IT in small business is an often ignored topic. People use IT in a small business as a means to get work done. They want to use it enough just to get by in their working life. In some way they’re forced to use it and have just accepted that it is how things are done now.

This thinking needs to change. Advanced IT systems could be pivotal to how a small business is run. A recent statistic released by Microsoft states that 50,000 jobs are being replaced by computer intelligence each year. What’s more is that this number is increasing every minute. Someone, somewhere around the world is creating something new that will replace a job of a human being.

Humans are replacing themselves.

Sounds incredibly odd, but we are. Our brains are powerful, even though we use a very little portion of it (it isn’t 10%, it’s way more according to myth busters!) and our thinking is advanced enough to create systems that will replace jobs via automation.

So why is it that we can’t apply the same principle to small businesses? Why are small businesses stuck in the old ways of doing things. Faxes, paper trails, physical signing of documents, manual way of doing things; all of these waste time, effort and money. Moreover we’re actually damaging someone’s brain that’s doing that monotonous job! Humans are meant to be challenged, we aren’t just meant to be there to stamp documents and file them according to their alphabetical order. We aren’t meant to photocopy dozens of documents so that they can be filed away in a cupboard never to be looked at again.

Let’s change the old ways. Let’s use IT the way it’s meant to be used. Let’s create a way for employees to think out of the box so they can automate your systems and processes. Let’s use the latest technology to do it.

Here are some key areas to focus on for small businesses. These are some of the areas where we as an IT business support company constantly see issues:

  • Slow email. This is extremely frustrating. Slow sending, slow receiving, outlook hanging, server needing restarts, blah, blah. Investing in the latest cloud technology to deliver emails to your business is the key to your teams productivity.
  • Slow computers. Nothing annoys your team more than the dreaded hour glass. You’ve come into work, you’ve turned the PC on, you go make yourself a cup of coffee and have a chat with your colleagues then come back to your desk, only to realise that the PC isn’t even past its windows logo! Let’s calculate how much time your team could be wasting. Let’s say you charge out at $100/hour, you have 10 staff in your team, half the staff have okay PC’s and half have PCs your grandma would be proud of. So 5 PCs perform so bad that your team wastes up to 30 minutes per day in waiting time, restart time and application crashing time. That’s 2.5 hours per day, $250 at your average charge out rate; 4.2 weeks in a month so that’s roughly $1000 per month. $1000 buys a new PC from Dell with a 3 year onsite warranty. Replace your hardware!
  • Internet speed. This is the most talked about topic in Australia. NBN is being rolled out across Australia. If you’re lucky you may even see it in your house by 2030. By the time you get it, it could be as slow as the network planning meaning the more people that use it the slower it will get. Moreover it doesn’t have any up-time guarantees. ISPs are not putting a business level guarantee on NBN connections. This means that if your internet connection is down, it could take a long time to come back up depending on the severity of the issue. Instead of waiting for an internet connection that could potentially not work, it would be a wise decision to go with an internet connection that you know will work. This could be either Telstra fibre or some other form of enterprise grade DSL service.

The above are just some of the common IT issues we see in small businesses. There are a whole load more. I find that there are many efficiencies that small businesses can make to save time. Make your organisation as IT efficient as possible and start saving money today.

Please add your thoughts and comments below.