Small business owners are proud of getting everything done with few people. Every team member wears many hats. They are part of a family, devoted to the firm’s success. But that doesn’t make them qualified to handle IT. Really, you’re never too small to outsource your technology needs.
A small business may only have a few computers for its handful of employees. Having an in-house person dedicated to IT support would be overkill. But just because the technology is working fine today doesn’t mean your IT is performing at its best. That’s why it can be beneficial to outsource IT.
Having someone who knows technology working for your team can pay huge dividends. Your outsourcing partner will add value by:
Cybercriminals don’t care about business size. In fact, according to Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks were aimed at small businesses, and only 14% of the SMBs were prepared for defending their networks and sensitive data.
In fact, a small business can be a particularly appealing target. Hackers will exploit a small business as part of a campaign to attack a larger business. They know the SMB is less likely to have the same level of security as the bigger target in their sights.
Accenture’s 2019 study found that more than half of all small businesses had suffered a breach in the last year. These attacks can be crippling for SMBs. According to insurance carrier Hiscox, the average cyberattack costs a business $200,000. That figure can be a killer blow for a small business. Some 60% of SMBs hacked go out of business within six months of the attack. Even if they can survive the financial hit, damage to brand reputation and customer goodwill is devastating.
Advantages of Outsourcing
You may not have a clear picture of your cybersecurity status right now, but by working with a managed services provider (MSP) you’ll get one. Your partner will conduct an informal audit of your current technology and learn your short- and long-term goals.
Your small business, for instance, may not have a data protection procedure. You might be thinking you don’t have a lot to backup and store. But the quantity may not be the primary concern. Can you recover if your business loses an email chain it was keeping for legal or compliance reasons? What would happen if the computer holding your accounting database died? An MSP can identify where tech changes can better ensure business continuity.
When you outsource, your partner will also inventory all your tech assets. They’ll need to know everything about your infrastructure and your business’s technology capabilities. Your current team may recognize the importance of securing the business’s intellectual property, but are they also protecting customer data and employee records? Your business needs to be intentional about confidentiality, availability, and safety. An MSP can help.
The cost of outsourcing is often a stumbling block for the budget-conscious SMB. Managed IT services can often lower costs for clients by streamlining processes, managing vendor relationships, and ensuring that the business technology is best suited to current needs. And you'll pay a fixed regular fee for a technology team member who will help you avoid big, costly tech surprises.
No business is too small to outsource IT. Having access to a full-time IT professional via a managed service provider can improve your operations, enhance productivity, and lower cybersecurity risk.
Find out more about what we can do for you! Call us at 520-355-7553.
A New Year's Data Resolution To Stick To
Many of us set goals, tasks, and challenges to tackle in the new year. Cleaning out the spare room, shopping around for the best energy deals, or exercising more than we did last year. We set these goals to improve our lives and build on productivity, health, and organization in the future.
Resolutions to improve for the coming year are great ideas to aspire towards; whether organizing your office, tidying your house, or taking control of your digital footprint. The problem for many is motivation can quickly fall away by the time February rolls around. If you manage to achieve only one of your new year goals for this year, make it to put a good backup in place for your digital files.
Storage failure, theft, accident, or natural disaster can impact at any time. Many of us put these possibilities to the back of our minds. We plan to organize our files 'eventually' and then never get around to it. It's easy to think 'it won't happen to me’ or make creating a backup something that is always to be done tomorrow.
Replacing Old Valuables
Almost anything you own can be replaced one way or another. A broken laptop, tablet, or phone can easily be replaced with another model. Even credit card or financial details, if stolen or lost, can be cancelled and replaced by the bank in under a week.
Losing data, however, is far tougher to face. Without a safe backup, there's no way to recover it once it is gone. Backups provide a service which could be described as the world’s best insurance policy.
While an insurer will often give you some, even most, of the value of the previous goods lost; data backup provides you with your exact data, precisely how you left it. It does this instantly, repeatedly, and without any additional charges or excess. In some instances, it is even automatic and done behind the scenes.
Recovering Irreplaceable Data
There are almost certainly old essays, browser bookmarks, and notes that you can comfortably live without. Equally, there are likely to be photographs, videos, and important documents that you couldn't or should not part with.
For many, these files can be as valuable as the memories themselves: photographs of loved ones, long ago vacations, or milestone events in life. We commonly take critical data for granted; Assuming that because we can access it today, it will still be there tomorrow. This is unfortunately not always true.
These irreplaceable files are too important to keep in just a single place. Retaining only a single copy leaves your data vulnerable to luck and chance as to how long and if it survives.
Losing Data In An Instant
Data storage is liable to develop faults or failures at any time. Often a storage failure isn't made apparent until the device fails to turn on or dies suddenly. These types of hardware failure become more and more likely as devices age.
Similarly, modern devices are more and more vulnerable to loss or theft as they get smaller and lighter. While criminals are not likely to be interested in your irreplaceable photographs and documents, they are vulnerable to being stolen along with the device they plan to sell. Whether lost through natural disaster such as flood or fire, misplaced by accident, or stolen by criminals; important files are truly painful to lose.
If you were to lose these files in an instant today, how much would you pay to end that stress and get them back again? Setting up a good backup is only a tiny fraction of the cost without any of the pain.
Backup For You
With the right backup solution, it doesn't matter how many devices are lost or stolen. Even without a device or away from home, the data important to you can be kept safe and sound to be returned to you when you're ready again.
Regular, consistent backups can even be made for you, automatic and in the background. Documents you create, photographs and video you take can be backed up and kept safe from the second they are captured or saved.
If you have traveled too long on borrowed luck, without putting a backup in place, give us a call at 520-355-7553 to get set up with a robust and dependable backup solution for your data.
Does Dropbox Make Sense For Your Business?
It seems so easy! Drag your files into a Dropbox folder and you’ve got yourself a file sharing system that brings your business in line with modern expectations. But then again, maybe not.
Dropbox has grown to become one of the main file sharing and cloud storage solutions of choice, with a core simplicity that’s hard to deny. But for business, that simplicity comes with a catch. In some cases, sticking with the familiar blue box can provide good value, and of course, it never hurts when your staff already know how to use your software. In other cases, you’ll need to consider alternatives designed to meet your needs more explicitly.
When Dropbox is a Good Choice
Micro-sized: If your business is small with no more than a handful of employees (or none);
No sensitive information: This includes accounts, customer details, vendor, staff or proprietary data; plus
Nobody ever accidentally deletes anything: Dropbox is a syncing service, which means when a file is deleted, it deletes it from all machines. While the file is recoverable from the Dropbox website within 30 days, by the time you notice it's missing, it might be too late.
If you’re thinking those attributes sound more like a fictional business, you’re not far off. Somehow, Dropbox’s popularity in the consumer sphere has snuck into business environments, despite the risks. Key among these is the fact that Dropbox is designed for syncing, NOT backup. This means while your data is sprawling across all connected devices, it’s a mirror of the source only – when you delete or change the original file, the Dropbox version immediately syncs with it. In some cases, this can spread malware between your connected devices and put all of them at risk.
Your business also misses out on important security controls, such as user-level access control and password protected links. Rather like a free-for-all, the shared files are sitting there available to anyone with either a connected device or an insecure web link. You’ll also miss collaborative editing, losing out in productivity and data resilience as multiple employees overwrite each other simultaneously, with no record of who even opened the file, let alone changed it.
If Dropbox makes sense for your business, there’s no reason to change. But if it’s clearly not a good choice for you, there are multiple corporate grade syncing solutions. These are designed for business with security, encryption and collaboration controls built in. Rather than the easiest solution which may pose a risk to your business and digital security, consider implementing a salable solution that meets all your needs.