TOP 10 SMALL BUSINESS IT CHALLENGES IN 2019
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a lot of technical and managerial issues to worry about in 2019, and highlighted below are the top 10 IT challenges facing owners of small businesses:
 Information security
The world is witnessing an unprecedented level of cyberattacks and security breaches. Small businesses have to constantly struggle with data privacy, management, and storage, and 2019 is the year they must do something strategic about protecting their businesses.
 Technology integration and upgrading
Apparently, it’s good news that improved business solutions are being invented and marketed. However, here is the million-dollar question: Are they all compatible with the small businesses’ existing systems? Can they be easily integrated into their current IT infrastructure? If not, small businesses have to increase their IT budgets in 2019 to fully revamp their IT architectures.
 Cloud computing
In order to streamline their data processing, storage, and retrieval system in 2019, small businesses must adopt cloud technology. There are various options in the market, but do small businesses know which cloud technology will fit their business process?
 Social media
A great number of small businesses are migrating their marketing efforts to social media. Running effective marketing campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on are considered a good way to expand market coverage. So, small businesses must master the use of social media to reach prospective customers/clients in 2019.
 Risk management
Cybersecurity involves having a well-defined risk management process. Nowadays, there are business solutions or applications primarily designed to help small business manage or mitigate risks associated with their operations. However, these tools are costly and require a high degree of expertise to successfully operate them.
 IT regulatory compliance
Unlike big companies, small businesses do not have a dedicated department that manages their IT regulatory compliance. On most occasions, doing it almost becomes a nightmare for them.
 IT resource management
Most small businesses do not have in-house HR managers whose sole responsibility is to manage IT resources in the company. In fact, when a small business takes on a large number of employees, this may lead to poor organization among the employees. This kind of unstructured workplace often results in a low level of productivity. Therefore, small businesses have to consider how to resolve this perennial problem in 2019.
 Business continuity & recovery
In the wake of hurricanes, blizzards, cyclones, or typhoons, small businesses are the ones to be badly affected by natural disasters. It often takes them longer to recover when compared with the big corporations post-disaster. In 2019, owners of small businesses will be looking at the most proactive ways to implement business continuity procedures that work.
 Infrastructure management
2019 should be the year when small businesses start to manage their IT infrastructure effectively. Unfortunately, not many of them have the resources to do so, and it is quite troubling.
 Fraud monitoring
From receiving payments via credit cards to protecting their customers’ personal information, small businesses are standing up to the task of monitoring fraud in their business practices. However, not many small businesses are equipped with the right tools/applications and knowledge to successfully do this.
How IT Consultants Can Help Small Businesses Thrive
The IT challenges explained above are real, and they are threatening the survival of small businesses. Operating on a budget, most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not have the capacity to manage the mounting IT challenges they confront every day. The only viable alternative/option so far is for small businesses to hire IT consultants who will help them:
- Build, maintain, and sustain affordable IT infrastructure.
- Design and implement functional anti-cyberattack systems.
- Set up a great social media campaign that will bring in more leads and prospects.
- Install cloud solutions that will be able to support small businesses’ plans to scale their operations and increase profitability.
- Manage IT regulatory compliance.
- Mitigate risks and increase the rate of business continuity/recovery immediately after a natural or artificial disaster.
Small business owners do not necessarily need to worry about hiring, training, and onboarding qualified IT professionals. It will surely add to their annual overheads. Instead, using the service of a well-rounded IT consulting firm can reduce cost but achieve the same level of productivity and performance.