When it comes to technology, small businesses have a distinct advantage. Though they don’t have a large amount of capital to throw around, they’re able to be far more agile and rapidly respond to developing situations. In the midst of this need to balance innovation and budget balancing, however, it’s easy to forget the areas where the true value of IT lies: keeping employees happy, customers satisfied, and data secure.

Getting the Most Out of Your Employees

For small businesses, every employee counts. The effectiveness of a single worker may determine whether or not the business makes a profit that week. In essence, if employees aren’t out-earning their salary, problems will arise in the long term.

The right software and support can be a significant help with this. Solutions like Microsoft Power Automate may be used to cut out tedious tasks, while the tight integrations of Office 365 lead to less time moving files. Even more vital in the current climate are Microsoft Teams and Planner, which help co-workers communicate and collaborate effectively while helping to maintain company culture and employee satisfaction.

IT support also plays into this. Good IT support will reduce downtime and aid employees with software or hardware errors and difficulties. As well as ensuring the business does not experience productivity hampering technical issues, a support team gives employees more confidence and at times a better understanding of the tools they use.

Keeping Customers Happy

Of course, while the productivity of employees is vital, they need customers to work with. This is another key area where IT can help small businesses. Using specialized tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365, companies can gain data-driven insights into their customers and use that to predict what they’ll need in the future. Analytics services can also help them to optimize resources to solve customers’ issues faster and track brand loyalty.

When a customer does reach out, a quality cloud-based PBX phone system is another useful tool that doesn’t have to cost thousands. Real-time stats, call queues, and call history all help a small business optimize its support while making customers feel listened to and welcomed.

Protecting Your Business

At the same time, however, small businesses need to make sure their most valuable data is protected. To be successful in the long-term, the integrity of their personal and customer information must be secured. With 71% of cyberattacks, occurring at companies with under 100 employees, some protection is quickly becoming essential.

While small businesses typically can’t afford the wide-reaching security systems of a large enterprise, they can have good IP security (via VPN or otherwise) to ensure data is encrypted in transit.

This becomes particularly important when many employees are working from home or on the move, where their network cannot be protected in the same way. It has become trivial for attackers to imitate a network, capture the data traveling across it, and use it for personal gain or to stage another attack. A proactive and security-minded approach to IT can prevent these instances and ultimately save the business.

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Despite the essential productivity and security boons, IT provides small businesses, some still aren’t keeping ahead of the curve. For most, the problem comes down to two factors: expertise and cost. While many tools would lead to immediate benefits, the upfront cost of such solutions and lack of personnel to manage them leads to many giving them a pass. An MSP can mitigate this through fixed-cost monthly billing and expert support if required, providing your IT setup even more value. Schedule a call with VirtuWorks today to talk about how we can help.