Why security should be at the top of your agenda

How often do you think long and hard about your security set-up? If you’re like most SMEs, then the answer is probably not often enough. After all, why should you? With many of your services hosted in the cloud, you can trust your providers to keep your sensitive data secure, right?

But as the significant number of large data breaches over the last few years show, everyone is at risk. From Sony to Tesco Bank and TalkTalk – all sectors and industries have been targeted by cybercriminals. Not to mention the thousands of unreported attacks on smaller organisations. A recent report by the British Chambers of Commerce found that one in five small businesses (those with fewer than 99 employees) have fallen victim to a cyber attack. A report by Barclaycard puts the cost of a cyber attack on a UK small business at between £75,000 and £311,000 in lost sales, business disruption, recovery of assets and fines. What’s more, the same report cites that only 15% of businesses consider themselves as very confident in having adequate security measures in place.

Security is an investment, not a tax

It’s clear from these figures that small businesses need to rethink their attitude towards cyber threats. While the cloud’s flexible, pay-as-you-go nature makes it a cost-effective alternative to on-premise solutions, it also means you can’t physically keep an eye on data at all times – with some, rightly or wrongly, considering this to be a risk too.

The answer lies in taking a risk-based approach to cyber security spending. What tools are outdated and are simply better to replace? Which vendor is best placed to meet your security needs? By asking the right questions to your current/future provider, you’ll be in a better position to understand your security risks.

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But scalability is only half the challenge. The second piece of the speed puzzle when it comes to telephony is utilising data to streamline the customer experience.

Data driving standards

Cloud systems offer huge amounts of data, as well as easy-to-access and operate web platforms that allow non-expert SMEs owners to analyse information. With this in their armoury they can identify where the customer experience is dragging, peak times that may lead to longer waits and underperforming teams.

All of which helps them to make the right decisions around staffing and resource – ensuring that their customers are getting through to the right people, at the right times, without having to wait too long. As well as adding greater context to the customer database, so marketing can be more targeted and relevant.

As with the new telephony systems themselves, data management is not an infrastructure upgrade. Meaning it’s simple for SMEs to install and use, straight out of the box.

A fast world

The world isn’t slowing down. And in the coming years customers will expect speed and relevancy in their every interaction with a business. To the point that offering rapidity will not even be a huge benefit – instead it’ll be a basic expectation, and the companies who persist with slow, legacy tech that harms the user experience will quickly find their customer base dropping and their competitors growing.

The good news is that avoiding the slide is easy to do. Cloud telephony is ideally suited to SMEs because it’s easy to install and easy to use. It offers them the ability to quickly respond to customer demands and can grow and shrink according to need.

The only speed question left is how quick will SMEs be to adopt it…

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28 June 2017 | Jamie Ward

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The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.