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What the Future Holds for Small Business IT

Learn what the future holds for your company’s computer systems and which small business IT services you will need to adopt.

What the Future Holds for Small Business IT

Predicting the future of technology is a risky endeavour. If the predictions of old ever came true, we’d all have flying cars, intergalactic space travel and robots that perform every conceivable menial task you can think of.

When it comes to small business IT services, some developments are easier to predict than others. Here are some you can expect to see in your business.

 

Increased flexible working.

Unquestionably, the business of the future will need to increase operational flexibility in order to stay competitive. This demand for flexible working comes on three fronts:

  1. An increasingly connected world means that businesses are having to extend their opening hours to cater for a global customer base.
  2. Employees are demanding access to flexible working resources to maintain a better work-life balance, without compromising their employer or their own position.
  3. Government legislation designed to assist parents back into the workplace (or to provide much needed maternity/paternity leave) is forcing many small businesses to revisit their IT provisions to comply.

Flexible working requires similarly flexible small business IT services. Fortunately, cloud solutions already allow many businesses to provide access to corporate data and could help forward-thinking organisations become more immediately flexible- stealing a march on their competitors.

 

Increased security risks.

Many small businesses assume that their computer systems and data are of little interest or value to cybercriminals. The reality is that as larger organisations implement more effective security, hackers will instead turn their attentions to less well-protected systems – typically those belonging to smaller, less well-funded businesses.

As a result, organisations will need to move away from traditional small business IT services and either:

  • Invest in enterprise-grade security systems and expertise to protect their data.
  • Select an alternative solution, such as Cloud technologies that provide enterprise-grade security, at a much more SME budget-friendly price.

The downside of flexible working (see above) could actually make it easier for cybercriminals to exploit small business IT services. This does not, however, make either security or operational flexibility optional.

 

More mobile devices.

As well as becoming more connected, the workplace is also becoming increasingly mobile. Sales statistics show that desktop PCs are being outsold by laptops, which are in turn being replaced by tablet computers.

Mobility is also boosted by the explosion in smartphone ownership. Many of these devices are perfectly adequate for conducting business activities, as evidenced by the popularity of mobile email. Smartphones and tablets will inevitably become more sophisticated with some even being replaced by new “wearable” devices like smart watches.

Again, these mobile technologies will need to be supported by small business IT services that make data available any place, any time if employees are to be productive on the move. Businesses are also finding that allowing employees to use their own devices (a practice now called BYOD – Bring Your Own Device):

  • Boosts productivity.
  • Cuts costs.
  • Increases employee availability.
  • Assists with flexible working arrangements.

 

The immediate future for small business IT services is actually pretty clear then:

  • An increase in demand for flexible working from all sectors of your business.
  • An increased security risk as cybercriminals target more SMEs.
  • A jump in the number of mobile devices your staff use to work.

Need to know more about future-proofing your small business IT systems? Download your free copy of The non-techie's Ultimate guide: How to choose the right IT products to suit your businesses needs now and in the future.

Tags: SMEs

Dr James Huntington Managing Director

James is the Founder and Managing Director at IT Farm. His background in Computer Science help lay the foundation for IT Farm to become one of the UK's first Cloud Computing Companies.

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