How IT Investments Are Changing For Small Business
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Digital transformation is changing the way IT investments are made.
Small businesses are adopting new digital technologies to improve traditional processes or replace antiquated technology within their business. And as time goes on, technologies like servers are getting cheaper for small businesses to acquire.
How are the responsibilities and investments related to IT changing for small businesses?
We asked this question to a variety of small business leaders who have made IT-related investments into their companies. Here are some ways that IT investments are changing for small businesses.
Focus on Tech Stack
Small businesses have to consider whether an IT investment will integrate with an existing technology stack. A tech stack is all the technologies a company uses to make their business run. If an IT investment doesn’t fit well within an existing tech stack, then the company may pass on the opportunity. Integrations are the name of the game with IT. If it’s a standalone IT product or service, chances are that the investment won’t be made. It has to integrate.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Revisit Risk Exposure and Coverage
As small businesses have shifted to remote work, many of their insurance policy terms could lead to disputed claims from insurance companies or gaps in coverages. Remote operations are quite different from “on the ground” operations, and IT may need to revisit their risk exposures and coverages to ensure their insurance programs stay up to date with their work environment.
Vicky Franko, Insura
Cloud-Based IT Solutions
With the sharp rise in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been moving towards investing in cloud-based IT solutions and tech to support a scattered workforce, from HR software and IT support systems to online communication tools and task management apps. The trend in choosing cloud-based options over central, on-premises solutions have been jump-started in 2020 and look set to stay with predictions that remote working will become a more permanent feature of working life.
Camille Brouard, Myhrtoolkit
For investments of IT for small businesses, it is a must-have expense in order to compete in any marketplace. No matter what your business is you'll need solid IT support and processes in place to be competitive. Every area of a business large or small will be affected by the IT they have in some way so you can't afford to skimp on it or disregard it. The biggest operational changes are that many IT-related duties are now autotomized with software to make them much easier to implement and manage. This cuts down significantly on the need for employees and people to do IT-related work. This makes it much easier for small businesses to compete with larger organizations as it levels the playing field in some areas.
Mark Smith, UAT
The biggest change that small businesses are experiencing right now is that, rather than investing in on-prem systems and servers, they’re all focused on securing their cloud-based operations. The large-scale migration from the office to the home office means those small businesses that used to talk about a remote workforce with a dreamy look in their eyes as they considered the distant future have found this reality thrust upon them now. So they’re scrambling to get up to speed, implementing VPNs, and moving everything they can to the cloud.
Mark Varnas, Red9
Well-Built Website Paired with E-Commerce Support
The pandemic has caused a real shift in the IT needs of many small businesses. Mainly brick and mortar stores have had to shift to a largely online business model in order to survive. This means that they’re having to invest in a well-built website with E-commerce support. E-commerce support means having to deal with the PII of customers which means either dealing with 3rd parties or protecting that data on your site. This shift to investing in an online presence as well as the responsibility that comes with handling payment information is a big change for many SMBs.
Phil Strazzulla, Select Software Reviews
Educating the Importance of IT in Crucial Industries
Small businesses have to respond to changes in the workforce just like large businesses, but they are expected to handle these on their own and often without funds to hire full-time IT support. Specifically, there are some industries that lag behind in understanding the importance of IT to their business (e.g. healthcare - specifically small doctor’s offices). Therefore, it is crucial for small businesses in these sectors to understand the importance of IT investment and educate their team on behalf of their customers.
Linda Scorzo, Hiring Indicators