The Top 6 Tech Challenges Facing Businesses Today

 - AZCOMP Technologies

Solutions to the Tech Challenges Phoenix Area Businesses Are Dealing With

When leveraged effectively, technology can offer businesses across all industries a significant strategic and competitive edge. However, it’s no secret that technology can also pose considerable challenges for business owners. There are common problems that often impede productivity and hinder business growth. From minor inconveniences to severe risks capable of permanently shuttering a business, the consequences of these challenges span a wide spectrum.

We’ve outlined the 6 top technology problems Arizona business owners face regularly and the best way to avoid them.

1. Little or No Strategic Tech Planning

To start off with, one of the most impactful issues we see is a disjointed or non-existent relationship between the business leaders in the organization and the IT team (whatever the IT Team looks like for any business). In some cases, one of the business leaders also plays the role of IT Consultant but doesn’t have any training or experience as a business IT Consultant. Either way, this leads to poor decisions.

Technology is the backbone of most business operations. Business leaders who see the larger picture and have a vision for the business can make better-informed decisions when they involve IT professionals while trying to solve strategic business issues. IT professionals will consult you about what technology to deploy to make long-term growth and scalability easier and more efficient.

Common areas your IT manager should help provide strategic direction are:

Optimizing business operations to streamline processes and improve productivity

Optimize individual team members’ productivity or department productivity

Selecting the best business management software applications

Upgrading old or outdated hardware and software

Establishing cybersecurity best practices

Implementing cost-effective and scalable cloud solutions

Creating a predictable IT budget so expenses can be properly forecasted

2. Inadequate Support for Employees

If your employees struggle with technology all day or with certain tasks, productivity will decrease. Using slow, inadequate, outdated computers and software can frustrate employees. This leaves employees feeling less motivated and will hinder their output. The problem is compounded when you have unreliable technical support. If your employees don’t know who to ask for help, know that they likely won’t get help for several days, or if they have to ask their boss for help, they’ll just remain frustrated and inefficient.

The right IT team, whether that team is in-house staff, outsourced support, or, more commonly, a combination of both, has the right tools, experience, knowledge, and capacity to assist employees quickly. With the right IT team in place, you can trust that your employees will have what they need to remove any IT obstacles from their way so they can work productively.

3. Little or No Technology Training

As mentioned earlier, it is particularly important to ensure your employees know how to use the technology you’ve provided to get their jobs done. This is important for productivity reasons and security reasons. All employees should regularly undergo security awareness training to ensure they follow best practices.

Providing security awareness training is typically not the role of the company’s business leaders. It needs to be done on an ongoing basis, too.

When you work with a reliable IT team, part of their role should be to provide employee security awareness training. The IT team should regularly inform team members of new threats, educate them on how to identify phishing emails and other online threats, run secret phishing simulations to test employees, and more. A one-time training session is NOT enough! Business leaders should talk about building a culture of security awareness often, and the IT team should provide ongoing training to build a culture of security awareness.

4. Poor User Asset Management (or Device Management)

There are a few different aspects to asset management or device management. A reliable IT team should manage and monitor user network accounts, access permissions, security policies, the physical hardware each employee uses, and the software licenses each employee needs. These tasks are referred to as ‘Network Administration’.

If this isn’t done correctly and meticulously, it can and most certainly will lead to problems. These include wasted money, downtime, employees gaining access to sensitive information they shouldn’t have access to, theft by employees, employee sabotage, and more.

When done right, nobody will notice. Network Administration is a totally underrated function of a great IT team. When a great IT team is on top of network administration, they have a system of processes and procedures that facilitate new employees getting set up properly and quickly, terminated or leaving employees being quickly and completely shut down, and all access denied. The time between an employee starting and leaving is also filled with countless meticulous activities, keeping everything organized, efficient, and optimized.

5. Inadequate Cybersecurity Protection

Every year, cybercriminals develop new ways of infiltrating business networks, increasing the risk of cybercrime. This means that a business should be routinely upgrading its cybersecurity defenses. However, cybersecurity decisions should not be solely left to the IT department. These decisions impact the entire business and need to be made with the buy-in of the leadership team. If business leadership fails to recognize the risks and adequately address those risks and then becomes a victim of a cyber-attack, it will be to the detriment of the entire business. There are trade secrets, confidential communications, customer data, and employee records that are stored on your company’s devices that you can’t afford to have fall into the wrong hands.

On top of that, cybercrime almost always comes with the stopping of business operations. So not only will you get sensitive information stolen, your business will also stop running, you’ll lose revenue, and money will also get stolen. It’s the worst of all worlds.

Work with your IT team to deploy a three-pronged approach that includes:

Prevention: Do you have the right security tools in place, such as antivirus, anti-ransomware, firewalls, a VPN, MFA, Application Whitelisting, etc., to protect your organization from an attack? Are you regularly training employees on the latest threats and how to identify them?

Detection: This is a critical component of a quality security plan that most small businesses don’t even know exists. Without it, your business is vulnerable. Do you have a way to know that you’re under attack or that you’ve been hacked? If a hacker sneakily gained access to your network, would it go unnoticed until it became a bigger problem? Your IT security team should be running regular scans, monitoring, and employing endpoint detection tools.

Response And Recovery: Do you have a plan if the worst-case scenario happens? Would your employees know what to do? You need an IT team supporting you that can identify and mitigate any issues quickly before the damage can be undone. Leaders in the organization should take this seriously.

6. Failing to Meet Compliance Requirements Specific to Your Industry

Through government regulation, many industries have specific compliance requirements that define how companies must protect data. A common example you may have heard before is HIPAA, which regulates electronic medical data in the healthcare industry. Others include FFIEC, GLB, and SEC in the financial services industry and CMMC for companies that work directly or indirectly with the Department of Defense. If you accept credit card payments, there is another area of risk you need to consider regarding compliance.

For a small business owner wearing many hats, it can be overwhelming to stay up to date with and manage all the various requirements. It might feel impossible if you don’t have an IT or cyber security employee on staff. Neglecting requirements can not only lead to hefty fines and legal issues, but it can also incidentally leave you vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

Does your industry have any government regulations? If so, the best thing you can do is hire a managed IT services provider (MSP) with compliance experience for your specific industry. While compliance is not exactly the same as cybersecurity, there is a lot of crossover. An experienced MSP will help you meet the technology requirements and can be a valuable resource for other compliance aspects.

Want help determining whether you’re compliant in your industry? Click here to get a FREE Network Assessment, and we’ll discuss it with you.

Managed IT Services for Phoenix Area Businesses

Are you ready for better IT results in your business? Even if you’re already working with a managed IT services provider or any other outsourced IT firm, if you’re experiencing IT challenges or frustrations, it’s time to solve your IT problems once and for all.

The easiest way to start is to book a FREE, no-obligation Network Assessment. We’ll review your systems using our proven system for identifying technology issues to let you know how and where your organization can better utilize technology to grow.

To Schedule Your FREE Assessment, visit our website or give us a call.

AZCOMP Technologies – Your Local Phoenix Area Managed IT Services Provider

Based in Mesa, Arizona, AZCOMP Technologies is a leading provider of Managed IT Services, cybersecurity solutions, and phenomenal IT support for businesses across Phoenix, Mesa, and throughout Arizona. With a steadfast commitment to 5-star customer service, AZCOMP Technologies has been at the forefront of delivering top-tier business technology solutions and robust cybersecurity services since 2000.

Our comprehensive suite of managed IT services caters to businesses ranging from 5 to 200 employees, helping them streamline operations, boost productivity, and fortify their digital defenses against evolving cyber threats. AZCOMP doesn’t just solve IT problems; we deliver a service that helps businesses reach their goals.

Are you ready to experience 5-star customer service and elevate your business with better technology solutions? Take the first step by requesting an IT consultation today.

author avatar
Byron Adams
Byron has spent nearly two decades helping thousands of small businesses resolve technology issues, design technology solutions, improve technology security, plan and budget for technology projects, and improve business productivity through technology. As the Technology Director at AZCOMP Technologies, he leads a team that provides Managed IT Services our clients. Our goal is to "deliver phenomenal" to our clients - AZCOMP's first core value. By outsourcing their IT needs to AZCOMP, Byron serves our clients as their CTO. Byron helps our clients get their time back, allowing them to focus on their business and what they do best. In addition, they enjoy more predictable technology costs, increased employee productivity, and improved cyber-security posture.

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