No matter what size, every business needs technology. Larger companies may have elaborate systems, while smaller businesses may only need a few basics to start. However, even the most basic level of technology is essential for businesses to function effectively. For example, most companies rely on computers to track inventory, communicate with customers, and process payments. In addition, many business owners use their personal smartphones or tablets to stay connected to their business while on the go. As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, it is clear that it will continue to play a vital role in businesses of all sizes.
Even today, it seems impossible to run a business without utilizing technology in some way, shape, or form. And while there’s no denying that technology can be a powerful tool to help your business grow, there are also some ways it can be harmful. Here are a few examples of technological advancements that can help—and harm—your business:
Help: Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have become essential tools for businesses of all sizes. They allow employees to stay connected and productive while they’re on the go, which can be a significant advantage, especially for companies with employees who travel frequently.
Harm: However, mobile devices can also be a potential security risk. If an employee’s device goes missing or is stolen, sensitive company data could be exposed. In addition, mobile devices can be a distraction, leading to decreased productivity.
Help: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide businesses with a great way to connect with their target audience. They’re also helpful for promoting products and services and creating brand awareness.
Harm: On the flip side, social media can also be a time-suck that pulls employees away from work. In addition, if not used carefully, social media can damage a company’s reputation—for example, if an employee posts something negative about the company on their personal account.
Help: Cloud-based storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive make it easy for businesses to store and share files online. This is especially helpful for businesses with employees who work remotely or need to access files while on the go.
Harm: The downside of cloud-based storage is that it’s often less secure than storing files locally on a hard drive or server. This is because files stored in the cloud are more vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks.
VoIP Phone Systems
Help: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems use the internet instead of traditional telephone lines to make and receive calls. This is beneficial for businesses because it’s usually more affordable than a traditional phone system and offers features such as caller ID, call forwarding, and voicemail transcription.
Harm: One potential downside of VoIP phone systems is their dependence on a strong internet connection. If the internet goes down, so does your phone service. Additionally, VoIP calls can sometimes sound garbled or delayed due to poor internet quality.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Help: VPNs allow businesses to create a private network using public infrastructure (like the internet). VPNs are beneficial because they encrypt data sent between devices on the network, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept sensitive information.
Harm: The main downside of VPNs is that they can slow down your internet connection if not set up correctly—which can interfere with video conferencing and file sharing. Additionally, VPNs can be difficult to set up and manage if you’re unfamiliar with how they work.
What can you do?
It’s essential to consider any new technology’s potential benefits and drawbacks before implementing it in your business. And, as always, ensure you have proper security measures to protect sensitive data and prevent cyberattacks. You can do this by partnering with managed IT services. They can help with everything from setting up and managing your technology to keeping your network secure. They can also offer valuable insight into the latest technological advancements that may benefit your business.
Additionally, train employees on the proper usage of technology in the workplace and set guidelines for social media use and device security to mitigate potential harm. Ultimately, staying informed and ahead of potential threats will ensure the smooth and successful integration of new technologies into your business.
Technology can be a powerful tool that helps businesses grow and succeed when used correctly. However, there are also some ways that technology can harm your business if you’re not careful. Mobile devices can expose sensitive company data if they’re lost or stolen; social media can damage your company’s reputation; cloud-based storage is less secure than storing files locally; VoIP phone systems depend on having a strong internet connection; and VPNs can slow down your internet connection if not set up properly. So what’s the takeaway? Use technology wisely so you don’t end up doing more harm than good.