VOL. 130 | NO. 151 | Wednesday, August 5, 2015
For Small Businesses, Agility is King
By Patrick Tamburrino
Editor’s note: This is the first column in a two-part series on being nimble and proactive with technology in the small business world.
Small business owners can learn a thing or two from the Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Preparedness allows an organization to be nimble, which sets the stage for turning challenges into opportunities. Being able to quickly pivot from Plan A to Plan B and even Plan C is essential for keeping up with the inevitable hiccups that will arise, particularly when it comes to technology.
I recently had a server fail for two different clients within the same week. Upon receiving the message, we were able to immediately respond and have both organizations back up and running within one business day. As the first part of a two-part series on small business agility, I’d like to address preventative measures that can be put in place now, as well as immediate next steps once an I.T. flaw occurs:
Anticipate the hurdle. Depending of your line of work, think about how a certain glitch or breach could impact your clients. Once a year, run a cybersecurity vulnerability test to see if any of your critical records are accessible to unintended parties. The average cost of a compromised record from a data breach is $277, according to Symantec Corp., including costs from third-party notifications, public relations, credit card monitoring, legal defense and regulatory penalties.
Get back to the basics. Promote computer safety among staff by hosting regular security awareness trainings and encouraging users to keep anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date. Establish intrusion detection monitoring policies and procedures and target any holes in incident response planning.
Communicate early and often. If your organization is faced with major changes to I.T. key systems, such as e-mail or server complications, there’s a good possibility that those changes will involve some level of user frustration. To ensure a smooth rollout and reduce confusion, have a solid communication plan in place between your internal staff. This will make everyone aware of what is being worked on, why it’s being worked on, how long it will take and any potential impacts.
Share calendars and contact information. Once disaster strikes, whether you’re on the support lending or receiving end, you’re going to want to be able to locate team members in a pinch and prioritize tasks. Use Google Calendar or Outlook to record schedules, and make sure cell phone numbers are readily available to everyone.
For the next installment on dexterity in the tech space, we’ll discuss proactive measures you can take to ensure your data is safe from an unforeseen computer meltdown.
Patrick Tamburrino is the president of tamburrino inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.