Businesses of 100 people or less have unique technology needs. They donít need enterprise software packages or rooms full of servers. What they do need is nimble, sustainable and productive technology that will help them shine in todayís crowded marketplace.
It isn't easy. Help is on the way, however: This is the first of two columns based on the Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance's 2006 Small Business Technology Outlook. This column will discuss three keys of the report: security, data back-up and disaster prevention. The second column will focus on the best business communication technologies for 2006.
Todayís Small Business Environment
The study asked technology consultants, also known as solution providers, to identify the problems and challenges small businesses could face next year. It also identified the existing and emerging technology solutions available to help solve those problems. The qualitative findings in the report are based on common patterns seen by our experts who regularly work with small businesses.
According to the research small businesses managers are putting their companies at risk by not taking advantage of available technology in security, data protection and data backup. Failing to prioritize data security leaves businesses exposed and vulnerable to natural disaster, viruses and theft.
The research also shows that small businesses view current technology as overwhelming, confusing and time consuming. They donít know where to turn for help, and they donít realize that there are technology consultants who specialize in solutions for small businesses.
As a small business manager, part of your job is to think about how technology can drive efficiency and productivity, improve the quality of your products and services. As a result, small businesses usually focus managerial energy on business tasks and often do not think about or prioritize critical technology problems. We'll begin by outlining some common problems, and then circle back with some suggestions.