It’s common for small businesses to have to make sacrifices to stay within their annual budget. A surprising trend that emerged in 2019 was companies investing in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions more than IT and cybersecurity. According to Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses, and only 14% of these businesses can defend themselves adequately.

A company of any size shouldn’t take cybersecurity lightly. Things are easier in this verifying age. The rise of digital systems that streamline workflows and provide near-instantaneous communications also puts organizations at risk. Malware containing ransomware can wreak havoc in a company’s system and lead to a complete shutdown of its network.

Why Investing in IoT and Cybersecurity is Important

For small businesses, as suggested here, it’s a balancing act when it comes to investing in new technologies that can streamline operations compared to securing existing systems. The irony is that if a company only invests in IoT devices that improve productivity, they could be putting themselves at greater risk. Devices like door security cameras have made the news recently when they were successfully hacked.

If the company doesn’t ensure they also protect these devices connecting to their network, it may become a vulnerability in itself. Every device on a company’s network is a target for hackers and cybercriminals. By investing in digitally connected IoT devices, companies are increasing their cybersecurity attack surface. This makes it essential to ensure they have adequate business security solutions in place.

Using Managed IT Services for Improved Cybersecurity

One strategy available to small businesses is to adopt a Managed IT Services model for improved cybersecurity. Instead of allocating expenditures directly to cybersecurity, the company can improve its current technology stacks without compromising the protection of its data. This will allow them to invest in IoT and shore up their cybersecurity solutions at the same time.

Although small businesses remain targets of cybercriminals, companies need access to digital solutions that give them a competitive edge. Similarly, cybercriminals deploy sophisticated strategies that exploit anything from a human resource to a known network printer vulnerability. A ransomware infection can encrypt all the company’s information, locking out their users and holding the system hostage until they pay the ransom. Many smaller companies cannot recover from a successful ransomware attack.

Additional Benefits Organizations Get from Managed IT Services

Besides improved data and information security, Managed IT Services can provide additional productivity gains to an organization. With managed IT services (also called Managed Network Services), companies can optimize their networks and upgrade their technologies. Here are three benefits managed IT services bring to small businesses.

1. Consistent Cost for IT Operations

IT investments tend to come last when allocating funds to operating budgets. As devices age and require increased maintenance and repair, the replacement cycles lag due to the large cost of new hardware systems or software solutions. With Managed IT Services, the company can map out its technology requirements and acquire the systems at a single monthly cost.

The managed IT services company will review the current deployment of servers, workstations, applications, and network devices before providing a proposed solution. Based on their assessment, the company will establish a cost for the service and provide all the digital solutions the organization needs to improve its operations.

2. A Reliable IT Ecosystem

Most of the time spent by IT departments is dedicated to keeping existing systems operational. With managed IT services, the external company will monitor all IT systems remotely. They will be able to check device statuses and deploy the latest security patches as they become available. The company will also work with the organization to develop a disaster recovery plan and perform the necessary data backups as part of the service.

By freeing up internal IT resources, the company can let their teams focus on tasks that add value to their operations. This could include researching new technologies, improving office workflows, or developing custom solutions for the company’s unique requirements. Managed IT services ensure the essential underlying architecture operates reliably and provide the maximum uptimes.

3. Scalability of IT Operations

Provisioning additional IT resources remains a concern for businesses of every size. As the company grows, they’ll need access to increased bandwidth, devices, application servers, and hardware systems like printers or copiers. Managed IT services can scale with operations as required, and the company can bundle their plan with Managed Print Services for improved operations.

Using Smile Business Products for Sustainable Operations and Improved Cybersecurity

For organizations that need to grow while also ensuring they protect their information systems, Smile Business Products can help. With a host of productivity tools and sophisticated cybersecurity solutions, companies can use Smile’s services to streamline their operations and increase productivity. Smile Business Products will work with in-house IT teams to develop an integrated solution that ensures the company can invest in IoT without compromising on their system’s cybersecurity.

To discuss the benefits of managed IT services or for more information on how to improve your company’s cybersecurity, speak to one of Smile Business Products’ Account Managers today.