What Should SMEs Do To Prevent Common Mistakes?

Gary Gould

Spending And Planning Wisely

Overview – Billions of pounds from valuable IT and communication (ICT) budgets are wasted each year due to common mistakes in the market. These are some of the pitfalls you should avoid.

With small businesses (especially start-ups with online ambitions) relying more and more on their understanding and utilisation of ICT, it’s easy to see where people can go wrong. Currently, poor decisions are being made all too often and billions of pounds are being wasted in the UK each year. With tighter credit conditions due to reduced bank lending, this amount of money could be the difference between survival and failure. So how can all this be avoided and what should small businesses do to prevent common mistakes?

GET TO KNOW THE JARGON

Whilst it may seem daunting from the outside, understanding the basic language of the IT industry is a necessity. After all, you are investing in technology in the hope it will help your business grow and become more efficient. Investing time in understanding the available services and technologies will pay dividends immediately and in the future.

Once the preserve of the ‘geeks’, the consumerization of technology means that although the underlying service may be complicated the business benefits should be crystal clear. If not, you would do well to leave it alone as the competitive advantage won’t be realized and you will probably end-up overspending. Of course, this is all relative. If you’re an Enterprise that doesn’t know their Ethernet WANs from their MPLS networks, you should probably find out. For smaller businesses, however, understanding the different broadband services available may be enough when it comes to connectivity. Once any unnecessary spending is avoided, it then comes down to finding the most profitable ways of spending the rest of your budget.

WHAT YOU’RE NOT USING

One of the biggest innovations in the past few years is the availability of cloud services known as Cloudware. Not only does this offer several possibilities to your business in terms of convenience and ease-of-access, but according to a report by Deloitte, it can help small and medium businesses grow much faster. In fact, investing in Cloud Technology could help your company receive up to 21% higher gross profits than those who don’t.

Cloudware can also save businesses money elsewhere. Companies who own, house and update their own servers to back up and store information have to spend a lot of money maintaining this when, instead, this can all be taken care of with a subscription fee from a cloud hosting provider. Further, cloudware products automatically update, delivered at low cost which is less pricey than purchasing new software updates. Some businesses have been slow to adapt to the cloud, with fears over the safety and security of data a leading factor in this. But once you dig a little deeper, these ‘myths’ often aren’t the case.

Finally, there are areas you may not be spending in which could be causing you to waste valuable resources everywhere. For example, businesses can spend days per year solving common network problems in the Workplace. By using a network monitoring tool, this could be solved saving precious time and money.

STOP WASTING MONEY TODAY

Whilst it can take years to develop IT knowledge, simply devoting a little more time to understanding exactly what you are spending on could prove invaluable. And if your money could be invested more wisely, addressing this could help safeguard your business from the pitfalls of IT and help it stay ahead of the game in the future. After all, IT could be the difference between failure and success for your business, so ignore blind IT and communications spending at your peril!

By Gary Gould

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