Every year brings new IT challenges, from security issues to integrating new technology in a cost-efficient manner.
That’s why it’s important for small and medium-sized business executives to identify what the top issues will be every year so they’re in a better position to effectively respond to these challenges.
Here are five IT challenges you should be prepared to deal with at your company, the solutions to overcome them and why an IT support company might be needed.
1. Cloud Transition Pitfalls
Companies demand flexibility, scalability and less capital expenditure, which is why the cloud is perhaps the biggest IT opportunity for businesses. While the move towards the cloud will accelerate in 2016, that doesn’t mean that companies will be able to implement the transition smoothly. In fact, a recent Gartner survey found that 95 percent of private cloud operators are experiencing problems, from “using the wrong technologies” to “focusing on the wrong benefits.”
Here are some of the ways you can overcome these hurdles:
- Work with a professional or IT support company that has experience with the cloud, including integration between older software and cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. Without this integration, your apps and data simply won’t be able to communicate within the cloud the way they should.
- Know what you want from the cloud. While a new cloud-based application may deliver great productivity results, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for your business.
- Realize that the cloud is your opportunity to move away from the 80/20 model that used to dominate IT — where about 80 percent of the IT budget is allocated to basic maintenance and integration — and doesn’t generate any real value. The cost-effective nature of the cloud allows you to free up budget resources, but you need to ensure that some of these resources are directed at improving your cloud integration.
2. Continued Concern Over Security Threats
Security concerns are not new for business owners, and 2016 isn’t expected to be any different. The fact that large businesses with big IT budgets have been impacted should tell you the danger for smaller companies with limited budgets. The Anthem insurance company
The Anthem insurance company allowed hackers to gain access to sensitive information for a whopping 80 million Americans while the infamous Ashley Madison hack resulted in 37 million leaked customer records. A Society for Information Management Trends study found that security is the number one IT issue in 2016 for 32 percent of survey respondents.
One of the ways that companies are responding to the multitude of security threats is by aligning their business with an IT support company. This setup ensures that your network is monitored 24 hours a day, firewalls and anti-virus software are properly configured, and your system is patched on a daily basis to protect against the latest security threats.
Additionally, cloud capabilities get rid of the traditional IT model that relied on hundreds of applications and tools that all required different security protocols. Instead, now business executives can rely on cloud vendors to ensure security within their apps. Not only do these software companies understand the security weaknesses of their product better, but they also help your company save on IT security costs.
3. Locking Down Disaster Recovery
Every business owner should be fully implementing disaster recovery strategies by the end of 2016. Unfortunately, a 2015 study found that 36 percent of companies would like to have a disaster recovery strategy, but can’t afford it. On top of that, 40 percent of businesses that already had a disaster recovery strategy rated their disaster recovery as “fair” or “poor.”
The good news is that an IT support company can put a strong data backup and recovery plan into place without much time and effort by working with an external provider who has experience with cloud data backups and recovery. This provider should perform routine audits on your data to ensure every backup is nearly fail-safe.
4. Integrating a BYOD Workforce
Gartner predicts that half of all organizations will require employees to use their own devices in the workplace, and a big part of this transition will occur during 2016. However, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement still presents some serious transition problems.
Small and medium-sized companies need to ensure they have some measure of control over the BYOD security framework. That means that when an employee is terminated, they should not take valuable company data with them on their smartphones or tablets. That’s why you need to be able to remotely wipe devices, set security protocols for your employees’ devices, and even monitor employee activity on devices in real time.
Furthermore, usage tracking is key. Employees who start roaming with a company device can sometimes rack up thousands of dollars in bills.
5. Difficulty Attracting Talent
Business executives are continuously searching for top talent, which will make finding employees for an IT team a top concern in 2016. A December 2015 survey found that 75 percent of the 435 tech executives questioned were struggling to find the right talent to hire. Companies in 2016 are either expected to fall short of their hiring goals or to expend enormous amounts of money to find the IT talent they’re looking for.
Hiring an IT Support Company for Help
This is another area where hiring an IT support company can give you a huge advantage. By working with someone who has already secured and trained the talent needed in the marketplace, you’ll be able to step back and focus on hiring for other core areas of your business.
If you’re looking to overcome this year’s IT challenges, Dobson Technologies, an outsourced IT support company in Oklahoma City, is the provider you need. Contact us today at (405) 242-0171 or send us a message to schedule a meeting for managed IT business services.