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Small Business Technology Challenges
 

Small Business Technology Challenges

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A presentation for non-technical people on the technology challenges facing small businesses, and some solutions for overcoming them.

A presentation for non-technical people on the technology challenges facing small businesses, and some solutions for overcoming them.

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    Small Business Technology Challenges Small Business Technology Challenges Presentation Transcript

    • Overcoming the IT Hurdle
    • IntroductionBackground – Infinity Technologies  Started in 1996 – Retail Software  Provide IT Support and Phone Systems  9-person Tech Staff – Microsoft Certified  Small Business Focus – 5 to 50 Users
    • IntroductionThe Five Biggest IT Challenges Facing Small Business1.  Data Loss2.  Security Vulnerabilities3.  Downtime4.  Cloud Confusion5.  Productivity Problems
    • IntroductionRecommendation: Have a plan to manage your IT1.  Develop a ‘Playbook’ (living document)2.  Systemize3.  Delegate tasks and duties4.  Plan ahead as much as possible
    • IntroductionTechnology solutions are still seen as critical to survival The market for small and midsize IT spending in the US continued to grow through the recession, moving from $305 billion in 2007, to a projected $411 billion in 2012. Compass Intelligence. “SMB Mania: Analysis of vendor marketing strategies targeting the SMB market.” September, 2008.
    • IntroductionSmall businesses’ IT spending tends to involve outsourcing “CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ONCE TOLD US THAT A COMPANY WITH 1,000 EMPLOYEES IS MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN ONE WITH JUST TEN EMPLOYEES. TODAY, THAT WISDOM HAS BEEN TURNED ON ITS HEAD AND WE ARE SEEING SMALL AND MIDSIZE BUSINESSES ACHIEVING RECORD GROWTH, AND ACCOMPLISHING MORE WITH FEWER RESOURCES.”Compass Intelligence. “Stimulating SMB: Small and mid-size business IT market today & a look at the latest survey results.” September, 2009.
    • Small businesses’ IT spending tends to involve outsourcing
    • Threat #1
    • Threat #1: Data LossThe data loss threat is real 70 percent of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year.Contingency Planning, Strategic Research Corp and DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers (2004) and is widely quoted in places such as: Diana Shepstone, National data awareness project launched to help businesses prevent data disasters ( Data Centre Solutions, Jan. 8, 2007)
    • Threat #1: Data LossEquipment theft/loss has become more prevalent as the number ofmobile and remote workers has increased 34 percent of small and mid-size businesses admitted that they have lost a company laptop. 30 percent of respondents have important data contained on the laptop, which is not backed up in the office. Insight UK Survey, 2009.
    • Threat #1: Data LossRedundancy is the key to an effective Data Protection Strategy RAID External Offsite
    • Threat #1: Data LossRedundancy is the key to an effective Data Protection Strategy 1. Inexpensive 2. Set and Forget RAID 3. Fairly Standard 4. Local External Offsite
    • Threat #1: Data LossRedundancy is the key to an effective Data Protection Strategy 1. Hands On* 2. Device Dependant RAID 3. Software Costs 4. Local External Offsite
    • Threat #1: Data LossRedundancy is the key to an effective Data Protection Strategy 1. Device Dependant 2. Local RAID 3. Subscription* 4. Degree of Trust 5. Configuration External Offsite
    • Threat #1: Data LossOnline Backup is a standard Best Practice “YOUR BACKUP MUST BE OFFSITE, SECURE, AND AVAILABLE FOR RECOVERY 24/7. ONE POPULAR OPTION THAT MEETS THE ABOVE CRITERIA, WITH THE ADDED BENEFIT OF EASE OF USE AND AUTOMATION, IS ONLINE BACKUP.” Walzer, Jennifer. “Small business guide: Disaster recovery. New York Times, September 9, 2009.
    • Threat #1: Data LossRedundancy is the key to an effective Data Protection Strategy Total Solution (sort of…) RAID External Offsite
    • Threat #1: Data LossRedundancy is the key to an effective Data Protection Strategy Total Solution (sort of…) RAID ..if you External Offsite Verify & Test
    • Threat #1: Data LossMonitoring the success/failure results of backups is critical It is therefore important that backups are not only automated to avoid human error but also periodically tested. It is useless having a backup system if restoration does not function as advertised. “Security Threats: A Guide for Small and Mid-Sized Nonprofits, Brad Dinerman and GFI Software, 2009
    • Threat #2
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesIn many cases, Security is viewed strictly as a cost center “WHEN ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES LOOK DIRE, IT IS EASY TO TURN SECURITY INTO A CHECKLIST ITEM THAT KEEPS BEING PUSHED BACK. HOWEVER THE REALITY IS THAT, IN SUCH SITUATIONS, SECURITY SHOULD BE A PRIMARY ISSUE. THE LIKELIHOOD OF THREATS AFFECTING YOUR ORGANIZATION WILL PROBABLY INCREASE AND THE IMPACT CAN BE MORE DETRIMENTAL...” Dinerman, Brad. “Security threats: A guide for small and mid-size nonprofits.” GFI Software, 2009.
    • Threat #2: Security Vulnerabilities“Trend Micro 2008 Annual Threat Roundup”. Trend Micro, 2009
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesExploit and attack threat levels continue to increase “Trend Micro 2008 Annual Threat Roundup”. Trend Micro, 2009
    • Threat #2: Security Vulnerabilities
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesBotnets have become an extreme threatBotnet is a jargon term for a collection of software agents, or robots, that run autonomously and automatically. Botnet From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesExploit and attack threat levels continue to increase Altogether, ZeuS and other botnets control more than 100 million computers. This gives cybercriminals more computing power than the entire worlds supercomputers combined. Trend Micro. Threat Encyclopedia 2010.
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesZeuS Server installation page “ZeuS A Persistant Criminal Enterprise”. Trend Micro, 2010
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesSecurity providers struggle to keep up “Trend Micro 2008 Annual Threat Roundup”. Trend Micro, 2009
    • Threat #2: Security Vulnerabilities
    • Social Media has become a favorite method for exploits
    • Social Media has become a favorite method for exploits
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesExploit and attack threat levels continue to increase Going into 2010, it is likely that social networks will continue to be the target of cybercriminals. However, it is also likely that social networks will be further used by legitimate businesses seeking new ways in which to communicate and engage with customers. For the business the challenge is how to harness the benefits of social networks while ensuring their own business networks remain secure. Trend Micro, Inc. “The future of threats and threat technologies.” December, 2009.
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesAttacks are trending to be more localized and targeted “OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, THE THREAT LANDSCAPE HAS SHIFTED, THERE ARE NO LONGER ANY GLOBAL OUTBREAKS, AS WERE PREVIOUSLY EXPERIENCED WITH SLAMMER OR CODERED. EVEN THE MUCH-COVERED CONFICKER INCIDENT OF 2008 AND EARLY 2009 WAS NOT TRULY A GLOBAL OUTBREAK—RATHER IT WAS A CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED AND ARCHITECTED ATTACK. GOING FORWARD, LOCALIZED AND TARGETED ATTACKS ARE EXPECTED TO GROW IN NUMBER AND SOPHISTICATION.” Trend Micro, Inc. “The future of threats and threat technologies.” December, 2009.
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesAdvice for Businesses: PREVENTION1.  Keep your PC/network security current2.  Choose secure passwords3.  Educate staff on safe web usage4.  If possible, limit web surfing through Content Filtering5.  Do regular scans for spyware infections
    • Threat #3
    • Threat #3: DowntimeDowntime can be the result of many possible factors
    • Threat #3: DowntimeThe costs associated with downtime can add up quickly "In a new study on network downtime, Infonetics Research found that medium businesses (101 to 1,000 employees) are losing an average of 1% of their annual revenue, or $867,000, to downtime.” Infonetics Research. The Costs of Downtime: North American Medium Businesses 2006
    • Threat #3: DowntimeTypical Small Business:
    • Threat #3: DowntimeEconomic conditions have forced many businesses to put offpurchases of IT equipment “To survive what many view as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, 69 percent of manufacturers indicated they reduced their workforce, followed by delaying capital expenditures (66 percent), negotiating with suppliers for better deals (48 percent) and cutting promotional activities (37 percent). Society of Manufacturing Engineers. “Manufacturers detail recession survival strategies in new survey.” September 3, 2009.
    • Threat #3: DowntimeEconomic conditions have forced many businesses to put offpurchases of IT equipment Nearly 40% of the PCs in small businesses are more than 3 years old, and a large percentage of them are running older operating systems such as Windows XP “SMB Perspectives: SMBs – The Case for Buying Modern PCs. Techaisle, March 2010.
    • Threat #3: DowntimeAverage Mean Time Failure Rate:
    • Threat #3: DowntimeAdvice for Businesses: Maintenance & Planning1.  Perform regular maintenance2.  Look into redundant internet services3.  Develop a failover plan for telecom4.  Plan for equipment refresh cycles
    • Threat #4
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionMickey does NOT live in the Cloud
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionReliance on the Internet for satisfying computing needs
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionCloud usage is widespread and fairly common:69 percent of America’s Internetusers are using some form ofInternet-based computing, such asweb-based e-mail or photostorage. Source: Pew Research Center, 2008
    • Consumer Cloud Services 2 billion unique calls per year 14 billion ads per month 23 million subscribers Over 6 million songs in the Over 600 million unique users catalog Over 3 billion WW queries each month 370 million active 500 million active Windows Live IDs accountsPetabytes of data everymonth to millions of PCs 10 billion messages processed daily
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionThe technical definition: Cloud computing is computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end- user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Source: Wikipedia
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionReliance on the Internet for satisfying computing needs
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionCloud technologies provide a new method for content delivery
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionThe Cloud is changing entire industries
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionTypes of Cloud Services “SaaS” “PaaS” “IaaS”software as a service platform as a service infrastructure as a serviceconsume it build on it migrate to it
    • Threat #4: Cloud ConfusionSoftware as a Service (SaaS)SaaS defined:“A model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet.” Source: Wikipedia
    • Why Business is Embracing the Cloud “By 2012, 20% of businesses will own no IT assets.” Gartner, Gartner Highlights Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond, January, 2010 Survey of 318 customers on satisfaction with SaaS noted “top 3 pros were no in- house maintenance(57%), shorter rollout(49%), usable anywhere via internet(46%).” Burton Group, “Gartner and Burton Group SaaS Surveys: Same High-Level Findings, Different Conclusions.” Craig Roth July, 2009.
    • Familiar and Integrated•  25 GB mailbox per user •  Single location for sharing and collaboration•  Shared calendaring and contacts •  Collaboration sites for teams, projects,•  Always-up-to-date anti-spam & anti-virus meetings, and documents.•  Access from Outlook on PC and Outlook •  Offline access to documents in Outlook Web App in the browser •  Forms & workflow•  Offline access w/ Outlook synchronization •  Portal sites, content management, and search•  Support for Windows Phone, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry •  Online meetings, presentations, and •  Business class Instant messaging (IM) and training sessions chat •  Desktop sharing & whiteboard tools •  Seamless presence awareness •  Rich media, hi-fi recording, live webcam video •  1:1 video and voice chat •  Multi-party video, VOIP/audio, switching •  Integration across Microsoft Office Outlook •  Web client support for remote attendees calendar and contacts and other apps, SharePoint •  Quickly check on another user’s availability
    • Small Business Feedback
    • Threat #2: Security VulnerabilitiesAdvice for Businesses: PREVENTION1.  When time to replace, consider Cloud2.  Add online storage for additional backup redundancy3.  Leverage Cloud solutions to improve operational efficiencies4.  Avoid the hype – look for proven products
    • Threat #5
    • Threat #5: Productivity ProblemsProductivity can be negatively impacted by many possible factors
    • Threat #5: Productivity Problems
    • Threat #5: Productivity Problems
    • Threat #5: Productivity Problems
    • Threat #5: Productivity Problems
    • Threat #5: Productivity Problems
    • Threat #5: Productivity ProblemsVoice Over IP phone systems greatly improve operations “BEYOND ITS SUPERIOR FLEXIBILITY, VOIP SAVES BUSINESSES MONEY. DEPENDING ON THE SERVICE YOU CHOOSE, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO AVOID PAYING FOR BOTH BROADBAND AND TELEPHONE SERVICES—OR SIGNIFICANTLY SCALE BACK YOUR TELEPHONE BILLS.” Foley, Mary O. “VoIP: What are you waiting for?”
    • Threat #5: Productivity ProblemsWeb filtering and shaping can also help boost productivityAre you experiencing any of these situations?  Limited visibility of Internet traffic  Slow Internet despite adequate bandwidth  Lost hours due to internet abuse  Anonymous proxy sites bypassing URL filters
    • Threat #5: Productivity ProblemsWeb filtering and shaping can also help boost productivity
    • ConclusionRecommendation: Have a plan to manage your IT1.  Develop a ‘Playbook’ (living document)2.  Systemize3.  Delegate tasks and duties4.  Plan ahead as much as possible
    • IT
Organiza+on
for
Any
Business
 INFRASTRUCTURE Proactive Management Network AdministrationCentralized Services Day-to-Day Support Downtime & Performance Monitoring   Help Desk Support Weekend Auto Maintenance Service   Backup and Disaster Recovery Backup Monitoring and Alerts   Desktop and Server Optimization Security Patch Management   Web Content Filtering SUPPORT Virus and Spyware Protection   Adding and Removal of Users Asset Inventory   Best Practices Checklist ReportingChief Information Officer Reactive SupportVirtual CIO Field Support  Technology Roadmap Planning   On-Site Support  Design and Implementation Planning   Rapid Reaction/Response  Budget and Strategy Planning   Mini-Project Jobs  Research & Testing of New Technologies   Third Party Product Support  Vendor Liaison   Virus REMOVAL and Cleaning   Recovery in Event of Server Crash STRATEGY
    • INFRASTRUCTURE Proactive ManagementCentralized Services Downtime & Performance Monitoring Weekend Auto Maintenance Service Backup Monitoring and Alerts Security Patch Management Virus and Spyware Protection Asset Inventory Reporting
    • INFRASTRUCTURE Network AdministrationDay-to-Day Support  Help Desk Support SUPPORT  Backup and Disaster Recovery  Desktop and Server Optimization  Web Content Filtering  Adding and Removal of Users  Best Practices Checklist
    • Reactive SupportField Support  On-Site Support SUPPORT  Rapid Reaction/Response  Mini-Project Jobs  Third Party Product Support  Virus REMOVAL and Cleaning  Recovery in Event of Server Crash
    • INFRASTRUCTURE Chief Information OfficerVirtual CIO  Technology Roadmap Planning  Design and Implementation Planning SUPPORT  Budget and Strategy Planning  Research & Testing of New Technologies  Vendor Liaison STRATEGY
    • ConclusionRecommendation: Have a plan to manage your IT1.  Develop a ‘Playbook’ (living document)2.  Systemize3.  Delegate tasks and duties4.  Plan ahead as much as possible