At some point, the collection of desktops grows into a network, and addressing technology becomes essential. Even those with real business acumen may find themselves lost when it comes to technology. Here are four things small business owners should know about IT.
1. Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)
The key to marketing and customer satisfaction is understanding clientele. When juggling multiple customer accounts, it’s easy to miss opportunities. A CRM platform allows staff to keep track of client interactions, contact lists, order histories, and much more. This information can be retrieved by sales or support staff to affect client-specific solutions. Reports can also be generated to help strategize marketing campaigns and analyze business metrics.
2. Technology Terms
Every industry has its own lingo that baffles outsiders, and that’s certainly true of IT. What may seem like “geek-speak” is the jargon of the technicians and engineers who control your network, data, and applications—the essentials of modern business. The better you understand it, the more effectively you can manage and deal with them. Learning how to discuss things on a technical level helps you ask the right questions and get a better understanding of the technical side of your own company. Here’s a good place to start.
3. IT Services
Outsourcing your IT needs to a managed services provider is an increasingly cost-effective means of addressing technical needs. An Ottawa IT services provider can handle your computer and network support, software installations and upgrades, and provide network security for sensitive information. Your MSP already has the skills and experience you need, and without the overhead of benefits and rising IT salaries, usually for a flat monthly fee that can be planned into your budget. The MSP can also be invaluable in strategic planning via consulting, migration, system design, and other means.
4. Network Security
This is one of the above-mentioned services no company can afford to ignore. One hacker tactic on the rise is ransomware, where malicious programs hold your data hostage until you pay off the hackers. Serious data breaches can destroy a company’s carefully-built brand, erode customer confidence, and lead to liability lawsuits. One serious security breach can put you out of business, so protecting yourself from cybercrime should be a priority.
Technology coordinates everything else into a productive process. Small businesses don’t have to be on the cutting edge to be competitive, but having control of technical issues means more time you can spend on generating revenue.