A successful SMB must align its technology and business initiatives. Constant employee productivity must be maintained to meet the needs and expectations of customers. To successfully do this, an honest assessment of risk is necessary. Regrettably, many SMB owners or management teams remain in state of denial that mismanaged technology has any serious consequences on their business. Meanwhile, it is costing them every day!
According to Symantec SMB, 50% of SMBs admit to having no backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Forty-one percent of those surveyed confessed that they had never even given much thought to implementing a disaster recovery or business continuity plan.
Every day SMBs are gambling with the lifeline of their business. Some may know they’re playing with fire but budget limitations may prevent SMBs from hiring adequate internal IT support. Often, the IT support that is on payroll is overburdened and stuck in a constant reactive mode where they spend their days resolving issues that are already hindering productivity and service. They can never break this cycle to get to a point where they’re actually proactively approaching things.
This same “break/fix” mentality is also the reason why many SMBs aren’t hiring in-house IT support. They instead phone in expensive “as needed” emergency IT support when issues arise. There are so many smaller businesses and organizations needlessly bleeding money every day by subjecting themselves to the high hourly rates, service charges, trip fees and wait times of on-call IT support.
This is the status quo. Management cuts corners because they either feel they have no choice given today’s economy or they’re completely ignorant to the daily revenue being lost by mismanaged business technology. Some know this will prove to be a costly mistake but they have no real vision to what it is already costing them every day.
Many SMBs don’t have a healthy fear of technology failure. Nor do they spend much time thinking about the true return on their IT investment. SMBs must ask themselves a few questions to determine if their business can really afford the “status quo.”
- How often is employee productivity and customer accessibility or service stalled each day from a downed network or system? ƒ How much downtime can your business truly afford and what kind of backup or recovery solutions are in effect when systems are unavailable?
- What level of IT support can be accessed? Can it be accessed quickly enough to minimize damage? Are you confident that your business can either be back online or be able to access lost data with minimal disruption no matter what?
- Is your most critical data frequently backed up? Is the data on the personal laptops, iPads or Blackberrys of employees backed up? Are all backups stored in a location off-site and quickly accessible in the event of theft, fire or flooding? Are you using any custom installed software and is the supplier still in business should this software need to be reinstalled or updated? Are account details, licensing agreements, and security settings somewhere on record?
- Are your systems truly protected from theft, hackers, and viruses? Are passwords to sensitive data changed whenever employees leave the company or organization?
- When was the last time you tested backup processes to ensure they are working properly? How quick were you back up?