Technology is a boon to many small businesses since it increases productivity, attracts buyers, boosts sales, and contributes to growth. The US Chamber of Commerce and technology firm Morning Consult reported that 84% of small enterprises use at least one major digital platform to provide information to customers, while 80% use the same tool to highlight products and services.
The bad news is technology can also be a burden to small businesses that aren’t prepared. This applies to firms that are grappling with the use of digital tools and struggling to keep up with the constant changes that the modern age brings.
What are some of the challenges that every small business owner must face in today’s fast-paced world? Here are two of the most common problems and how they can be avoided if you have a reliable network support services provider:
1. Old hardware/software
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that the only thing constant in life is change. This is especially true with technology since many of the digital tools that companies rely on can quickly become obsolete.
In a global survey of 736 small businesses in 36 countries, Techaisle LLC found that more than a third of companies work with PCs that are at least four years old. To repair aging computers that have outlived their usefulness, firms spend an average of $427 per PC, which is either equal to or more than the price of buying a new one!
Old PCs create a lot of problems for small business owners and their employees. First, they affect productivity. Techaisle said companies lose an average of 42 hours because of repairs performed by internal IT staff, resellers, friends, or family members.
Outdated computers also greatly affect employees’ performance, are more susceptible to malware attacks, and usually suffer from connectivity-related issues. This eventually leads to employee dissatisfaction, which is bad for business.
2. Illegal/Pirated software
Software piracy occurs when copyright-protected software is copied, distributed, modified, or sold. What’s alarming is that 37% of software installed on PCs is unlicensed, according to the 2018 Global Software Survey made by BSA/The Software Alliance, whose members include Microsoft and Apple.
Sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies of pirated software on your PC is not only illegal, but it can also destroy your entire computer network. This is because not all features of illegal software work properly and they don’t have access to bug fixes from the vendor.
The use of illegal software usually stems from ignorance, purchasing software from questionable sources, not knowing that licenses have expired, or bad judgment. In most cases, the culprits are employees or the IT support provider who thought they could save money with pirated software. But the opposite usually happens since fines for the use of pirated software range from a minimum of $15,000 to over $15 million.
In addition, illegal software may contain spyware and other malware that can steal critical files and affect your business. Global losses from spyware and other security threats due to infected PCs cost companies $359 billion a year.
Insufficient IT support
Although internet access is common nowadays, the US Chamber of Commerce said 57% of small businesses admitted they aren’t familiar with digital tools and have no idea what to use. Recruiting skilled employees who are digitally literate is also a challenge for 61% of companies.
Fortunately, all this can be avoided with the help of a good network provider. Working closely with skilled and reliable IT support personnel can help determine your technology needs and overcome any problems that pop up.
A trusted provider like Cyber Shift Technologies, LLC that is skilled in IT managed services, cloud services, backup and recovery, and web design and hosting can regularly maintain and update your network, keep it running smoothly 24/7, and make your network safe from cybercriminals. We have been operating for over a decade in the Akron–Canton–Massillon area, and our expertise and experience have helped small businesses save time and money.
With us on your side, you no longer have to worry about unexpected computer crashes that paralyze operations, hackers stealing sensitive information, illegal or pirated software, or investing in new technologies that don’t integrate with your old systems. We’ll give you peace of mind, so don’t hesitate to contact us today if you need help.