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How and why business is becoming technically complicated

There is a powerful force driving all businesses to deliver superior products and services faster and on tighter margins: technology.

Every business is developing a dependence on technology. Whether it’s e-mail, e-commerce, websites, database management or accounting software, there are very few businesses that don’t have some level of dependence on their computer network and the various applications and data it stores.

The upside of technological advances is tremendous. When applied correctly, technology can provide your business significant competitive advantages in faster production, increased productivity, improved customer service, and up-to-the-minute reporting for strategic planning and decision making.

But the downside of this vast dependence on technology is that, when it doesn’t work, it can become a tremendous source of frustration, putting a major strain on production, sales and fulfillment. No business is immune from computer problems and failures. Without proper network maintenance, the average business can end up with spyware, viruses and system crashes that can easily turn into major network outages. And that’s not including the daily computer “glitches” and problems that frustrate you and your employees.

Then there’s the complexity of it all. Installing and supporting even a small network requires specialised knowledge and skills that most small-business owners don’t have in-house, and the margin for error is greatly reduced in a small business. A small technology mistake can significantly impact on profitability and cash flow. If you’re like most business owners, you probably shy away from things technical in nature because you don’t understand how they work, why they work, or how to operate them. After all, what you want are business solutions to drive sales and profitability, not gadgets and budget-busting non-solutions that break and make your life more complicated. Yet the technology that runs your business is too important and too expensive to ignore.

Questions you should consider include:

How do I make sure that the hardware, software and solutions I am investing in actually support my business goals and work the way they are supposed to?

How do I stay on top of technological advances that will give me significant competitive advantages while steering clear of the “latest and greatest” fads?

How do I make sure my data is protected from an ever-growing list of threats, including viruses, hackers, spyware, faulty hardware and software, and even employee sabotage?

How do I go about finding a reliable consultant, one who not only has the expertise to make all of my technology work, but also the business acumen to recommend and implement real solutions that enhance our productivity and profitability?

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