GET YOUR TECH RIGHT. Technology continues to be at the forefront of small business. It’s a thrive, survive or get pushed to the side, kind of thing. But how does someone get better at tech? How do you Raise Your Technology IQ? With so much information out there it’s hard to get started. To know where to jump in. Still, it’s important to do. Raising your technology IQ isn’t just about you. It’s about your business. So add your staff and you clients into the mix. For a modern business to grow and succeed you, your staff and your clients will need to raise your collective technology IQ. So how do you do that?
IF YOU START RIGHT YOU END RIGHT. Last week I was brought in to do a security assessment for a small business. Their email had been compromised and they were concerned about their vulnerability and the possibility of a compromise happening again. Fear was everywhere. When your tech environment is compromised it can leave people feeling vulnerable. As I reviewed the environment I learned a few things.
TALK TALK. A few years back I was visiting a new client who happened to be a lawyer. I was impressed by his firm's use of voice dictation. From emails, notes, to legal docs. These guys were voice-enabled. They used Dragon software for dictation. I also visited doctors and other professionals who had embraced a voice-enabled workflow. Around that same time, I began using voice in my workflow. First for texts. Then for writing.
HOW TO SUCK LESS. You’ve written a requirements document. You’ve done your due diligence. And now, you’ve selected a new app to run your business on. You can almost taste success. Salesforce, HubSpot, NetSuite, Intact, you name it. Heck, even Quickbooks if you’re just starting out. Now that you’ve chosen the software your company will run on. You’ll need to implement it. And that’s when things start going south.
KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE? How well is your business protected from the onslaught of Cyberattacks? It’s a tough question to answer. And one that many small business owners just aren’t qualified to answer. According to a report published by Vistage in 2018 called “Cyber threats and Solutions for Small and Midsize Businesses,” 62% of small businesses don’t have an up-to-date or active cybersecurity strategy in place. One reason is that many small businesses don’t have the time, personnel or skills to take on Cybersecurity.
In the world of tech, there are 3 main roles. Planners, Builders, and Operators. Each one contributes to managing, monitoring and maintaining the tech in your business. Planners. Planners are people that help your tech get from point A to point B. Planners help by understanding your business needs and then designing, developing, and documenting where your business is headed from a tech perspective. From the big picture to process design a planner is the first key tech role needed in a modern business.
YOUR VISION YOUR CLOUD. Microsoft Azure is a cloud service that allows your business to build a portion of your tech environment in the cloud. Need an app in the cloud? Go Azure. Need storage in the cloud? Go Azure. Need to compute in the cloud? Go Azure. Azure’s got you covered. Microsoft Azure is a great place to build your tech environment. But there’s a catch. It has to make sense.
PEOPLE, PROCESS, PRODUCT, TECH. How is your business process these days? I met with a prospect last week that has a form of technical debt. From Wikipedia… Technical debt is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy (limited) solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer. This prospect made a tech decision years ago. And that one tech decision - wounded their business process. And so, they’ve operated in a slightly broken mode ever since.
IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE. Does playing the same song over and over get boring? I would think that the Rolling Stones are dead tired of playing Satisfaction for 50+ years. It could be worse. Your band could be a one-hit wonder. You’ve got one song that defines you to an audience. That would suck. Wouldn't it?
WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT? Working in the tech space I get to interact with people at their worst. Their computer is not working. Their app is not working. Heck, they’re not working. It’s frustrating. The Grind. As a tech person, I love problem-solving and troubleshooting. But all of this problem solving and troubleshooting can wear a person down. One of the ways it wears you down is when you work with tough clients. By tough clients, I mean clients that don’t appreciate you. And relationships that aren’t balanced.