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Quick IT. Wins For Small Businesses

Whether you're a tech novice or a seasoned IT manager, determining the initial steps for crafting an IT strategy can be a daunting prospect and prove challenging. Which is why we're providing this simple IT guide that consists of straightforward steps and ideas, to help you structure an approach to planning and implementing an IT strategy that will transform your business.


Create a documented IT Strategy

Firstly, creating a documented IT strategy is essential for any business that wants to drive growth. By assessing your current tech stack and future goals, an IT strategy lays out a clear roadmap to achieve your business objectives and will form the foundation from which to build out from.


Align Your IT Strategy With Your Business Objectives

Your IT strategy should be a detailed plan that outlines how technology is to be used to support and achieve your business goals. This will include how your organisation manages and maintains its IT systems, infrastructure, and applications. Your IT strategy should also set out the ways in which technology will align with future needs and priorities.

Topics to cover in your IT strategy:

Executive Summary: A brief overview of your IT strategy framework and its main objectives.

Current Assessment: Assess the current state of IT within your organisation. A simple SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats) model is great for getting a snap shot and highlighting priorities to focus on first. Also, include and inventory of existing IT systems, infrastructure, and processes.

IT Vision and Goals: Define your organisation’s IT vision for the future. Think about how you want technology to serve your organisation, and how your team will interact with it.

IT Organisational Structure: Map out your teams structure that will be used to support the IT strategy, including key roles and responsibilities. Small businesses can benefit from operating a co-managed IT method, where your management or key personnel within your organisation partner with a managed service provider (MSP). If this is something you are considering, it should be included within your IT organisational structure.

IT Roadmap & IT Governance: Create a high-level roadmap for achieving your IT objectives and outline the IT governance structure for your organisation. These should include policies and procedures and is something that an MSPs are adept at creating, implementing and maintaining.

IT Budget: Outline the budget for your IT strategy, and a plan for acquiring and managing resources such as personnel, hardware, software, and services. Allocate funds for maintenance on hardware and software along with ensuring you have an allocation for emergency situations such as downtime, system failure or cyber/ransomware attacks. Some MSPs provide simple subscription based invoicing based on a user per month basis. This model makes lightwork when budgeting and scaling your organisation.

IT Risk Management: Create a risk management plan and identify any risks associated with the IT strategy, underlining how you will manage and mitigate these risks.


With your IT strategy in place or well underway, there’s other areas that small businesses should focus on to help them compete against larger corporations and global markets.


Embrace Cloud-Based Solutions:

Cloud computing offers small businesses a cost-effective and scalable IT infrastructure that can adapt to their changing needs. By migrating key applications and data to the cloud, businesses can reduce IT costs, improve accessibility, and enhance collaboration among employees. Whether it's using cloud-based productivity suites like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, leveraging cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or OneDrive, or adopting cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online, embracing cloud-based solutions can revolutionise how small businesses operate, increasing productivity and profitability.


Implement Cybersecurity Best Practises:

Protecting sensitive data and safeguarding against cyber threats is critical for small businesses. Implementing cybersecurity best practises should be a top priority for your organisation. This includes deploying firewalls and antivirus software to prevent malware attacks, regularly updating software and systems to patch security vulnerabilities, conducting employee training to promote cybersecurity awareness, and implementing strong password policies and multi-factor authentication to protect against unauthorised access. Investing in cybersecurity insurance can also provide financial protection in the event of a data breach or cyber-attack. MSPs are best positioned to assist in this arena and many deploy phishing simulations to test your defences and monitor systems in live time all round the clock.


Prioritise Data Backup and Recovery:

Data loss can be devastating for small businesses, potentially resulting in significant financial losses and considerable reputational damage. That's why prioritising data backup and recovery at your company is essential. Small businesses should implement regular data backup procedures, preferably using automated cloud-based backup solutions to ensure data redundancy and accessibility. Additionally, developing a comprehensive data recovery plan outlining steps to recover critical systems and data in the event of a disaster is crucial. Regularly testing and updating your data recovery plan will help ensure its effectiveness when needed.


Optimise IT Infrastructure:

Efficient IT infrastructure is essential for small businesses to operate smoothly and effectively. All too quickly, technology races ahead, leaving older systems behind and unsupported which can lead to security issues. Conducting regular assessments of existing IT infrastructure to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement is key. Your small business should invest in modernising outdated hardware, optimising network infrastructure for improved performance and reliability, and leveraging virtualisation technologies to maximise resource utilisation and reduce costs. Additionally, implementing remote monitoring and management tools can help small businesses proactively identify and address IT issues before they impact operations.


Explore Managed IT Services:

For small businesses with limited IT resources or expertise, partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) can provide access to expert IT support and guidance. MSPs offer a range of services, including network monitoring and management, help desk support, cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, and strategic IT consulting. By outsourcing IT functions to an MSP, small businesses can reduce IT-related overhead costs, improve operational efficiency, and focus on core business priorities such as selling and growth. Furthermore, MSPs can scale their services to meet the evolving needs and growth of a small businesses, providing a flexible and cost-effective IT solution.


Your Take Away:

Implementing simple yet effective IT ideas will empower small businesses to harness the power of technology and drive success. By implementing an IT strategy, embracing cloud-based solutions, implementing cybersecurity best practises, prioritising data backup and recovery, optimising IT infrastructure, and exploring managed IT services, small businesses can position themselves for growth and resilience in today's digital economy. With the right IT strategy in place, small businesses can thrive and remain competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.

Even with the best laid plans, executing an IT strategy is a monumental task —particularly within a quickly developing organisation constrained by limited resources. Do you need help in streamlining IT processes, automating repetitive tasks, and asserting control over IT management? Book a complimentary discovery call today for expert guidance and support.


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