Small businesses need to make every dollar count. According to a recent study from CompTIA, SMBs are willing to spend on technologies that will improve their customer interactions online and in mobile environments. In addition, small businesses are quickly learning that they’ve become a new favorite target of cyber criminals and security risks are coming from every direction.
In the CompTIA study, 85 percent of SMBs said their employees use personal tech devices such as laptops, smartphones or even tablets for work—this finding is on par with what end users have reported in Symantec research. However, 82 percent of SMB IT professionals surveyed by CompTIA said they were concerned about the use of personal devices and their top concerns were security related.
End users are less concerned about the use of personal devices in the workplace. A survey conducted by Symantec this summer found that 78 percent of end users said that allowing employees to use the smartphones of their choice either has no impact on or only somewhat decreases the overall security of their company’s networks and information. Clearly, end users have a very different take on security.
While mobile devices foster greater productivity for SMBs, employees must be educated on the potential security risks these devices create and how to best keep them and the data on and accessible through them protected. Check out our small business tips for suggestions on how to increase mobile device security in your business.
The CompTIA study also uncovered some interesting trends in cloud computing. Nearly one-third of SMBs have adopted cloud technology, and another 35 percent plan to use the cloud in some form in the next year. Storage and backup solutions are the most heavily used cloud applications with 71 percent of SMBs using the cloud in this way. Other popular cloud solutions used by SMBs include: email (62 percent), document management (59 percent), collaboration (56 percent) and customer relationship management (53 percent).
The cloud holds a great deal of promise and challenges for SMBs. It gives them capabilities on par with larger enterprises. Small businesses can protect their assets without the big upfront investments, and without having to hire up pro IT staff. Cloud solutions enable SMBs to access technology that previously would be cost prohibitive, or unmanageable without a large IT staff. It’s important that SMBs approach the cloud with eyes wide open. Consider these tips before you move to the cloud.