9 IT Services Small Businesses Need

9 IT Services Small Businesses Need

IT infrastructure, network, and services are an integral part of any business' function. A startup is likely to need almost all of the same services as a large enterprise does, just on a smaller scale.  However, smaller companies rarely have the opportunity to create sizable IT teams. That’s why small business owners prefer to outsource them to third-party service providers.

Managed IT service providers are a cost-efficient option for small businesses. They can provide the necessary variety of services at the scale a company needs. As the company grows, the extent of services grows with it.

Let’s explore the IT services your company is highly likely to need right now.

1. Cybersecurity Services

Contrary to a common misconception, small businesses are even more susceptible to cybersecurity attacks than large enterprises are. Last year, 73% of small businesses reported a cyber attack. When successful, these attacks cause significant financial and reputational damage. In fact, 60% of SMBs go out of business six months after the attack.  

That’s why cybersecurity services are among the most important IT services required by small businesses. These services include the implementation of such robust security measures as:

  • Firewalls
  • Antivirus software
  • Encryption techniques
  • Employee training
  • Password practices
  • Access limitations

Small businesses have to create multiple layers of defense against unauthorized access, malware attacks, and data breaches.

Proactive security measures don’t just protect sensitive information but also instill confidence in stakeholders. A business must demonstrate commitment to data privacy and security to support its reputation. Cyber security measures do just that.

Meanwhile, cyber security services include regular security audits and simulated cyber awareness training. Audits identify vulnerabilities and make sure that all security protocols are updated.

At the same time, employee training creates a culture of awareness. Since the majority of successful cyber attacks happen due to human error, regular training and learning are key to staying safe.

Combined, these cybersecurity services form a comprehensive defense strategy that fortifies the business's digital resilience against cyber threats.

2. Website Development

A robust online presence is key to achieving success with any business regardless of the industry. A high-quality website isn’t just a luxury anymore. It’s an integral part of successful business operations. Even if you aren’t providing services online, your target audience has to be able to find you there.

A well-designed website is your virtual storefront and a calling card. It acts as the first point of contact for potential customers while giving existing clients a place to engage with your small business. Website development services are necessary to create a comprehensive website that caters to your small business needs.

Besides being functional, the website must reflect the business's brand identity. It must convey its values, personality, and unique selling points. The site should also contain high-quality content in the right places to appeal to the target audience. This content not only educates and engages visitors but also plays a vital role in search engine optimization (SEO).

For startups, effective SEO tactics are key to successful lead generation. That’s why they need high-quality website development services that make the website functionality adaptable to SEO efforts.

Many businesses end up outsourcing website development because it requires expertise in multiple niches. From layout design and color schemes to SEO and coding, doing this internally requires a significant budget.

3. App Development

No matter how small your company is, it may benefit significantly from a customized application. A custom app can help a business become competitive and obtain new market share.  

Mobile applications offer a direct channel for engagement with customers. They help enhance brand visibility and simplify feedback. All of this can prove to be essential to the success of a company in many different niches.

App development services usually include:

  • Consultation and Planning: Working closely with the client to understand their business goals and requirements for the app.
  • UI/UX Design: Designing the user interface and user experience of the app to ensure its user-friendliness and appeal.
  • Development: Building the app using programming languages and frameworks suitable for the client's requirements.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: Conducting thorough testing to identify and fix any issues in the app.
  • Deployment and Launch: Assisting with the deployment of the software to app stores and providing support during the launch phase.
  • Maintenance and Support: Offering ongoing support services to ensure the app remains secure and functional
  • Updates and Enhancements: Providing services for updating the app with new features based on user feedback and changing business needs.
  • Integration: Integrating the app with other systems or platforms used by your team.

From a business perspective, app development services can streamline internal processes, boost efficiency, and improve the bottom line.

4. IT Consulting

While small companies can outsource the majority of their IT needs to a managed IT service provider, they may still need consulting services. These services can include:

  • IT strategy development: Helping you align the existing IT strategy with business goals.
  • IT infrastructure assessment: Evaluating your current IT infrastructure to identify areas for improvement.
  • Network optimization: Designing and optimizing IT network infrastructure to ensure efficient data transmission and its security.
  • Cybersecurity assessment: Assessing cybersecurity risks and implementing measures to protect against threats.
  • Cloud computing services: Assisting your team in migrating to cloud-based solutions.
  • Data management and analytics: Helping businesses manage and analyze their data for informed decision-making.
  • IT project management: Managing IT projects from inception to completion to help ensure timely delivery and successful implementation.
  • IT training and support: Providing training and support to employees to ensure they can effectively use IT systems and tools.
  • Compliance and regulatory guidance: Assisting your team in complying with industry regulations and data protection laws.

    Consultants assess the business's IT needs and recommend solutions that align with business goals. They can also help business owners improve the cost-efficiency of IT services.

5. Cloud Services

By 2025, the public cloud computing market is expected to be worth $800 million. Today 94% of businesses already use cloud computing. Thousands are moving to the cloud every year.

Your small business can take advantage of the cloud services that include:

  • Cloud storage: Providing scalable solutions so you can store and access your data.
  • Cloud computing: Offering virtual servers, computing power, and resources on-demand to support business applications.
  • Robust data backup and recovery: Implementing automated backup solutions and disaster recovery plans to ensure business continuity.
  • Cloud migration: Assisting your small business in migrating its existing IT infrastructure to the cloud.
  • Cloud security: Implementing robust security measures to protect data and applications hosted in the cloud.
  • Cloud monitoring and management: Proactive monitoring of cloud resources, performance, and usage to optimize efficiency.
  • Collaboration tools: Providing cloud-based collaboration tools such as email, messaging, and video conferencing.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Offering scalable cloud solutions that can grow or shrink based on business needs.
  • Compliance: Ensuring that cloud services comply with industry regulations to meet data protection and privacy requirements.
  • Technical support and training: Providing ongoing technical support, training, and guidance to help small businesses utilize cloud services effectively.

No matter how small your business is, it uses cloud services for efficiency improvement purposes. Many startups begin with using cloud apps for communication and collaboration and then go on to move their infrastructure to the cloud entirely.

6. IT Infrastructure Management

No matter how seemingly small your IT infrastructure is, it requires a careful approach to management. Without dedicated team members who look after this part of your small business environment, you could face serious consequences.

Services that IT infrastructure management usually includes are:

  • Network monitoring: Monitoring and managing the network infrastructure to ensure optimal performance and security.
  • Server management: Managing servers (even if you just have a couple) to ensure their efficient and secure work.
  • Data backup: Implementing backup solutions to protect critical business data in case there is an attack (internal or external).
  • Security management: Implementing and managing security measures to protect the business's IT infrastructure from cyber threats and unauthorized access.
  • Cloud services management: Managing cloud services and resources to optimize performance.
  • IT infrastructure planning and design: Assisting your team members in planning and designing the IT infrastructure so it meets the growing business needs.
  • Helpdesk support: Providing technical support to end-users for IT-related issues and troubleshooting.
  • IT asset management: Tracking IT assets, including hardware, software, and licenses, to ensure compliance.
  • Optimization: Continuously monitoring and optimizing the infrastructure for performance improvement purposes.

As your IT infrastructure grows, so does the extent of services it requires. With time, you may need a large IT team to cater to these needs.

7. Digital Transformation

Digital transformation services help small business owners integrate cutting-edge technology into all aspects of operations. This includes automation, artificial intelligence, and digital platforms. Some of these services include:

  • Digital strategy development: Creating a comprehensive digital strategy aligned with your business goals and current market trends.
  • Business process optimization: Identifying inefficiencies and implementing digital solutions for workflow optimization.
  • Automation solutions: Implementing automation tools and technologies to enhance operational efficiency.
  • Customer experience enhancement: Improving customer interactions through all the suitable digital channels
  • Data analytics: Leveraging data analytics for informed decision-making and business performance optimization.
  • Technology implementation: Introducing new technologies (e.g., AI, IoT, and blockchain) to for competitive advantage.
  • Employee training: Providing training programs to give employees the skills needed to embrace digital transformation.
  • Continuous Improvement: Monitoring and optimizing digital initiatives to ensure ongoing success.

Change management is a big part of digital transformation. According to Gartner, around 50% of major change initiatives fail and just 34% are successful. That’s why digital transformation services must include comprehensive change management tactics.

8. Tech Support

Small businesses face various tech-related needs. When not addressed timely, they can lead to significant downtime. Some of the tech support services include:

  • Technical assistance: Providing help and guidance to resolve technical issues with all IT systems.
  • Software assistance: Assisting with the installation, setup, and configuration of software applications.
  • Hardware repair and maintenance: Repairing and maintaining hardware components (printers, routers, servers, etc.)
  • Virus and malware removal: Detecting and removing viruses, malware, and other security threats.
  • Network setup: Configuring and maintaining all elements of the IT infrastructure.
  • Remote support: Providing remote assistance to resolve technical issues without the need for an on-site visit.
  • Technical advice: Offering expert advice on technology solutions, upgrades, and best practices for IT infrastructure optimization.
  • Training and education: Providing training sessions and workshops to help users better understand technology tools and systems.

Even if your entire infrastructure is on the cloud, you still need on-site support. Many small businesses delegate these responsibilities to team members with some knowledge of IT-related matters. This often leads to errors and operational issues.

9. Technology Vendor Management

Any given business, regardless of its size, works with at least several technology vendors. Managing these vendors is key to maximizing their efficiency. Here are a few services you may need:

  • Vendor selection and evaluation: Assistance with identifying and selecting technology vendors that align with your requirements.
  • Contract negotiation and management: Helping your team negotiate favorable conditions with technology vendors and managing contract compliance.
  • Vendor performance monitoring: Monitoring and evaluating the performance of technology vendors.
  • Issue resolution and escalation: Handling any disputes that may arise between your company and technology vendors, and escalating matters as needed.
  • Vendor risk management: Assessing and managing risks associated with technology vendors (e.g., cybersecurity risks and compliance issues).
  • Cost optimization: Working to optimize costs associated with technology vendors, including negotiating pricing and identifying cost-saving opportunities.
  • Vendor relationship management: Building positive relationships with technology vendors to ensure fruitful collaboration.

Overall, dealing with vendors is a science that requires specific experience. Many startups face various problems with vendor management at the selection stage and beyond. In most cases, it’s good practice to outsource this service to a managed IT service provider.

Optimizing Business Operations with the Necessary IT Services

Small businesses constantly face the need for multiple IT services. While it may seem that the smaller a company is, the fewer services it requires, this isn’t usually the case. To minimize downtime and security issues, you need to make sure you have access to these services.

One of the ways to do it is to find a reliable managed IT service provider. With this outsourcing partner, you gain access to a team of experts without the expenses associated with recruitment.

As your small business grows and its needs change, you can scale your relationship with the service provider and ensure seamless operation.