within our partner organizations run smoothly, meaning around-the-clock support, comprehensive protection against data loss and other outcomes of cyber attacks, and swift and effective resolution of any issues that come up. To learn more about our dedication to providing customized and effective IT services and to discuss the IT needs within your small Florida business, reach out to the team at Kustura Technologies today!