Growing companies face constant pressure to do more with less and to improve IT capabilities to keep pace with competitors. With every dollar crucial, IT and business decision makers can't afford any of these missteps.
Most SMBs operate under the assumption that no hacker would be interested in targeting their company. And while it is true that many hackers tend to focus on large enterprises to inflict the most damage, when they unleash attacks that go after Google and Facebook, SMBs are targeted along with the global players. On October 26, 2009, the Washington Post reported that, according to the FBI, cybercrooks emptied more than $100M out of SMB bank accounts in 2008 and 2009, leveraging bank login information partly accessed through social media sites. The prevalence of social media and the current "transparent" business culture is a breeding ground for sophisticated technology attacks on sensitive information.
No company, large or small, can afford a security breach. The repercussions are staggering: loss of revenue, customer confidence, productivity, and reputation can bring business to a grinding halt. Often, SMBs underestimate how much IT security they really need. The IT strategy plan (that you learned was so important in No.1) should address both internal and external security threats, and be executed by a trustworthy IT professional.
7. "My Company Is Too Small To Consider A Virtualized Environment."
The maturation of desktop virtualization technology has made thin computing a viable alternative to traditional PCs for many organizations, including SMBs. With the pace of business promising to pick up in 2010, virtualized environments offer many advantages to SMBs with a progressive IT department. While thin computing may not be for every SMB, those that employ remote workers or whose business is concerned with the security of mission-critical data are viable candidates to consider a virtual environment.
Companies are starting to take note - according to Gartner, there are 633 million desktop PCs in offices today, and 15 percent of those will be replaced with thin clients over next five years. Additionally, a recent IDC White Paper sponsored by HP found in comparison to traditional distributed PCs:
-- Thin client users require less than a third of the IT labor
-- User hardware and software costs in a client virtualization environment are reduced by more than half for each user, each year
-- Client virtualization users require 67 percent less IT support and administration labor
Over a five year period, these cost reductions can represent more than $16,000 of cumulative cash flow benefits per end user.
8. "I Can Wait To Implement A Backup/Recovery Plan."
Business disruptions can create legal and insurance ramifications that impact the bottom line. However, the expense and complexities associated with implementing backup storage solutions often push it down the priorities list. How long could your company survive if your data was lost or corrupted? The answer will help you determine how important a backup plan is to your company's success. At the very least, create a file of your business contacts on an external drive, which will enable you to quickly access and communicate with your customers.
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