4 Low-Cost, High-Impact Tech Initiatives for SMBs This Summer

Do you want to reduce bottlenecks and operating costs, boost team engagement and customer satisfaction, and improve your overall cybersecurity posture? Well, summer is upon us, and it’s your best chance yet to install new technology and upgrades to accomplish all that.

July and August, in particular, can be a slow time of year for most small to medium businesses (SMBs), with many customers and clients out and about enjoying the longer days and extended vacations. With your business and employees less hampered by pressing deadlines and client demands, why not take the opportunity to address those technology projects or updates that have been put on ice?

Strengthen your business technology before this season ends with these inexpensive yet impactful tech initiatives. You will be better poised to tackle the competition when your busy season comes around. Take your pick from these four tech initiatives to help you and your team work more efficiently while mitigating setbacks you’re experiencing.

1. Adopt a Reasonably-Priced Collaboration Tool

Is your team growing, but the tools you’re using to communicate do not have a feature set to grow with you? Or do you want to optimize spending and find better value-for-money task management solutions?

In today’s hybrid workforce model, investing in affordable collaboration/knowledge-management tools will boost your team’s engagement and productivity. Leveraging these tools is the only way your team can work cohesively sans staying in the same office. Fortunately, technology makes it happen.

There are a plethora of task management tools out there, but we’ve found the best of the best in this blog post: Top 21 Task Management Tools for Teams to Manage Work. We hope this article will help alleviate some decision fatigue on your end.

2. Make Your Website More Mobile Responsive

  • According to Hubspot, 71% of people expect the mobile version of a website to load faster or at least just as fast as the desktop version.
  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.
  • As of May 2022, 60.46% of all web traffic came through mobile phones.

More and more consumers will be traveling this season and, therefore, accessing information and making their purchases using their mobile phones. To successfully compete, SMB owners need to have a mobile-responsive website. This makes it easy for customers to find and purchase your products or services or simply read about what you have to offer—which, as you know, is the first step in the buying process.

To get started, Google offers an online tool where you can test your website and see if Google says it’s mobile-friendly. Simply type in or copy+paste the URL of your website into the space as shown on the image, then click on “Test URL.” You should get your result in about two minutes.

You can then substantiate your Google test result by following the lead of the big IT companies. When tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, and Google need to work the bugs out of their latest product, everyone from the CEO to the newest intern will be eating their own dog food.

Require everyone in your team to access your website exclusively through their mobile phone for one week. Ask each of your employees to document what’s showing up wrong, what’s taking too long to load, or what’s not working properly. You’ll definitely develop a comprehensive list of issues that you and/or your web developers need to address.

3. Check for Any Service Overlaps

Just as people are trying to whip their bodies into shape to be beach-ready this summer, why not “trim the fat” and eliminate redundancies in your paid licenses and subscriptions? Review your existing licenses, and activate unutilized services and features that are included in your package. Reevaluate the use of top-of-the-line solutions that may be leading to dual licensing fees.

Many platforms offer features and benefits that coincide with the services provided by another vendor. Take the time this summer to list or catalog the resources you have. An audit can help you uncover opportunities to consolidate platforms, giving you calculable return on investment (ROI) and, more importantly, leading to increased efficiencies in infrastructure and management.

4. Shore up Your Cybersecurity Strategies

Gone are the days when cyberattacks primarily targeted enterprises. In recent years, we saw attacks evolve and become lucrative enough to target SMBs. Today, according to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, very small businesses with ten employees or even less are under attack!

That’s because human error, not your infrastructure, is the weakest link in cybersecurity. Hackers capitalize on one of your employee’s momentary confusion or love of a good bargain to make their next paycheck.

It only takes one person to make that unfortunate click that can shut down your business.

This summer, focus on strengthening your most vulnerable access point (your employees) and leverage these critical protections you might be missing.

Mobile Device Management

Are you one of the “cool” companies that allow a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy? If so, it’s likely mobile devices never previously connected to the company network are being used for work, and it’s why Mobile Device Management (MDM) is now more critical than ever. By applying software, processes, and security policies onto all your mobile devices and toward their use, you can reap the benefits of BYOD policy and remote work policy without them turning into liabilities.

Security Awareness Training

Minimizing the chances for error through MDM alone won’t work for obvious reasons. Raising your team’s cybersecurity awareness across all devices (mobile or otherwise) through effective Security Awareness Training (SAT) can pack a one-two punch. By providing your employees with the information and experience they need to recognize and respond to cyber threats, you can reduce risk and create a culture of cybersecurity awareness this summer.

Endpoint Detection and Response

Hackers are refining their craft by the minute, and some of their malicious files will find their way in. When that happens, early detection will give you a fighting chance, and that’s what Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) provides. It’s a powerful tool that can scan emails at the attachment level—it will quarantine suspicious files and report them to administrators for review. Without EDR, malware can easily pass through your security system and embed itself on a computer, spread to other devices, and, as you can imagine, cause irreversible damage to your business.

We’re barely halfway through 2022, and we are already battling serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities in Follina, Log4j, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, not to mention the pervading impact of Covid-19.

It’s impossible for you to police the sites your employees are visiting, links they’re clicking, and attachments they’re downloading. Let a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) do it for you. Our award-winning team is happy to swoop in and assist your company with the latest cyber protection.

Contact The TNS Group today to learn how to stay cyber secure while minimizing cost (and maximizing fun) this summer. If you are currently a TNS partner, simply reach out to your friendly Account Manager for more information on cybersecurity.

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