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Technology is such a disruptor! Fundamentally changing the way businesses–both small and large–operate today, tech innovations have enhanced productivity and efficiencies faster than any of us could fathom.

Alas, technology is another kind of disruptor: Even with all its benefits, technology “gifts” us countless moments of sheer panic. Have you ever experienced the “blue screen of death”? How about a printer revolting against printing? Those clever hackers inventing ways to infect our work lives with viruses. Your sluggishly slow computer with a spinning cursor hypnotizing you into an anxiety attack. We have all been there; even worse are the moments that bring companies and their workforce to a complete standstill.

According to IDC, computer downtime costs small businesses up to $427 per minute. In addition, 54 percent of workers must find their own method of receiving IT support (Forrester) that usually begins with asking colleagues for help (which means downtime for at least two employees).

In a recent study by EVAN, the world’s first on-demand IT platform, traditional IT service help desk solutions fail to meet business expectations, and most businesses don’t have adequate day-to-day IT support. Meaning, even if you have an IT person on staff, they are typically unable to fix all the major IT issues because they are dealing with mundane tasks.

The study spoke with more than 200 IT leads and managers across a variety of industries, as well as employees at those companies. The latter group reported that when they needed IT help, 85 percent of the time it took too long to resolve the issue, and 75 percent of the respondents said the issues took several attempts before they were resolved.

How much support your business needs is contingent on several variables, including the number of computers and programs you’re running, whether your network is centered in one location or operating across several offices, etc. At a minimum, your business needs network/data security to protect your system in the event of a cyberattack. Hackers cost businesses over $400 million each year in lost productivity and damages (Herjavek Group).

Think your small business isn’t a target? Think again. In a 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon found that 58 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses. While the reward might not be as large as from multinational corporations, small to mid-sized businesses are more vulnerable and easier to hack than enterprise companies. In addition, Inc. Magazine reported that 60 percent of small businesses fold within six months of a cyberattack.

Equally important are data back-up and recovery systems. Whether the result of a system fail, human error or natural disaster, critical data can be lost, and it happens more often than you might think. Not backing up your data on a regular basis could mean catastrophe for your organization. Almost 70 percent of small firms experiencing a major data loss will go out of business within a year. (DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers). Transferring to the cloud is becoming more of the norm.

How do you determine what’s best for your business in 2019? A trusted and reliable external service provider can help keep your company running strong and deliver custom solutions tailored to your budget and how your business operates. Selecting the external IT provider that’s best for your business is critical. Finding the right balance in terms of too much vs. too little of both systems and support begins with creating a smart tech plan that aligns with your company’s goals and maximizes productivity and efficiencies.  Your service provider should be able to help you determine exactly what you’ll need – both now and over time.

Don’t spend too much time in 2019 fixing a broken printer, confirming that your data is properly backed up, and dealing with other IT issues. Do what you do best and outsource the rest!

This content was recently featured by Small Business Edge at

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