In just a few short years, technology has quickly become one of the single best friends that small business owners have ever had. At the same time, IT has also become one of their biggest struggles, as relying on technology for almost every day-to-day business operation can present its own unique challenges.
However, there are a few key IT challenges that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are facing today. What are these challenges and how can SMBs best deal with these challenges?
1. Data Backup and Recovery Challenges
One of the most prominent IT challenges facing SMBs today has to do not only with the massive influx of data that they’re now tasked with keeping track of on a daily basis, but the need to make sure that this data stays safe, sound, and protected from data loss.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers research, a full 70% of small businesses would have to shutter their doors within a year if they were to experience catastrophic data loss across their enterprises. Data loss is no joking matter for SMBs.
Luckily, the challenge of avoiding data loss can be prevented with a strong data backup and recovery plan. Many SMBs are moving their disaster recovery (DR) plans to cloud-based vendors in order to preserve continuity in the face of data loss and get their operations back up and running as quickly as possible.
The cloud isn’t the only backup option available to SMBs, however. Tape is another affordable backup option and backing up to disk can be an affordable option for SMBs if they have the right vendor to lead them in the right direction.
Don’t forget that support for your data storage hardware is key to preventing data loss as well. If something does go down, having the right support team in place can get your infrastructure back up and running in no time.
2. Data Security Challenges
Another IT challenge facing small businesses also has to deal with data – but not in the loss that occurs due to hard drive failure of user error. Even SMBs are faced with the risk of data breach. And the cost of data breaches continues to rise with each passing year.
According to a 2015 report from the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a lost or stolen record increased over 6%, from $145 to $154. While the cost of a data breach varies by industry (with healthcare faring the worst), every industry is at risk for a data breach – and the cost of dealing with the lost or stolen data.
As with data backup, data breaches can also be prevented to a certain extent with the right precautions in place. Security-as-a-service providers are just one of the solutions available to SMBs in order to help them stave off cyber threats from hackers.
3. End of Life
Another great challenge affecting SMBs – in particular their budgets – is End of Life. For storage equipment, End of Life (EOL) means that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will no longer be selling that product.
The OEM then will push for the end-user to upgrade to the latest generation of product, whether or not the business can afford to make that change. However, End of Life doesn’t mean that SMBs are required to upgrade their equipment. In fact, SMBs can continue to upgrade EOL storage hardware in their data centers for years after the OEM has made the equipment EOL.
The trick is to find the right vendor that can provide upgrades for EOL hardware at a low cost, but ensures the quality of the equipment that they sell. Make sure that the equipment you purchase is tested and backed by a certification process to guarantee the performance of that equipment.
Don’t be pulled in by the super cheap Ebay listings that can’t guarantee that equipment. Choose a vendor that is has a documented, reputable testing process. Then, SMBs won’t be faced with the looming expenses associated with End of Life.
Ready to Face the Challenges?
SMBs face multiple IT challenges each and every day. However, the key is to know how to best attack these challenges head on. Whether a SMB is facing data loss, cyber threats, or End of Life equipment, it’s important to know that these challenges don’t have to make or break your business.
You just have to be prepared and know the best practices. As the World’s #1 Reseller of Certified Pre-Owned Storage Hardware & Support, you can be sure that Reliant Technology can help you get the best quality equipment at the lowest prices.
To learn more about how Reliant Technology can help your SMB face IT challenges, reach out to our storage and support experts at 1.877.227.0828.