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10 Easy Ways To Boost Your Business Growth And Security

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10 Easy Ways To Boost Your Business Growth And Security

Easy Way Devices Affect Your Business Growth

A post that caught my attention this week outlines 10 easy ways to shake up-and grow-your small business. This covers the 10 best ways to grow your business:

  1. Update the technology you use in your business
  2. Organize your office
  3. Learn something new to grow your business
  4. Break out of your comfort zone
  5. Grow your network
  6. Expand your horizons
  7. Become an influencer
  8. Delegate
  9. Practice self-care
  10. Review your business finances

Intel Uncovers Challenges To Using Old Devices

Intel has released the findings of J. Gold Associates’ commissioned survey of SMEs across 16 countries (including Australia), designed ‘to help organizations better understand the impact on costs and productivity associated with the use of older, outdated personal computers…’

Identifying the hidden costs of maintaining ageing machines is difficult. For example, think about the different costs of buying a new car versus old. With manufacturers offering set finance and servicing fees, you can predetermine the exact amount a new car will cost you each month for the first 24 to 36 months of ownership (minus fuel). However, if you choose to buy an older car, estimating service costs over the same 24 to 36-month period is difficult.

Find Out What Your Devices Are Costing You

The Survey data reveals the hidden costs of maintaining old devices, and gives you formulas to work out how much your older devices are costing you, making J. Gold Associates ‘Older PCs in SMB Cost Study’ interesting reading. (Selected Results from ‘Older PCs in SMB Cost Study’ is republished with permission from J. Gold Associates, LLC.)

Hidden Costs Of Older Devices Exposed

J. Gold Associates surveyed 3,297 respondents from 16 countries including Australia, giving us a solid and local insight into the costs SME’s face in maintaining older devices.

The average number of employees across respondents, and average time spent using a device, was consistent.

  Current:
#Emp’s
1st Year:
#Emp’s
3 Years:
#Emp’s
Time
Global 75.03% 77.71% 79.58% 67.4%
Australia 76.25% 78.25% 78.69% 66.6%

It was not surprising to see the average age of devices within a company are consistent. The desire to get the full value from capex spend is universal!

DESKTOPS <1
Year
1-2
Years
2-3
Years
3-4
Years
4-5
Years
>5
Years
Global 20.2% 23.6% 25.2% 19.8% 15.9% 7.7%
Australia 19.14% 22.21% 21.19% 18.03% 13.34% 7.07%
LAPTOPS <1
Year
1-2
Years
2-3
Years
3-4
Years
4-5
Years
>5
Years
Global 21.85% 25.39% 26.83% 23.19% 11.44% 8.24%
Australia 21.95% 21.11% 18.48% 16.05% 11.78% 6.69%

What was interesting was to read the total averaged hours of productivity lost per year in starting up devices of varying ages.

TOTAL HRS
P/A START
UP TIME
<1
Year
1-2
Years
2-3
Years
3-4
Years
4-5
Years
>5
Years
Global 2.01 3.52 5.42 8.46 10.35 11.88
Australia 1.55 2.03 2.92 6.69 8.79 10.80

Also interesting was the calculated percentage of machines getting hacked by age of a device.

AV.% OF HACKED
DEVICES BY AGE
<1
Year
1-2
Years
2-3
Years
3-4
Years
4-5
Years
>5
Years
Global 5.92% 10.40% 12.29% 17.09% 24.38% 34.47%
Australia 4.52% 6.98% 10.05% 14.15% 17.78% 22.52%

It was shocking to see the leap in cyber-attacks on machines two years or older. USA, Australia, India, Japan and China (PRC) are the only countries reporting low hack percentages for devices under the age of three years.

Device age is clearly a significant factor exposing businesses to elevated cyber-attack risk. Older SME devices ‘…can have significant negative cost implications… the older the machines, the more costly they are to run in terms of worker productivity impairment and increased cost of maintenance.’

J. Gold Associates concludes, “We recommend that PCs be updated/replaced on a relatively short (2-3 year) timeframe for maximum productivity and minimum cost of operations.”

Choose Your Device Strategy

Earlier I mentioned the difference between buying a new car versus old. Do you remember buying your first car? What was important to you then? The brand or type of car, desirability, or engine size. Or maybe your biggest hurdle was finding someone to finance your purchase!

What about now? Whatever car you drive now, or wish you were driving, it comes down to your preferences – and budget!

It’s the same with the choices we make in business. Factors such as business need, your risk preference (ranging from adverse to tolerant) and sourcing finance influence your decision on buying and replacing devices. Both options work but it’s important to realise your choice has an impact on the running costs and security of your computers and laptops.

Power Up Your Cybersecurity And Growth

Another key finding of Intel’s Survey is ‘older machines are much more susceptible to data breaches, and the cost of such breaches is high.’ One of the biggest changes to the IT landscape over the past five years has been the explosion in cyber-crime and malicious attacks, and SME’s in Melbourne are no different.

For the past two years SME’s in Australia, and around the world, have been bearing the brunt of cyber-attacks, primarily because small businesses don’t see themselves as a target of value. They are more likely to underestimate the importance of protecting themselves against cyber-attack. However, statistics released by ACCC in May reveal local SME’s are the biggest segment of businesses being hurt or destroyed by data theft.

‘Small businesses with fewer than 20 staff were most likely to be targeted by scammers and accounted for more than 75 per cent of reports to the ACCC. Businesses were most likely to be targeted with false billing scams (1819 reports) but investment, hacking and phishing scams also caused significant losses.’ (Read the full report here.)

If your current strategy for replacing ageing devices does not prioritise cyber security, now is a good time to review it.

An easy way to power up your cyber security and grow your small business is by updating your laptops and computers on a two to three year time frame. You’ll find new devices pay for themselves in productivity, enhanced security, and ability to help your team compete effectively.

I Want To Speak With An Expert

If you would like to speak with an expert on your IT security systems or any cyber security concerns you may have, please call 1800 10 3000 or email sales@itro.com.au.

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