| The Biggest Technology Risks in Modern Business

Posted in Finance at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Modern businesses face a ton of unique challenges that the businesses of the previous generation didn’t have to consider. The world is now so tech-driven, not least of all in modern business. It’s not literally impossible to imagine a business that doesn’t use modern technology. We can picture an office without strong Internet connections, printers, or even computers. But we’re not exactly imagining a strong and stable business now, are we?












Companies no longer really have any excuse. The world is too driven by computers and Internet connections for a modern tech business to skimp out on these things. We can’t just match the technology that the average consumer is using. In modern business, our technology has to be even better. We have to stay ahead of the game in order to adequately please customers and investors.

So what are the biggest risks and downsides in today’s tech-oriented businesses? In this article, we’ll be running through some of the bigger problems areas. You may even find some practical advice about lowering risks and costs! Speaking of which, let’s begin with…


The Cost

This is the first problem to become apparent for a startup. We no longer live in the world of Mad Men. We can’t just hire office space, move in the desks, get a load of paper and a few typewriters and get going. We have to invest money – and a lot of money at that – into getting our offices fitted out with the latest tech hardware. It’s hard to imagine there being one employee in a modern office who doesn’t need a computer of some kind, be it a desktop or a laptop.












How much you’re going to spend really depends on what you’re doing. The price is going to be relatively high, whichever route you take. You can’t just give employees computers that aren’t up to the modern scratch. But it doesn’t mean you have to blow all your capital on Alienware computers, either. Determine exactly what it is your company is going to be doing. Are you going to be working mostly with spreadsheets and word processing? Then you can afford to spend a little less when it comes to processing power and graphics capabilities. But if you’re starting a company that deals with animation or video game development, then you can’t cut corners. You need machines that are going to be absolute beasts.

The cost is going to depend heavily on what system you’re actually planning to us. If you want to use Windows, then you’re in luck. PCs are more reliable, more pliable, and more affordable than its main competitor. That, of course, is the Mac. Some companies may find themselves requiring Macs. If you’re in mobile game development, for example, you’ll find it hard to get by without using Mac to develop for iOS devices. Your average Mac costs a phenomenal amount more than a more technologically-advanced PC. If you have the choice, do not believe the myth that Macs make things any easier for business. A popular myth is that creative endeavors are more achievable on a Mac. Do not believe this. Unless your company specifically requires Macs to do the job, avoid the unjustified extra cost.













Office security used to be so much easier, am I right? If your doors were locked and your security guard looked scary enough, you were probably protected from outsiders. As for people on the inside? Well, we may have the advantage in the modern era. With permission settings, it’s probably easier to prevent leaks than it was in paper-oriented offices.

That being said, the issue of security in general has become more costly, more time-consuming, and more important than ever. Modern tech companies are at quite a large amount of risk. As discussed previously, the cost of equipping a modern office is pretty high. Not only does this cause the initial problem of it taking a sizable chunk out of your capital. It also means that your office is now loaded with high-quality and very valuable equipment. And that’s exactly the kind of thing that many criminals want to get their hands on.













So now the risk of losing expensive equipment, as well as the work that is being kept on that expensive equipment, is higher than ever. So we have to really beef up our physical security to compensate. Thankfully, most offices these days already come equipped with the security tech to make this feasible. When you rent office space, you generally don’t have to install things like keycard functionality or alarms yourself. These things should come with the office.

Be sure that you create a culture of security among your employees. Keep them vigilant. If they see anyone unfamiliar in the office, they must know what action to take. Everyone should know how to lock the front doors at night. If everyone has security in mind, then it will be harder for anyone to come in and start taking your stuff!

Of course, we don’t just have the physical side of security matters to consider. Criminals aren’t just trying to physically access your office and equipment. I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard of cybercrime and its mortal enemy cyber security. So much business is done over the Internet these days that it’s become easier for outsiders to access our sensitive information. That is if you’re not adequately prepared. The world of cybercrime seems pretty dizzying at first. There are so many different crimes and criminal methods to consider. There’s hacking, spyware, key logging, rootkits and full-blown viruses. Some people will leave it out of their mind. After all, computers are generally sold with firewalls and antiviruses, right? Shouldn’t that be enough?














Quite often, it isn’t. You need to be on the lookout for more tactics to use in the good fight against cybercrime. Find some virus protection tactics to use. Make sure people can’t access your data by ensuring that your employees only connect work devices to the secured network you use in the office. It may be tempting for them to use local and public Wi-Fi connections if things in the office run a little slow. But unsecured Wi-Fi connections are, well, unsecured. They’re dangerous and could allow someone entry to your work devices if used.


Complexity of Use

One of the drawbacks of technology getting more and more advanced is that sometimes it gets more difficult to use. This isn’t always the case. Thanks to the competition of Apple, many companies want to make their products are user-friendly as possible. But ease of use sometimes means that certain advances fall by the wayside. What this means is that companies who want really good technology – and a lot of it – risk alienating some of their employees.

Of course, if you’re working in a tech company, then you should be able to expect a certain level of tech-literateness from your employees. Many job adverts for modern companies require the applicant to be well-versed in Word and Excel. And if you’re working directly with code, then most employees will probably have a background in coding and computer science. But it’s not just basic use of the hardware you have to worry about.












Often, the best results your company can get is through expensive software. This software isn’t something your average computer user is going to engage with. This makes it less likely that any given applicant will have experience in it. This means it may be best to ensure not every important document is accessible only via software; paper documents in pocket folders are still useful in the modern office! This also means that you need to invest time into giving them training. This will also need to occur if you ever switch the software you’re using. And if you ever decide you want to change the hardware you’re using, then you’ll also need to provide training for that. With all this extra training you may need to consider, you’ll have to be careful about when and how you hire employees.

We’d probably all prefer it if we could trickle in employees one by one as we need them. This is, in fact, how many tech companies do it. If the person who is going to be the line manager for a new employee has time, they will give them the necessary training. But if much training is required and you’re hiring people one by one, then that creates a massive time commitment when it comes to training. This may mean that you’ll have to hire pools of employees; several at once so they can be trained in one go.













Do not assume that everyone is as tech literate as you are. With the software landscape always changing, you need to ensure that your employees stay on top of things. Of course, they also have the actual work to consider. This means you or a hired specialist will have to take on the burden of managing general technology and training. It all needs to be as smooth as possible to minimize disruption to an employee’s work day.

Keep all of these things in mind as you go forward with your tech-minded business. Modern technology has made so many things easier, but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be a breeze!

Part of the role of a Controller or CFO is to ensure the protection of the assets of the business. These assets could me physical such as computer equipment or data such as customer credit card information.  Don’t have a CFO or Controller? Loftis Consulting can help by performing an assessment. Give us a call today at (312) 772-6105.



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