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The Dilemma for SMEs: Should I Bother With an IT Refresh?

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For most Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it helps the business run effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, it’s perceived to be an expensive overhead. 

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’?

Some take an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to IT systems and will wait until a problem or incompatibility with a legacy system or new software forces them to spend money on an upgrade. That’s understandable in an environment where most SMEs operate with very tight budgets.  

But there comes a point when the system that runs slowly but still just about manages to do its job will become a liability that could seriously damage or in some cases close a business. 

Companies that rely on old systems are putting themselves at significant risk of a breach or hack that could incur punitive costs. They are also potentially giving away competitive advantage to more agile competitors in their market. 

It’s very likely that the old system that still seems to work has outlived security patch support and is vulnerable to attack.  The WannaCry ransomware attack cost the NHS £92 million and was successful because it exploited old operating systems that didn’t have the appropriate security patches. 

Risk and management report

A recent insurance risk and management report by Gallagher identified that almost 23% of UK SMEs would survive for less than a month if a critical incident prevented them from trading.  The report estimated that almost 60,000 UK SMEs could be at risk of collapse this year in the event of such an attack. 

almost 23% of UK SMEs would survive for less than a month if a critical incident prevented them from trading.

Old systems don’t just make businesses more vulnerable tcyber-attacks. Without the appropriate, IT measures in place the potential to breach GDPR data security rules increases and in turn, so does the risk of heavy fines.  

Lack of compliance also restricts business opportunities for those companies who supply public sector organisations. Without Cyber Essentials compliancethey cannot bid for public contractsThis is because up to date secured IT systems are required as part of the criteria for gaining the Cyber Essentials accreditation. 

For companies who are operating on tight margins and low working capital, IT compliance doesn’t need to be a drain on your budget. With the proper professional advice of an expert, upgrades can be managed to suit the needs of the business and its budget, making the business more efficient, competitive and compliant. 

The most common SME crisis 

The most common crisis event reported by SMEs last year was cyber-attacks. Net-Defence works with a range of companies in many different sectors to deliver cost-effective solutions that meet their needs and deliver competitive advantage from a secure environment. 

You can request a free, no-obligation discovery meeting to learn what is relevant for your business and explore the value in an IT Refresh. Contact us today.