Being able to leverage technology is one of the key advantages for businesses of all sizes in today’s hi-tech world. However, technology also poses a number of challenges that can be disadvantageous if they aren’t recognized and overcome timely. Many can lead to overspending and security breaches, neither of which can be good in terms of profitability and even the longevity of a business. If your company is seeking ways to leverage technology for growth potential, it pays to be aware of some of the challenges you might encounter.
1. IT Security
For many businesses, there is no way to operate without internet access and therein lies a major challenge they face. Breaches in security have overwhelmed the news in recent years and with good reason. Without sufficient internet security you leave yourself vulnerable to hacks, and hackers are quite simply getting better at what they do!
To name a couple of the most newsworthy hacks in recent years, consider the fact that even the government has fallen prey to hackers. It was all over the news in 2020 that the United States government was hacked by Russia leading to breaches in information impacting all levels of US government as well as private citizens. Then there was the Ashley Madison hack of 2015 that led to serious issues among married ‘cheaters’ and although the ethics of those users could be in question, they do have the right to being assured security in information.
The obvious way to overcome this particular challenge would be keeping up with advances in IT security. You can never underestimate the value of contracting a security service that addresses vulnerabilities as soon as they arise.
2. SaaS Vulnerabilities
One of the ways in which many of today’s industries are benefiting from technology is by utilizing Software as a Service, SaaS. However, without adequate SaaS management from a service like Vendr, your business may be faced with a number of challenges, including all of the other four on this list. In fact, SaaS management is so critical to in a B2B environment that the Vendr blog goes into detailed areas of concern and how to mitigate problems arising from SaaS challenges.
For example, SaaS management would entail giving permissions and access when onboarding new employees to ensure IT security and to mitigate work redundancies. Another SaaS vulnerability would be overspending because staff access isn’t managed well. If employees continue ordering and/or installing services that are dealt with in other software environments, the cost could significantly impact a business’s bottom line. To see all the ways in which a business can overcome SaaS challenges, it is recommended that you take the time to read the above-mentioned blog.
3. Overlapping Technology
Software as a Service is not the only area where overlapping technology can be an issue. With that said, there are a number of ways in which overlapping technology can benefit today’s businesses. For example, when promoting new products or services, it is possible to use a multi-platform strategy. This would include such things as email, text messaging and online notifications in which businesses and consumers might get all three!
However, SaaS has brought about an awareness of just how costly overlapping technology can be. Consider for a moment the cost of proprietary software for production operations. Some software can be programmed to do everything from front house to back of the house operations. Why, then, would you need a separate program for bookkeeping and auditing if that was a feature in your production platform? Bear in mind that the cost of software can run in the thousands of dollars, and this is why so many businesses are turning to the savings realized in Software as a Service where applicable.
4. Keeping Up with Advances
Another challenge in business technology is keeping up with advances as they occur. Technology is advancing at such a rate that it is difficult even for some techies to keep up with the latest and greatest. One thing you might consider as a means to overcome this challenge is to purchase technology that comes with no-cost updates as they are introduced. Perhaps the most notable example would be internet security programs. Some don’t come with automatic updates while others will issue updates for pre-specified lengths of time. If you want to stay competitive, it is imperative that you find ways to keep up with advances as they are introduced.
5. Inadequate Tech Support
This leads us to another technology challenge today’s businesses need to overcome. That would be inadequate or lacking tech support which can be overcome in at least two ways. Hiring a tech support team in-house would be one way to face tech related issues but that would mean paying full-time salaries and ongoing training in their field of expertise.
Many companies are now outsourcing their tech department because it no longer rests with them to ensure continued updates and advances in the technology they are addressing. Whether a business needs internal tech support or customer-facing tech support, this is a key necessity in today’s hi-tech business environment. Having said that, it is imperative to understand the pros and cons of outsourcing for your particular needs.
The Buck Stops Here
In the end, it is vitally important to live by that old cliché in today’s hi-tech business environment, i.e., by recognizing that everything from the most trivial job to landing the biggest contract ever falls within the scope of management. You can never overestimate the importance of knowledgeable management when it comes to keeping the wheels well oiled.
In the world of business, there is no pointing fingers because the blame game doesn’t work. It didn’t work in kindergarten, and it won’t work in today’s corporate environment. If you want to leverage technology to grow and sustain a business, remember that it all starts and ends with management. As you have seen, technology can make or break a business (referring to the Ashley Madison breach) so to ensure your company doesn’t face dissolution, it falls to management to be well-informed. The buck, indeed, stops here.