Ensuring Your Small Business’s Ongoing Success | Leading a company from a small business to a big corporation isn’t easy. Small businesses have the deck stacked against them, and first-time business owners lack the experience and resources to handily tackle or recover from problems. Surviving long enough to thrive is a challenge, but these tips can help you excel by securing and making the most of your assets.
Data is a major priority for modern companies of all shapes and sizes because the information is a valuable tool for developing more effective business strategies, marketing campaigns, and even new products. However, a tool is only as good as its operator, and poorly implementing big data infrastructure can hamstring you at best or lead to cyberattacks at worst. To make effective use of data, it needs to be collected, processed, and then analyzed. Data collection comes in many forms, from market research using surveys to transactional records, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Using a variety of collection methods is essential for keeping your business model informed and effective. For analysis to provide useful results, the data needs to be “clean,” or accurate and well organized.
The best way to keep data organized is to automate data management. This begins with IoT (Internet of Things) technology. IoT technology is known for its propensity to allow users to create a smart office, a collection of IoT apps and devices that can connect to wi-fi and can communicate with each other. The latest AI created with MLOps is more than capable of automating various administrative tasks, and this fits in nicely with big data. Simply put, you can use a smart office to take care of various forms of data collection, not to mention the much more important organization of that data, and it can even segue directly into data processing, allowing you to get cleaner results in less time and at a reduced cost. While IoT and smart offices have numerous additional advantages, their use for data management can increase your company’s efficacy and security.
The dependence on data and e-commerce has been a double-edged sword for today’s businesses. While the advantages are tremendous, they come with the setback of exposing your company, and its customers, to the ever-present threat of hackers. Businesses are targeted by hackers specifically because of the valuable data they tend to have on hand. Market data and trade secrets and the private and financial information of consumers are worth a fortune, or hackers can use the latter to steal the identities of your customers. Investing in cybersecurity is non-negotiable, so it’s important to consider the bases you’ll need to cover.
First and foremost, you need to secure your own network and devices, primarily using the software. However, there’s also a place for a keen human eye, because network traffic analysis is an essential way to head cyberattacks off at the pass. It’s also important to secure your e-commerce hubs, namely your company’s website and its proprietary app. Your website will need to be secure using encryption and decryption protocols like TLS or SSL. This is generally an important part of cybersecurity, but you might not realize that the onus is on the holders of individual websites to pay for this vital service.
Securing your app is largely a matter of properly vetting the API with which it was programmed. APIs make for great time savers and cost cutters for companies looking to branch out into e-commerce, but they also leave companies and consumers vulnerable to any security flaws baked into the code. Investing in API security is a simple way to make sure your API, or at least your app, is secure.
Protecting your business from some common mistakes will increase your odds of long term survival and success immensely and immediately. Investing in data and protecting yourself from the caveats that come with that is a great place to start, and these tips can get you started.