SMEs are often approached with the latest, supposedly greatest solutions to implement in their business. However, not all solutions are created equal.
It’s important to differentiate between the ones that will move the needle and others that are unnecessary. While service providers wish to sell their solutions to as many businesses as possible, companies must confirm the benefits of adopting new technology or software solutions to find the “value add.”
Here are 4 technologies and software solutions that SMEs may find especially useful.
Fast Fiber Optic Telecommunications
Using fiber-optic as the primary communication technology should be a priority for SMEs. Mobile communications are useful as a backup solution, but they should never be used as a primary one.
There are many benefits of fiber optic internet including faster overall speed, greater security, and no risk of electromagnetic interference.
Tapping into fiber optic cable isn’t easy to do. Because the fiber is produced using glass, it’s necessary to physically break it to hack in into it. This is detectable and can create an alert on the network. Factories and other businesses with major equipment needn’t worry about interference slowing the speed down either.
Cloud solutions for storage protect from the loss of data in a hard drive crash. It’s also useful should the office be broken into and the servers or desktop PCs stolen over a weekend when no one’s there. Also, a fire at the premises is another potential disaster where data loss is a major concern.
A business-oriented cloud solution backs up data on every PC to the cloud. When using faster fiber optic, the uploads require no time at all to complete. As new files are created or others modified and saved, additional uploads occur automatically in real-time.
It’s important for SMEs to not rely on personal cloud accounts for business purposes, even with 1-5-person micro-businesses. These lack extra features like improved security levels, multiple backups of the same files (in case a new one gets a virus), and multi-device support.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software solutions are necessary to protect every PC on the network from the risks online.
It’s easy enough for an email attachment to infect a work PC. From there, it can propagate across the entire company network. While a virus may render the PCs and servers unusable, malware is often used to steal passwords and other confidential or proprietary intellectual property.
Furthermore, the risk that ransomware poses is not to be discounted either because it can completely lock up a PC. So, this should be protected against too.
The Office suite that the company’s staff use is more flexible than in the past. Previously, only Microsoft Office and WordPerfect were the options. However, now there is Microsoft 365 available online to use in a browser tab and mobile Office apps.
Beyond that, many people rely on Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other online and mobile apps to get documents, spreadsheets, and presentations completed. A faster connection facilitates using these browser-based or mobile app solutions. For the smaller SMEs, they can save money on licenses or subscriptions when using alternative Office suites instead of Microsoft 365.
Companies keen on keeping costs down, but not losing functionality can choose Office suites like WPS Office, OpenOffice, or another alternative. However, with fiber optic providers, business cloud solutions, and anti-virus software, it’s best to pay up for high-quality options.