This is a good overview article of what the Small and Mid-Size Business (SMB) needs at a minimum today. They identify the basics of establishing a reliable Network, a Data Storage and Backup solution for your critical information, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a Mobile Optimized Network, and of course no hidden surprises in your bills.
But some of the additional considerations in today’s SMB environments are related to setting up strong Security Capabilities, a well thought out Cloud Services strategy, and VoIP Phone Services.
Setting up a strong security solution includes the right antivirus, backup, and security fallback solutions that protect all that hard work from being a malware or ransomware target. One tip I would give is that in order for security to be effective, it needs to be enforceable, configurable, and auditable. Trend Micro has long been suggesting since 2009 that, “…deep pack inspection firewalls and application level intrusion prevention are key technologies…”. Beyond that, ensuring that patch updates are done regularly is something every small business should be focused on. If you’re not sure how to execute that, I recommend using professionals like DirectPointe 7, Inc. simply because they have a flexible solution for businesses of all sizes.
A well thought out Cloud Service Strategy that is structured in the right way is critical to a SMB is survival. Putting all your data in the cloud can make you both more secure and unsecured. It just depends on how you do it and who you do it with. Remember, the bad actors in the wild internet world are looking to exploit your weaknesses and the cloud providers. How well do you know and understand their physical and electronic security? If the bad actors are going to attack, do you think that their primary focus is to dumpster dive in your trash? Or do you think that they’re going to pursue the cloud providers where they can get the biggest payload of data and sell it on the Dark Web? You just need to think through the various scenarios to make the right choices that maximizes value at the least risk and cost.
VoIP Phone Services
Because phones are the gateway of communication in business organizations, phone services are another critical technology that SMB really need to have and be careful in selecting. They need reliable, dial-tone services from a service provider that is willing to offer Service Level Agreements (SLA). Many business owners fail to think about what SLAs are needed for their business to run successfully. I would encourage you to really think about what kind of up-time and downtime your business can realistically endure while maintaining quality of service, etc..
All of these things are critical to a business’s success and in today’s world their survival. That’s why picking a qualified IT Outsourced Managed Service Provider (MSP) is critical to every business, no matter if you’re a seasoned mature Small and Medium Business or a startup SMB. The risks are great if not done correctly and the rewards are great if done right. Less headaches, less downtime, and no distractions so when you consider what technology is critical and what is not for your business make sure that you are following these recommendations for peace of mind!