Effective technology is essential for small businesses looking to increase the productivity of their people and business. Introducing technology such as a computer networks can help them to stay competitive by increasing productivity and by reducing hardware costs. Even simple networks make sharing information and resources easier, provide better security and enable easy backup facilities for any small businesses.
Information Technology (IT) has become a significant concern of every small business today. However, implementing new technologies is a challenging job for small business owners whose primary focus is their core business and the daily operations of their company. Small business owners are under constant pressure to do business more efficiently and improve the productivity of their employees, all the while reducing costs. Ideally, technology makes these tasks easier, but it often seems simply to create more problems. For example, email spam and viruses create security threats on company computers or the server is down and employees sit idle. In these cases, a whole day can be wasted in waiting for a technician to come and solve the problem. Even small system disruptions and downtime significantly affect the revenue of the company. As a result, companies are unable to get the best return on their IT investments.
Mobile technology is becoming increasingly vital to your small business as the number of employees working from home or away from office is growing significantly. More than 50 million US workers are considered mobile, spending at least 20% of the time away from their primary workspace. Some of your employees, such as your salespeople or representatives, may be constantly on the move.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become a viable solution for even the smallest of companies as broadband internet access has become affordable and much more widespread. VoIP offers a low cost alternative to expensive traditional phone services, and is rapidly becoming the communications system of choice to reduce telecommunications costs. Hosted VoIP services are also gaining popularity among smaller companies since these services do not require any investment in hardware.
In today's global business environment, the value of working together, or collaboration, can have a huge positive impact on your business. Your employees and teams need to work together, and share ideas and information across geographic boundaries. For a small business such as yours, effective collaboration is essential to improving productivity by empowering your employees to communicate and work more efficiently using the right communications tools.
The relationship between small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and Information Technology (IT) can often be described as a "love/hate" relationship. You absolutely rely on technology to help your business run efficiently, but IT is most likely not one of your core competencies – and just keeping your systems running can be a major undertaking that distracts you from business-building activities.