The Top Three Technology Hurdles Small Business Face
Smaller businesses are naturally at a disadvantage from the jump, as they obviously have less resources at their disposal than larger organizations or corporations. The hurdles that companies of a smaller size are up against exist within many areas of the organization, including technology. These hurdles not only include access to some more costly pieces of technology, but also the knowledge to effectively incorporate tech into their processes.
As a resource for small businesses, we want to explore some of these hurdles, and how to overcome them.
Quality technology comes at a price and keeping up with competitors during a time where IoT (Internet of Things) is dominating the playing field can be quite a task to overcome without proper resources. Many small businesses struggle with the costs of technology in general, but once you factor in regular upgrades, finding room in a budget can be even more challenging.
The average IT costs for small businesses varies depending on the exact size of the business, and scope of work. However, one definite reality is that the cards are often stacked against small businesses, as larger outfits have more resources at their disposal to spend on IT.
Some standard technology expenses for small businesses include computers, email, outsourced tech support, cloud computing technologies, VoIP, and online collaboration tools. This is by no means a comprehensive list; however, it offers a glimpse into a few of the many tech needs that most businesses have… and they aren’t cheap.
It’s for this reason that small businesses must put critical thought into every dollar spent on technology, as cash flow is limited. If you run a small business and don’t have the knowledge required to make these important decisions, consider finding a partner that can assist. Uninformed decisions can be detrimental to your bottom line and longevity.
IT Human Resource Restrictions
A significant number of small businesses are outsourcing a majority (if not all) of their technology support and management processes. These companies have a limited budget, and thus the IT human resources at their disposal are limited as well. When an organization has a small amount of knowledge and/or training in technology, this lack of IT resources can be daunting. These organizations are essentially at the will of their outsourced partners, which can result in poor spending decisions if a partner you can trust isn't chosen from the beginning.
On the other side of the coin are the challenges associated with maintaining a strong and talented in-house IT person or team. IT talent is hard to come by, and very much in demand. There are few options, as unemployment in this field is low. Additionally, small businesses have to deal with offering salaries that compete with their competitors. This is why so many SMBs choose to outsource their technology but as mentioned above, it's crucial your organization picks the right partner.
Rate of Change
The rate at which technology is changing is nearly impossible to keep up with, or even understand. Advancements are being made every day and no one has the time to digest all of the changes occurring, let alone vet all of the new technologies and service providers on the market.
With every new change comes new levels of functionality, and these new levels are being reached several times a year. Being that it is becoming easier and easier to create applications and improve upon their functions, there are a plethora of online tools at any given business’s disposal. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially if your business struggles with technology or the challenge of deciding which pieces of tech to incorporate into your business processes.
As an example, there are so many questions to consider when vetting a new piece of software. What features are included? What features are missing that a competing software offers? Do current users seem satisfied with the product? Does this product have longevity? Is this product secure?
SaaS can be a great thing for small companies and has been absolutely transformative for organizations that successfully incorporate it. It does however have downsides, which always needs to be considered. By utilizing a SaaS tool, you are offering up your organization’s data and proprietary lists to your chosen provider. This is why it is important to consider what service provider you are choosing, and understand how your data is being stored, utilized, and maintained.
It can be a massive challenge to keep up with the rate of change for some of these technologies, especially while also keeping up with other aspects of your business. The solution can be found in the choice of a trusted and skilled technology partner that can make this process easier for you.
Technology is critical, and small businesses face some of the largest hurdles when it comes to remaining on the cutting edge and remaining competitive. In order to see long term success, it is important to do your best to learn about these hurdles and how to overcome them. The most effective path for many small businesses is often through a trusted and capable technology partner, and employees that understand the tech landscape.
If you’d like to explore these tech hurdles in more detail, as well as ways to overcome them, contact us at 630-769-8700 or through our online form below!