- December 28, 2022
- Catagory SMBs
The cloud has leveled the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enabling them to scale up and compete with bigger players, but keeping on top of technology trends can be daunting and overwhelming.
Here’s what you should keep an eye in 2023.
We’ve already dove into what’s in store for cybersecurity in 2023, but we can’t overstate the importance of understanding the threats that are out there and growing, as well as the technologies at risk and those that can help you improve your security posture.
Remote work management
Tightly tied to security is your ability to manage remote workers. The hybrid workplace is likely here to stay, so you need to have solutions in place to support employees wherever they are, including best practices for onboarding them and closing off their access should they leave the organization.
No matter where your employees work, the ability to efficiently collaborate gives SMBs a competitive edge no matter your industry, and it helps to attract and retain talent. You must have a platform in place for management of files, chat, video meeting and communications to avoid employees getting siloed so they can be efficient, collaborate and engaged. Securely, of course.
SMBs who want to be nimble and keep pace with larger competitors must look at where they can automate – IT teams need to be able to focus on strategic initiatives such as digital transformation, not every minor aspect of onboarding and managing remote workers including identity management. Having strong polices in place supported by automation will relieve pressure on IT staff and contribute to a better security posture
Businesses of all sizes including SMBs will be under increased pressure to make sure they’re lowering their carbon footprint with more sustainable technology, whether it’s on-premises IT infrastructure or what they’re purchasing through suppliers, including their managed service provider, right down to the chips powering the servers. Reducing your carbon footprint is an opportunity to streamline the technology you’re running and the data you’re storing, so you’re not spending money using energy unnecessarily.
What won’t change in 2023 is that keeping up with technology trends can be daunting for SMBs, which is why you should consider working with a managed service provider to best understand how to adopt and adapt to optimize your operations and improve your bottom line.
- November 7, 2019
- Catagory Managed IT Services
IT strategies for SMBs are essential for organizations looking to scale and up grow their bottom line, but many face the same challenges as large enterprises without the resources.
There are ways to do what the bigger players are doing so you can grow your organization and your profits, but IT strategies for SMBs must have a vision, an understanding of the cloud solutions available to them, and consider how a managed services provider can get them were they need to be within their budget.
IT strategies for SMBs start with an audit
Not all businesses are the same, so IT strategies for SMBs will vary by industry and inherent regulatory frameworks, business models and overall digital maturity. Regardless, there will be low hanging fruit that can advance the organization quickly and affordably, while other initiatives will be multi-year projects that must to be broken down into achievable milestones.
Common goals within many IT strategies for SMBs are tapping into needed talent, which could involve recruitment and retention of employees or selective outsourcing to access skills on demand, improving agility by automating tasks or handing them over to a business process services organization. Given the ramifications of data breaches, bolstering security should also be a priority and embedded within all growth activities. It also might be achieved with automation—even artificial intelligence—or turning to a managed services provider for help. Most organizations are looking at how they can improve overall productivity.
IT strategies for SMBs should identify priorities based on a comprehensive audit of your environment, whether it’s your own on-premise infrastructure or cloud deployments, including use of the public providers. You can’t have a vision of the future without knowing for sure where you are today. This assessment is also something that can be done in collaboration with a managed services provider and can clarify your current security and compliance posture.
There are solutions in the cloud
Your IT audit can help you easily identify what you can do by yourself and what elements of your strategy are better executed with the help of an experienced technology partner.
There are number of solutions available with IT strategies for SMBs in mind. You might begin by implementing organization-wide, online collaboration with Microsoft Office 365 and Teams, or alternatively, go the Google route with Gmail for business and Docs. You’ll want to think about the value of consolidating solution providers as simplicity for SMBs can keep costs under control and ease user adoption. Even if you go best-of-breed, most cloud-based SMB solutions are pay-as-go so you can budget expenditures as you grow.
No matter what solutions you adopt, remember they’re only as good as the workflows and processes you foster and the underlying infrastructure that supports them. In case of the latter, it’s one of the first things you should consider handing off.
Leverage the investments of a managed services provider
As much as any SMB requires technology to operate and is just as driven by data as its larger counterparts, they’re not in the IT business. And just as cloud-based SMB solutions are pay as you go, managed IT services providers offer similar pricing flexibility and can scale up and down in alignment with the ebbs and flows of your business.
Once you’ve done an audit to understand where you are and where you’re going, you can figure which problems are best solved by a managed services provider, even if it’s only one business process, but one of the biggest benefits is you no longer need worry about maintaining aging infrastructure with the limited IT staff and resources you have. A managed services provider has made the investments and is committed to maintaining their infrastructure to support your applications and store your data with a high level of security.
This investment isn’t limited to hardware and software. Often, an SMB can’t justify bringing on talent full-time, such as a DBA, but a managed services provider can provide people on demand as needed so you don’t have to worry about recruitment and retention but still enjoy necessary expertise when you need it.
IT strategies for SMBs are all about a better bottom line
Embracing cloud solutions and entrusting data and business processes to a managed services provider are key elements of IT strategies for SMBs, even if it’s only for a small segment of daily operations. The right combination can improve productivity and the speed of your service delivery at a lower cost, and most of all, lead to a better bottom line.
Sanjeev Spolia is CEO of Supra ITS.