For many SMEs, IT probably epitomizes the old joke that you “can’t live with it and can’t live without it”. On the one hand, modern technology can be extremely challenging for SMEs to implement, maintain, and generally manage.
On the other hand, very few businesses could manage to operate without it. The solution to this conundrum is used outsourced IT services.
Everything as a Service
The “as-a-service” model may be the single, biggest innovation in modern business. It allows companies to contract-out vital, but non-core services. This leaves them free to concentrate on their core business. In other words, it allows them to spend their time doing what they do best.
While the XaaS business model is used across multiple business sectors, it’s probably most valuable in IT. The reason for this is that IT is massively complex and even simple mistakes can end up being both embarrassing and expensive.
Effective Cybersecurity Is a Must
Even if the UK were to abolish GDPR (which is highly unlikely), consumer pressure would almost certainly force companies to take data security seriously. For practical purposes, that means implementing effective cybersecurity.
As it stands, not only is GDPR very much in force (and likely to stay that way), but it is backed by significant penalties.
What’s more, SMEs will also generally have data that is not covered under GDPR but which is very definitely commercially-sensitive. This is another reason why robust cybersecurity is a must. No company is ever “too small to be a target”.
Quite bluntly, the smallest targets are usually the easiest to hit (and to hurt).
The cybersecurity landscape is vast, complex, and fast-changing. New forms of malware are being launched all the time as are new strategies for deploying them. This means that all SMEs need the protection of an effective cybersecurity team.
The costs of recruiting and retaining an in-house team of specialists would, however, be prohibitive, hence the usefulness of outsourcing.
Remote and Mobile Workers Need Special Protection
Remote and mobile workers need to be able to access company resources with the same level of security as on-site workers. This is entirely possible. It does, however, require careful planning and implementation.
If remote/mobile workers are using smartphones and/or tablets as well as regular computers, then security becomes even more complicated.
This has become an issue for any company which wishes to continue remote working over the longer term, whether that’s until COVID19 is brought under control or indefinitely.
At the start of the pandemic, regulators gave companies a bit of breathing space to adapt to the new environment. Now, however, they are starting to take a more assertive approach.
In short, regulators appear to be increasingly taking the view that companies should have their remote cybersecurity sorted by now. They may still cut SMEs a bit of slack, given the circumstances but even SMEs would be advised to get themselves organized as quickly as possible.
Again, outsourced IT is likely to be the best approach to achieving this.
Making IT Happen
For all its complexity, a lot of managed IT support is essentially making sure that regular care and maintenance actually happens. Outsourcing these everyday tasks is often the simplest, most convenient, and most cost-effective means to do so.
Technical support operator working on computer -DepositPhotos