Small Business IT Plan – The Basics

I believe small businesses should have a plan for their IT. There will be differences between businesses for obvious reasons, but in large part there are some common key elements that make up a good IT plan for all small businesses.

Here are the basics that a small business should have as part of their IT:

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Hacked Devices and IT Myth #1

Previously, I posted about Internet devices like security cameras and DVRs being hacked to form a botnet army that was then used to launch attacks against other targets. [Internet Devices Get Hacked]

I wanted to draw a link from this fact (that Internet devices of all kinds are susceptible to attack) to an earlier post I made about a common IT myth, the myth that small businesses don’t have to worry about security because hackers wouldn’t go after them.

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#1 Reason small business technology is ineffective

Most small businesses don’t have effective IT. The IT that they do have is a hodge-podge of technologies, a mish-mash of computers, a lot of out-of-date practices, and a smattering of the technology-du-jour all held together with a heavy dose of superstition (“We don’t want to change that. Last time we did, everything broke.”)

The main reason technology isn’t effective for small businesses is that they lack a plan. There’s no vision for what IT should be doing to improve the business. There’s no strategy to guide decisions and create cohesion.
If your business technology isn’t guided by a plan, it’s likely you fall into these same traps.

Why do you need a plan?

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IT Myth #2 – IT is only an expense. The less I spend, the better

This myth is also a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you believe that IT is just an expense and you should spend as absolutely little on IT as possible, you’re right.

But if you believe that IT is a tool and it can be leveraged to your advantage, you’re also right.

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IT Myth #1 – My business is small, so I don’t need to worry about security

I’ve heard variations of sentiments like these way too many times:

  • “I don’t need to worry about security because my business is too small for hackers to go after”
  • “Hackers wouldn’t even bother breaking into my network, they’d rather go after big companies”
  • “I don’t have anything of value to hackers so there’s no reason my network would be attacked”
  • “I won’t get attacked because no one’s ever heard of my company so hackers wouldn’t even know I exist.”

Unfortunately, those are all invalid logic. They’re based on assumptions that just aren’t true.

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One Man vs The World: Why small business IT is so difficult to get right

One reason that small business IT is such a challenge is the expectations that business owners have of their IT people.

Many small businesses have 1 IT person. Sometimes that person is part-time or has other duties. Often, IT isn’t even their primary role but just something they just got thrust into because no one else wanted it and they seemed to be more comfortable with computers than most others in the office.

But running IT well for a business, even a small business, is complex.

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