Is Technology Grinding Down Your Business?

Is Technology Grinding Down Your Business?

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We all know the big reasons for investing in technology, right? It exists to make our lives easier, frees up time so that we can focus on the other day-today-tasks we need to do for our companies, and is a great way to save money on resources, too. At least, that’s the theory.

The problem is that technology can often be something of a bane, and using too much tech can have the opposite effect of what you intended. So, the big question today is: dos your business technology hinder, rather than help, your business? There are some clues to spot, so let’s get our magnifying glasses out and have a thorough inspection.

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Technology: it’s complicated

Most businesses rely on a lot of different kinds of technology these days. But let’s be honest, how many company owners out there know exactly how they work? The reality for most entrepreneurs is that they will never understand the ins and outs of all the different types of tech that could be used to improve a company.

If there are problems – either minor or downright dangerous – getting things up and running again is a virtually impossible task. It’s one of the big reasons why so many firms in every single industry rely on technology solutions and IT consulting services these days. However, it’s not good enough to hand over your entire hosting system, server, and database to an outsourced partner. You don’t have to fix the problem, but you do need a basic understanding of what is causing it – and how it should be fixed.

At the very least, you need to make sure you have some basic knowledge regarding any technology used in your business – a top-down view will ensure you make the right decisions, whether for strategical reasons – or catastrophic.

Safety

There’s a vast array of issues with technology when it comes to safety and security. You should already be aware of the problems posed by viruses and malware – once they are in your system, it can result in disaster. Not only could you lose all our customer data to the wrong people, but the trust that you have built up with those customers will disappear with it.

The news is full of stories of massive businesses being involved in data breaches, and the hit they take as a result is more than significant. But it’s not just customer trust you might lose. Even the smallest piece of malware can end up on your system and slow things down to a snail’s pace, meaning no one can work to their most productive levels. Given that a failing business is an unproductive business, you can see how many problems a simple event like this could cause.

So, make sure you have a good anti-virus and anti-malware protection installed – and keep it updated. You might never experience a hacker or malware attack, but if you do get one, you will regret having no protection.

Humans and errors

Another problem with technology is to use it, you need human interaction. And wherever there are humans involved, you can guarantee mistakes will be made at some point. If you take a look at all the major hacking and malware incidents of the past decade or so, you could probably trace them all back to someone failing to create a secure password, someone clicking on a nefarious link, or even leaving their laptop on the train.

The scary thing is that almost all employees these days have access to the system at work. These are people that are forgetful on occasion, have home pressures to deal with, or might be ill – and the slightest bit of absent-mindedness could result in them making a simple mistake.

It is essential that anyone with a company login, laptop, or access to any system understands the importance of using strong passwords. As a rule, an experienced hacker can crack a password that is either all alpha or numeric and under six characters in less than a minute. But if you enforce alphanumeric, upper and lower case, and twelve character passwords, it would take the same hacker over three years.

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Reputation

While the Internet has been a godsend to many small businesses – almost leveling the field when it comes to competing against big corporations – it’s not all sweetness and light. In fact, a negative review about your company online can have a hugely detrimental effect. Whether it’s a disgruntled customer or a competitor trying to stir up trouble is immaterial – it’s not a good look.

So, while you should always use the Internet to market your business, don’t forget that not everyone has beautiful things to say about you – and you have to be prepared to track and trace every comment on a forum, review site, or blog post to defend your name.

That said, if you can show to other people that you are polite, try to be helpful, and are professional at all times, it can do wonders for your reputation. Most people understand that everyone makes mistakes – it’s how you deal with them that marks you out from the competition.

Communication

Technology has also made it super easy to communicate with people – both in and outside of your business. Unfortunately, we humans haven’t quite managed to master these technological tools, and it’s often the case that our communications are easily misunderstood.

This problem can create all kinds of issues, from sending out the wrong type of message to your customers via a Tweet, through to passing on incomprehensible instructions to your employees. A lot of companies out there fail to invest in educating their workers to communicate, and it will almost always lead to problems at some point in the future.

Don’t make the same mistake, or the consequences could be a hit on your reputation, a slowing of workplace productivity, and even legal trouble if you aren’t careful.

As you can see, technology can actually cause a lot more problems than it is worth in some cases. And if you are a business owner that needs technology to thrive, but lack experience and knowledge, it can be a delicate balance to strike. What problems have you experienced with tech? Why not share them in the comments?

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