When starting a business, being able to track your growth accurately and protect your ideas and business plans is important. Ninety percent of all start-ups fail within the first year. You should optimise every cog in the machine that contributes to the smooth take off of your business and lands you in that tenth percentile.
sector you find yourself in, it is highly unlikely you won’t require some sort
of IT or tech to get you started. As well as the standard smart phone and
emails, here are five IT essentials that will ensure any hiccups in the road,
won’t be because of the tech.
1. Computers (obviously)
You’ll need a devise to carry out basic business such as accessing the internet, emailing, compiling reports, etc.
While a phone is handy and can do nearly everything
a computer can, sometimes when doing real work you need a bigger screen and the
ability to type – so consider portability.
Will you need to access files and emails from
remote locations or on-the-go?
If your start-up hasn’t established offices and a
permanent working space with monitors and desktops, laptops and tablets are
Consider a screen size that works for you. Do you carry bags that will fit larger
laptops? Do you need a bigger screen to see detailed images? What sort of job
do you have and what features do you require from the device? Are you in a
creative field and need touch screen or boosted graphics? Will any portable
device with Microsoft Office, suffice?
All to take into account when choosing your brand
As you’re presumably trying to spend money smartly,
you don’t have to go for the premium, high range products. Having said this
don’t cheap out and opt for unreliable tech with a short life span. Mid-range
if perfect for new companies. As you grow and learn what best suites the needs
of the business you may find changes with your devices need to be made or
replacements and upgrades. It will be the safe option as you haven’t spent a
small fortune on a laptop that you decide isn’t for you after a year and you
haven’t jeopardised your work with shoddy equipment.
2. Online Storage
More often than not, it is easier and more efficient
to store files and important information onto some sort of cloud. The
unpredictability of saving crucial documents onto physical devices – with an
array of scenarios in which you could lose or break them, is too risky. With
all the options on offer there’s no reason not to utilise online storage. It is
cost effective and saves physical space.
With apps and sites such as Dropbox, Google Drive
and iCloud files can be instantly backed up and accessed from anywhere with an
internet connection. This eliminates the need to rummage through your
belongings for the correct USB and the most recent version of a file that
you’ve saved five times.
With sensitive information and everything you use
to track your company’s operations, all stored on a tech device, imagine the
catastrophe when you lose it all to a silly virus.
Antivirus software is like an umbrella in the rain.
Even if you don’t have a start-up, protecting your device from a virus is just
4. Phone Systems
If your business is customer/client focused, a
primary method of communication with them can be via telephone. This can be a
tricky process to keep track of and analyse if you don’t have the correct
system in place to monitor it.
You mightn’t have ever thought to use your phone
line traffic to your advantage and determine key information about your
clientele, but in can prove extremely useful in your marketing strategy going
A comprehensive system can track the statistics and
figures of your phone lines and offer you reports and insights into how your
customer operates. With this information you can inform your staff and alter
your business operations to better cater to the needs of the customer. This
will help you grow and be seen as a reliable and professional contender in your
field of work.
While free emails are great for personal, every-day
use, consider investing in an email account provider. Having your company name
in the address (email@example.com) gives you the platform to come
across as more organised and professional when presented to customers.
neutrality – or ‘net’ for short, is the concept that internet service providers
(ISPs) should not charge users to
access platforms on the web differently based on user, content, website,
platform, application, type of equipment, or method of communication.
in the USA there are plans for ISPs to begin charging users to use different
networks and online platforms, such as Netflix and WhatsApp, to increase the
efficiency and line speeds at which they are using them.
and companies will have to pay ISPs premiums to allow them to grant access to
potential site visitors, giving an edge to bigger companies with more power and
of this method could affect hundreds of thousands of businesses without the
funds to pay ISPs. It will act as a form of censorship, dictated by companies
already in good financial standing or with strong partnerships with other mega
offering similar services, such as online video streamers – Netflix and Amazon
Prime Video, many also have influence over several other popular sites
depending on existing alliances and deals.
future landscape of the world wide web could soon look like this;
you pay for because your service is slow:
you’ve paid for a subscription plan that doesn’t cover the website you’re on:
for net neutrality were repealed towards the end of 2017 by the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) and was officially ruled out on June 11 2018.
that came into question were; who would regulate the broadband companies and
ensure they weren’t abusing their powers as gatekeepers of the internet, and
not favour their own content over a competitor’s?
Republican-led FCC was stripped of its authority after Chairman, Ajit Pai
abolished these old rules safeguarding net neutrality.
there is a wait for the appeal courts decision as to whether this move was
legal and the fate of net neutrality.
What does it mean for me?
this issue is contained mainly to the USA, with little effect on external
nations like the UK. For the States, it means higher prices for have ease of
access to everyday sites like Facebook and even WhatsApp. It also means the
content being distributed to different factions in society will be censored and
the elite can easily dictate, what those less able to pay for freedom on the
web, are exposed to.
neutrality laws eventually fall through and the new monetisation of the
internet catches on, it is highly likely the concept with spread globally too.
No matter where you travel to these days, you’re destined to
never be left without a means of contact, with the help of public wi-fi
hotspots. Free access internet is now available at nearly every shopping
centre, train station, airport, major tourist attraction and even on populated
streets. The temptation, to save your monthly data allowance in exchange for
simply handing over your email address and full name, seems harmless, right?
Unbeknownst to too many people, by connecting to these open
networks you are letting hackers know you’re open for business. By accessing
emails and online banking, you have inadvertently marked yourself as a target
and made all your sensitive information, vulnerable.
‘Man in the Middle’ attacks
This is when someone within range of the hotspot reach is
essentially eavesdropping on your online activity. They are able to intercept
the flow of information you’re sending between your device and the internet
The information that flows from device to wireless router should
be in the form of a secret code, meaning sensitive information cannot be read. Most
routers are unencrypted until set up by IT professionals who know how to
encrypt it, so anyone who uses this router is protected by this private
network. Public and unencrypted networks deliberately set up by hackers don’t
enable this safety feature so that they can survey your activity from afar.
Cyber criminals will set up fake hotspots named similarly to
reputable businesses. They will be branded and made to look legitimate, the
same way in which, BT for example has their access pages displayed. These rogue
hotspots then act as a direct portal for criminals to peer into your sensitive
information and give them to platform to use it anyway they see fit. When doing
so they can see which web pages you visited, any log in information you
submitted and hack any accounts.
Tips for staying safe:
Turn wifi off when you’re not using it
Log out of accounts when done
Disable Bluetooth and file sharing
Only use web search
Access apps with sensitive information such as online banking/health records