Without the support of a robust IT service, businesses simply can’t function – that is the reality facing organisations all around the world. It is absolutely integral to the way businesses operate today. It’s the backbone that supports every component of your business – from HR to sales. Invest in a world-beating IT infrastructure and you can boast of a competitive advantage that puts you one step ahead of your competitors.
The internet collects information on you constantly. From using cookies to identify when you’re returning to a website you’ve visited before, to monitoring products you’ve shown an interest in and firing them back at you in personalised social media feeds. It’s become so ubiquitous that the EU introduced General Data Protection Regulation to stop pernicious marketers from harvesting your data and utilising it to coerce you into parting with your hard-earned cash. If you happen to run afoul of these regulations, you can be hit with a hefty fine, underscoring the importance of having the infrastructure in place to keep your customers’ data secure.
The WannaCry ransom attack extorted bewildered users across the globe. It wasn’t just technologically naïve members of the public suffering either; it wrought havoc with some of the largest organisations in the world – including the vitally important NHS. Locking medical staff out of their IT systems paralysed the fluidity of the service they were able to provide – stalling urgent operations and leading to a dangerous backlog of cases. If unscrupulous hackers can have this kind of impact on the biggest employer in the United Kingdom, there is no doubt that they can be equally damaging to small businesses too. Ensuring that your defences are suitably robust is imperative to the everyday functioning of any organisation.
This means not only having the right infrastructure in place, it means training staff too. How many workplaces across the world make cyber security awareness training a routine part of their employee induction process? The answer, as you might have guessed, is not enough – with a 2018 survey from IBM suggesting that only 29% of businesses have the staff needed to deal with a cybersecurity incident.
The global reach of the internet is one of its biggest strengths. You can email friends in Australia before sharing photos with family in America. For businesses, this drastically increases their reach. But, if you have customers all over the world, you have to be prepared to attend to these customers at all hours of the day. And unlike bricks-and-mortar stores, ecommerce sites do not keep regular hours. This can make them vulnerable to potentially catastrophic server outages: stripping your site of sales, customer registrations and, depending on the length of time your site is down, arduously secured SERP rankings. IT experts Binary Blue agree. Managing director Harriet Perkins states “security monitoring and ensuring you have backups are critical to maintaining the continuity of your organisation.”
IT can help businesses bolster sales, increase their online visibility and keep their customers’ data secure. It is an essential and unavoidable part of running a successful business today.