Ten Tech-Related Mistakes that SMEs Make and How IT Consultants Can Help Them
Based on a 2014 study conducted by the Radicatti Research Group (a technology marketing firm), when it comes to tech-related concerns, small business-owners in the US can be categorized into two groups: (1) those who are on the right track and (2) those who assume that they are on the right track but are actually rather clueless. With the intention of making a financially rewarding undertaking, many of them are unaware that they are actually inviting an additional batch of avoidable, yet costly problems.
Ten mistakes of many SMEs:
- SMEs fall prey to spam and unsolicited e-mails. Consequently, they are prone to wasting a generous amount of time, effort, financial capital, and system resources; they end up decreasing their productivity level.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: terminate affiliations with illegitimate credit repair groups; apply messaging filters; discuss the dangers of publishing sensitive content in anonymous sources
- SMEs refuse to standardize and upgrade devices and software programs. Getting old tools such as computer systems, printers, and fax machines replaced is usually the more practical and affordable alternative for business owners. However, many SME’s think that they are saving more by holding on to their old systems.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: replacement of dated devices and software programs. As a result, they can experience increased efficiency, faster transactions, and improved customer satisfaction.
- SMEs refuse to send their systems for regular maintenance checks. They assume that getting systems fixed while in working condition will only cost them an additional charge.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: assess systems; recommend regular system maintenance; install affordable software maintenance solutions
- SMEs choose to install illegal software programs. Little do they know that there is an increasing number of measures (e.g. unexpected product deactivation, possible fines, possible jail time, etc.) that are in place against installation of unlicensed tools.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: install legal software programs; discuss licensing conditions; discuss the importance of not taking any business shortcuts
- SMEs are unaware of how to maximize the full capabilities of software programs. They may purchase fancy software programs to raise productivity, but using 100% of their tools tends to be the last in their lineup of priorities. Consequently, most of the staff let cost-reducing, multi-tasking, and time-saving features of their products go to waste.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: discuss all features of the software programs; provide training for small business owners and staff.
- SMEs assume that they can go by without IT support. Since their doors are closed on turning to knowledgeable and professional tech partners, critical application errors, bugs and glitches, network crashes, and other related drawbacks happen.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: evaluate systems; recommend regular evaluation
- SMEs set aside the importance of security. They refuse to take additional (or even basic) security measures. Consequently, among the things that they are more likely to deal with include unstable systems, data theft, robotic assaults, and compromised servers.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: discuss the dangers of security attacks; install business level security software programs; prohibit the use of file-sharing programs; secure all networks; enforce password security policies; recommend regular evaluation.
- SMEs refuse to have back-up power plans. Since they can delay or even damage equipment this way, they end up postponing business operations in case of power outages.
The IT consultant/s solution: recommend back-up power sources; install back-up power gears, and discuss the importance of having back-up power.
- SMEs don’t have a proper data back-up plan. Their list of problems includes problematic systems, untimely network crashes, and suffering from loss of critical data.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: recommend data back-up strategies; install data back-up or recovery programs; discuss the importance of proper data back-up.
- SMEs allow their systems to be over-worked. In the assumption that they can generate higher profits, their operations run for straight 24-hour periods.
The IT consultant’s solution/s: recommend scheduled downtime; discuss the dangers of system exhaustion.