In uncertain times, only the most efficient businesses will survive. In 2020, it’s obvious that efficiency is based on flawless and streamlined operations that are, in most cases, based on IT solutions. However, this is not obvious to everyone. Sometimes the corporate decision makers fail to see the perspective of robust IT infrastructure and solutions. In this article, we will reveal why exactly your business should invest in IT.
1. It’s Not About Innovation Anymore. It’s About Productivity
Some people still perceive IT investment as innovation, but it has been a necessity for over a decade. Good IT infrastructure leads to business efficiency at all levels, including:
On the one hand, thought-through infrastructure adds interconnection, fast file-sharing and the overall ability to have shared workloads and faster interactions. On the other hand, businesses can diversify their talent pools and engage the services of staff from remote locations who fit better and are more experienced.
One of the main reasons behind many corporate disasters is human error, ranging from a simple wrongly deleted file to misconfigured devices. Automation allows you to avoid such mistakes, or helps to reveal and fix them. From billing procedures and other financial aspects to software and hardware deployment – most processes can be automated. Good automation will cost you time and money, but think of it as a long-term investment. It will allow you and your colleagues to think more about business, rather than about routine operations.
Further reading The Benefits of Professional Services Automation (PSA) Solutions
Working with customers
You can improve customer interactions, such as billing and document workflow, and enhance customer experience by adding more efficient channels, such as chatbots and customer surveys, that will allow you to evaluate customer satisfaction and generate more leads by addressing their needs. You can now gather data and create in-depth reports that will enable you to respond to market needs, rather than your impressions of what these needs are.
2. Analytics Are the Key to Staying Competitive
In the previous section, we mentioned that analytics help you to gain the advantage of knowing your market. Good analytics are not based solely on software tools, but on the overall approach to business efficiency.
Your business has key indicators of your efficiency: revenue, sales figures, customer satisfaction level, etc. These indicators can be grouped into metrics groups that will help you to make more thought-through business decisions. However, you need proper data in order to make decisions, rather than leaps of faith. Each key area of your company can be tracked and analyzed and, moreover, you can create an efficiency metric for each of these areas. Good analytics allow companies to grow faster, create a more focused approach to marketing, sales, and human resource management and, in the end, thrive.
3. Your Premises Are Secure
Oftentimes, decision makers only budget the ”essentials” -- on-premises or cloud infrastructure to do the job at hand -- forgetting about the dangers of such an approach. The ”needed” infrastructure typically lacks up-to-date hardware and software, properly patched systems or good security tools.
Hackers attack businesses. The reason for that is simple: it's your IT that collects and manages your mission-critical data, including customers' details, production and e-commerce databases, line-of-business applications, and financial reports. Ransomware and phishing attacks are on the rise and their number increases sharply year after year. No business is too small to be attacked; hackers will hunt for a thousand dollars with the same determination as they will hunt for tens of thousands.
No matter how complex your infrastructure is, it must be secured. Invest in modern, up-to-date, patched systems in the appropriate security package, and in the right hands to do the job. Otherwise, hacking and data loss are inevitable.
Assess vulnerabilities and threats, network security, workspace and equipment security, documentation, and more. The pack includes:
- a ready-to-print PDF file
- an Excel file to help create a customizable assessment resource
Key questions in IT security
There are several key questions that each business should address regarding the security of its IT premises, including:
Do you know how much money downtime will cost you?
Whether you've lost one crucial database or the whole network due to a disaster, do you know how much time and effort it will take to recover your business to a production state? If you define the average that your business loses during downtime and show these numbers to your decision makers, there are chances that it will be easier to budget for the necessary IT upgrades.
Further reading BCDR: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Basics
Do you know how to recover data in the case of a successful attack?
Ransomware attacks are the most common threats in the IT landscape nowadays. In these attacks, your data is encrypted and, thus, rendered useless. Do you have backup and recovery solutions in place? Do you test backups and do you know how fast you will be able to recover your data and workloads? Data recoverability is the key question in data security today.
Further reading How to Protect Against Ransomware
Do you audit security?
There are many dangers awaiting your business, apart from ransomware attacks, such as human error, fire, or an open RDP connection, to name just a few entirely different attack or disaster vectors. Do you know all of these vectors? Do you know the pain points of your IT infrastructure? You should.
Further reading Every Month Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Your Competition Is Doing This
In the past, moderately efficient companies were able to survive due to vast market opportunities and relatively low competition. Nowadays, only businesses with the most finely-tuned and up-to-date processes will survive and thrive. Thus, it's absolutely essential to keep your IT infrastructure updated. It's not an enhancement to your business anymore; it’s fundamental.
Your business uses technology, no matter which area it works in. Whether it is a simple network of desktops connected to a file server, or a decentralized virtual environment built to support a number of servers and dozens of employees. This technology can either be the key to your prosperity or the first broken part that leads to the collapse of the whole machine.