Thanks to greater connectedness afforded by technology, small businesses have never had more opportunities available to them than they do today. But they also face fresh challenges in an increasingly crowded market where customers are more demanding than ever. Internal challenges, both old and new, also continue to stifle growth and innovation, among the most common being the pervasive risk of cyberattacks and growing distractions in the workplace.
Here are some of the biggest challenges today’s businesses need to tackle:
#1. The rising tide of cybercrime
The biggest threat businesses are faced with comes from cybercrime. Small businesses have traditionally been poorly equipped to tackle the constant risk of data breaches and other threats. It doesn’t help that they’re also an increasingly popular target for opportunistic criminals.
No matter your industry or the size of your business, information security, privacy, and compliance need to be integral to your technology strategy. However, given the costs and expertise required, there’s a strong case for outsourcing cybersecurity to a managed IT services provider (MSP) to reduce the burden on your organization. These companies utilize enterprise-grade defenses and are staffed by dozens of cybersecurity experts who can anticipate a hacker’s method of attack.
#2. More workplace distractions
You’ve probably already heard about the pervasive annoyance that is notification fatigue, in which we’re bombarded with push notifications from mobile apps, website popups, and emails wherever we are. It’s a constant source of distraction that gets in the way of productivity and prevents entrepreneurs and employees alike from functioning at their best. Eliminating these distractions will go a long way toward driving business growth and increasing satisfaction and productivity among your workers.
#3. Increasing online competition
The digital world is a noisy environment where countless brands are all vying for attention on social media, search listings, and more. Making yourself heard is harder than ever, and it isn’t getting any easier. More than ever, organizations need to work hard to build their brands and define and communicate their unique value propositions to the right people. This demands a customer-centric approach that places customer experience on par with product and pricing as key brand differentiators.
#4. Technology bloat and data silos
Alongside notification fatigue, we also have technology bloat — a phenomenon in which people are using more apps than ever to manage their workflows. Unfortunately, most of these apps can easily become time wasters and distractions. Worse still, if those apps don’t work well together, you can end up with data silos where employees, departments, and branches can’t communicate, share files, or collaborate effectively. To overcome this challenge, you need a technology ecosystem that keeps everything together and eliminates unnecessary features and functions.
#5. Constant technological change
With technology evolving at a breakneck pace that many small businesses find hard to keep up with, it’s easy for IT to become a barrier to innovation and a costly liability. For example, if you constantly need to upgrade or repair your hardware or add new devices for new employees, the expenses and administrative requirements can soon spiral out of control. Businesses are overcoming this challenge by migrating to a software-defined cloud ecosystem that affords them the flexibility they need to scale with demand and adapt to constant change.
#6. Government regulations
With more billionaires than ever, and more organizations bending the rules to avoid taxes or take other shortcuts to cut expenses, it’s hardly any wonder that government regulations are cracking down on things. Companies are also facing increasing pressure to do their bit for the planet by adopting cleaner and more sustainable policies. In other cases, the growing concern for information privacy and security is ushering in new legislation like the EU’s GDPR. Businesses need to automate compliance and make it central to their operational and technology strategy.
Prosum offers a people-first approach and tech proficiency to deliver solutions that help your business grow in an age of constant change. We offer virtual CIO and outsourced IT services to help companies develop a solid IT strategy and get a handle on their technology. Not convinced? Read our free eBook: 5 Big Ways IT Outsourcing Can Boost Your Company’s Productivity. Or you can call us today to inquire about our services.