The digital world has changed dramatically in recent years, and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have had to keep up with the ever-evolving technology needs of their organization. With advances in cloud computing, mobile technologies, and internet speeds come new opportunities for SMBs—but also considerably greater IT infrastructure requirements. It is no longer enough for your business to simply be present online; customers expect fast loading times and reliable access across multiple devices. To compete successfully, SMBs must understand these changing IT needs so they can harness the power of smart technology investments.

What’s Different Today

The IT needs of small businesses have significantly changed in the past decade. Here are some ways in which the IT needs of small businesses are different from what they were 10 years ago.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is making it easier and more affordable for small businesses to invest in their technology needs. By utilizing this secure, efficient platform, they can store data with ease while having the luxury of cloud applications being just a single click away. Not only that, but it also allows them to access resources without having to pay for expensive hardware or hiring IT personnel. All of this lets small businesses enter the big league securely, quickly, and cost-effectively.

Mobile Devices

Mobile technology has become a widespread presence in our lives, potentially revolutionizing the way we do business. For companies that rely on their website or app as an integral part of their operating system, it’s absolutely crucial that they are mobile optimized—just think how quickly potential customers will tap out of an app if it takes too many steps to activate.

But it’s also important to consider the needs of company employees. With so many jobs involving constant travel or “hot desking” projects, being able to access team resources and collaborate with colleagues at short notice grows more and more attractive as cell phone connections become increasingly secure.

Cybersecurity

Cyber threats have become an increasingly daunting problem for small business owners. As such, investing in cybersecurity has become essential in order to protect company data and systems. Having a firewall is the first step toward safety, but with viruses or malware risk still present, adding specialized antivirus software is also a crucial element. Employee training can also greatly impact keeping businesses safe online. It’s important to educate workers on up-to-date cybersecurity best practices and make sure everyone is aware of how they can help safeguard your operations. Securing your online assets should always be a priority when running any type of organization.

Remote Work

The pandemic has certainly had an impact on many aspects of life, from the way we interact with each other to how we do our day jobs. Nowhere is this shift more apparent than in remote work, with numerous businesses big and small now leaning toward a more dynamic approach with their operations. As such, providing employees with the right technological support has never been so critical for preserving productivity, involvement, and creativity within any workforce, whether physically integrated behind four walls or scattered across several remote bases around the globe. Enterprises need to anticipate the uptake of video conferencing apps and other tools of collaboration to ensure ongoing success in their operations, even while collaborating online.

Big Data and Analytics 

Businesses are generating massive amounts of data these days and small businesses want to be sure they can capitalize on the insights offered. But that means having a system in place to collect and store their data in an organized manner, which allows for higher degrees of accuracy in financial analytics efforts. Being able to effectively manage and analyze the broader data set then becomes increasingly important for independent operators, who need the ability to make well-informed business decisions as part of their day-