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Top 8 Technology Challenges of Small to Med. Businesses

Top 8 Technology Challenges of Small to Medium BusinessesTechnology is an essential part of your business operations. However, technology often breeds costly problems that can hinder productivity and growth. Your business is likely familiar with one or several of the following top 8 technology challenges. Let Green Zebra Smart Networks IT advisory experts help you tackle these problems, so your organization runs smoothly with unbridled potential for growth.

1. Data Spread and Lack of Integration

It’s not easy to manage all the software your company uses. There are a multitude of SaaS (Software as a Service) and other solutions out there, of which any one company likely uses several. SaaS solutions are the efficiently priced, pay as you go solutions you use, managed by a service provider, that allow your company to access and use cloud-based apps over the Internet.

It’s great to have the latest options and solutions, but the use of multiple, non-integrated systems within an organization can make it difficult for users to find what they need. Also, new technologies may not be compatible with older, legacy systems or applications. 

Someone needs to either replace those legacy systems or manage infrastructure changes. Your company can spend a lot of money, time, and resources to internally manage integrations, equipment upgrades, and installations of software updates to work with new architectures. It may not go as planned. An application programming interface (API) might not communicate correctly between systems. Someone will need to troubleshoot the new solutions.

What is needed is a digital transformation – an effective IT management plan. This will minimize the loss of productivity, 

redundancy, and money. Not all cloud solutions are created equal. Cloud solutions should be tailored and integrated into your specific business operations as a whole and designed to deal with incompatible legacy systems. Outsource your IT management services with Green Zebra Networks. We can help you plan customized infrastructure changes.

2. Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

At some point, your users may accidentally delete a file. There may be a loss of power at a data center. A server may crash. There may be a cyberattack. 

There’s also the factor of work at home employees. If a disaster happens, collaboration and business continuity is only possible if the IT department can see and back up all the data used by both home and office workers.

A reliable backup and disaster recovery plan prevents down time and related expenses. Ensuring continuity of data access is critical. Your company should know what data needs to be kept and for how long, and how quickly you can recover it. 

3. Information Security

Protection of sensitive intellectual property data, financial documents and customer information is vital to your organization and is certainly one of the top 8 technology challenges. Data can be difficult to effectively manage for several reasons: 

  • Different businesses have different information security requirements. 
  • Cybersecurity attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated. Hackers are always improving tactics to try to get access to trade secrets and other customer information stored on your company’s devices. 
  • Qualified IT pros who specialize in cybersecurity are expensive and hard to find.
  • An increase in remote and hybrid workers makes data management even more complicated.

Here are a few tips to protect your information:

  • Track all hardware and software your organization uses (see #7).
  • Give your employees access to company-issued computers. 
  • Enforce role-based access to specific databases. 
  • Have your employees use a VPN for remote access. 
  • Have your employees use multi-factor authentication to log in.
  • Update and educate your employees as to your data backup policy.
  • Hire an outsourced cybersecurity firm that specializes in cybersecurity such as Green Zebra Smart Networks

Also, consider cyber security insurance. It has become increasingly popular because it helps your business get back up to speed quickly, covering the costs of ransom payments, data recovery, hardware replacement, regulatory fines, and legal fees. Applications can be confusing, so work with Green Zebra Smart Networks to help you understand how to get the best coverage at the lowest cost.

4. Unaddressed Root Problems

It may be tempting to find a quick fix for IT problems, but they often can be symptomatic of bigger issues. IT departments need a way to track trends and find and solve the root causes of technology problems. This will keep your employees productive and keep them from having to make repeat phone calls with IT support. IT experts at Green Zebra Smart Networks can help identify and solve underlying foundational issues.

5. Lack of Strategic IT Planning

IT and business leaders need to effectively communicate with each other to plan, organize, implement, and track IT initiatives and projects. If they are disconnected, there can be loss of focus, overspending, and project delays, wasting money on IT with no appreciable return on investment. 

6. Lack of Technical Training and Support

Training your employees is of utmost importance to the security of your business network and data and the return on investment in your IT initiatives. It’s critical that your employees get a level of technical competency that gives them the confidence to use your enterprise applications, automation tools, and other IT assets. 

Automation tools can streamline manufacturing processes, increase employee safety, reduce manufacturing costs, or streamline data collection for specific workflows. But they’re only useful if they are used often and properly. It can take time for your employees to adjust to new tools. Many employees may not easily adopt them.

Employees need the right tools, systems, and data access to be able to work remotely as well. Integrated cloud-based solutions and mobile apps help remote employees stay connected and work together. Companies must optimize their IT support for remote workers to help solve computer problems and other issues. 

It’s important to have a knowledgeable IT support team, such as Green Zebra Smart Networks, with the tools and the time to fix problems quickly. Otherwise, systems remain slow and outdated, problems are frequent, and productivity is low.

7. Asset Management

Top 8 Technology Challenges Facing Small to Med. Businesses

Your organization should have a documented process to keep track of all the hardware inventory and software (licensing) used by your organization. This includes all IoT devices. IoT devices may be forgotten when mapping out IT infrastructure. Any unaccounted for, unsecured device can create a cybersecurity gap and compromise the entire network. Many managed IT services offer a storage and inventory service.

New workers, especially remote workers, need the right equipment, access and training during onboarding. Shortages in manufacturing and the global supply chain may force your company to plan several months in advance to buy equipment and devices. Likewise, your company should ensure company-owned devices are returned and access terminated when an employee departs. 

8. Compliance Requirements

One of the top 8 technology challenges for your business is keeping up with regulatory compliance requirements such as HIPAA, ITAR, NIST and CMMC. Compliance requirements vary, depending on factors such as company size, industry vertical, specific business model, area of operation, and customers served. Companies need to avoid fines and penalties by knowing which regulations and compliance standards they need to follow that apply to them. It helps to have IT professionals like Green Zebra Smart Networks with experience in your industry.

Run Faster, Stronger, and Smarter with Green Zebra Smart Networks

Were any of these top 8 technology challenges familiar to you? Run your organization faster, stronger, and smarter instead, with a digital transformation. Contact Green Zebra Smart Networks at 800-777-3562 or here for a comprehensive assessment by our IT certified industry experts.