Small and medium-sized business owners are finding that it’s getting more difficult to compete without the means to deploy the newest technologies. Larger organizations are finding greater market shares, but smaller businesses have some advantages, namely in terms of maneuverability. With the help of some external resources, SMBs can be operate as effectively as larger organizations.
Generally speaking, when your business faces a challenge, you might see little choice but to pick vendors who are best suited to resolve your issues at hand--even if they aren’t the most qualified solution. Worse yet, if someone is particularly skilled in a specific area and they’re not allowed to flourish due to the needful, they may find other opportunities. This makes it challenging to sustain operations, especially when you’re already strapped for resources as is.
Take, for example, the position of an IT technician. While having a competent in-house IT department is a great benefit for your organization, paying one might be ambitious. You'd be better served elsewhere in your budget. Instead of adding multiple salaries to your payroll, consider your alternative choices. Furthermore, a qualified IT professional will want to help your organization implement the best technology solutions to improve efficiency and productivity, many of which might be budget-breaking off the bat. What’s the business owner to do?
IT support is much more manageable to obtain today. For Network Management Services’s Managed IT Services in lieu of adding new salaries, you will only need to take on an affordable monthly payment to get the comprehensive support and management you need for your organization's IT. However, even with IT support handled, you’ll want to know how trends will affect your business in the future. Two of the most important to consider are the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace and Internet of Things technology.
Concerning Mobile Devices
Mobile technology is a major talking point among businesses, but this isn’t anything new. Ever since the initial surge in mobile technology began over a decade ago, IT professionals knew that someday mobile would become crucial to the success of their endeavor. While mobile devices have the potential to offer significant benefits to small businesses, they also could become huge problems in the long run, particularly in regard to network security and data leakage. Businesses that are serious about appropriately leveraging mobile devices in the workplace will want to implement a BYOD policy that allows employees to use their devices, but only by adhering to usage protocol designed to mitigate risk.
If implemented properly, mobile devices in the workplace can allow your business to improve employee morale and engagement. However, businesses that want to use mobile devices in the workplace still have their fair share of challenges. One of the clear problems associated with mobile devices is that they can become a huge time sink for your employees. Considering how the majority of the smartphone's operations are rooted in entertainment or social media rather than productivity, you need to instill proper time management practices into your employees. Furthermore, there needs to be some sort of protocol for distributing sensitive data and establishing unified communications between your devices, so management and monitoring needs to be considered before making a commitment to mobile.
The Internet of Things
In a sense, the development of the Internet of Things trend could be considered similar to the way mobile devices entered the work environment. The Internet of Things consists of any device that can connect to a network and communicate with other similar devices, many of which are devices which wouldn’t normally have connectivity capabilities. If anything has been made clear by the explosion of device development, it’s that the Internet of Things is not going away, and that your business (just like with mobile devices) could be put at risk, or reap rewards for their effective use. The problem is determining which devices you’ll find effective for your operations.
Depending on your business’s specific needs, the Internet of Things devices that have practical use for your organization will vary. Some, however, will be interesting initiatives regardless of which industry your business falls into. Devices like remote controlled locks, thermostats, and security cameras can be effective introductions to the world of the Internet of Things. Others, however, might be more situation-specific, like card readers for point-of-sale technology. As the Internet of Things grows more popular, you can bet that more devices will be introduced over the next few years. It is predicted that as many as 20 billion devices will be implemented and connected to the Internet by 2020!
Network Management Services can help your small business benefit most from new technical assets. To learn more, reach out to us at (707) 268-8850.