Published On: Tue, Jun 21st, 2016

Small Business Evolution: From Fax Machines to Virtual Helpdesks

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Small businesses are willing to embrace new technology, but most are still using “tried and true” tools that hark back to a more “traditional” ways of operating. According to the seventh annual survey from Brother Business, entrepreneurs want to embrace the best of both worlds but aren’t quite ready to let go of manual processes and physical devices.

As highlighted by the 2016 Brother Business Survey, 58% of the daily tasks carried out by small businesses still require a physical office presence. Moreover, 91% of small business owners still invest money in printers, scanners and fax machines.

The findings seem to suggest that many start-ups are aware of new technology, but many are still reluctant to put all their faith into it. As it was when banks started to become the norm for people wanting to store their money somewhere secure, people were aware of its benefits but often opted to keep their cash at home.

Businesses Gradually Embracing New Technology

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Naturally, as technology evolves and cultural attitudes change the number of people willing to embrace new technology will increase. However, at present, it’s clear that small business owners are looking to straddle both sides of the divide. Of course, that doesn’t mean all small businesses are spurning the advances of modern technology.

The latest Brother Business Survey also points out that 21% of those surveyed plan to invest a “large portion of their budget” into cloud-based file sync and sharing solutions. Moreover, 28% of respondents stated that they are looking into mobile devices and remote working provisions.

What this suggests is that small businesses are gradually moving towards modern solutions such as integrated help desk services and cloud-based security such as web application firewalls (WAFs). One of the biggest issues facing a company that’s looking to expand its IT infrastructure is technical assistance. Having an efficient system for dealing with IT issues is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Virtual Administration and Security are Essential

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Thanks to all-in-one solutions from a company like SysAid, small business owners can identify, organise and address all their IT concerns in a single platform. Essentially an online system for dealing with queries, SysAid‘s helpdesk allows IT admin staff to assign tickets, set routing and escalation rules and set automatic notifications. These systems not only replace the traditional notepad a pen approach to identifying and organising IT issues but make the process markedly more efficient.

The other area companies need to address when they’re beefing up their IT presence, is security. Brother Business’ survey identified that 30% of business owners plan to spend a large portion of their budget on security in the coming years. Just as it’s important to manage your IT assets using modern software, protecting them is also a job for modern technology.

As mentioned, cloud-based solutions like WAFs from companies like CloudFlare are not only making PCI compliant security more affordable but providing vital protection against nasty attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injections. Indeed, according to IBM’s latest report, the cost of a data breach is, on average, $158 per lost record.

Bridging the Gap Between Antiquity and Modernity

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Brooklyn Bridge Nighttime” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by GRI SHA

The latest research certainly shows that small businesses are starting to move towards modern ways of working.
While some a still clinging on to traditional services and tools, many are also looking towards the benefits of virtual technology. However, for this transition to take place successfully, small business owners need to consider the implications of an expanding IT presence.

Administration and security are crucial when you’re building a digital workspace, and if entrepreneurs don’t acknowledge this, then they could find themselves stuck in the past with their fax machines and scanners.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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