Running a business can be a lucrative endeavor, but it can also be a deeply complicated one. Any business has its share of factors to take into account and to take care of in order to remain in operation, let alone generate a profit. This is only more true as technology advances and that advanced technology is implemented into various business models. In order to stay competitive, business owners need to embrace cutting edge tech. However, this also leads to business owners struggling to comprehend the nuances of today’s tech. Here are the tips you need to know to modernize your company.
While embracing modern tech is integral to modern commerce, it also entails a certain degree of risk. As your business engages more with online functionality, e-commerce, and more, the threat of cyber attacks increases. This is true of the average person, but it’s even more true of businesses, because hackers actively target businesses in particular. This is in part because of valuable market data or trade secrets, but also because of the rise of e-commerce and, with it, more access to the private and financial information of your clientele. Protecting your business and your customers from hackers needs to be a priority from the ground up. Cybersecurity is complex by nature, but there are a few simple guidelines that can help you secure your company.
For example, the Zero Trust framework of network security can help to secure your network by requiring additional certification for each new task, rather than a one-time login. This can secure your network by making it that much harder for a hacker to infiltrate your network deeply enough to get the data they’re looking for and hindering the process of searching for it. On the other hand, the login process itself has undergone significant changes thanks to multi-factor authentication. Passwords are notoriously ineffective cybersecurity solutions for many reasons, and MFA can strengthen a password immensely by requiring the user additional certification, typically a randomly generated, one time use code sent to their smartphones. In light of this, passwordless login solutions are becoming even more mainstream.
E-commerce has been one of the most impactful innovations in terms of business tech. It’s easy to see how and why it has risen to such popularity, because it makes the process of engaging with a given company or brand much simpler for the consumer. Likewise, that added convenience typically results in customers spending more money and indulging in impulse purchases more often, making it great for business, as well. E-commerce is perhaps at its best in retail, because it can allow a retailer to expand its market coverage simply and easily. However, many other business models have solid use cases for e-commerce functionality. For example, restaurants can implement online ordering via apps and websites. While the nature of the business demands an on site interaction in many cases, it can still ultimately simplify engagement with the consumer.
E-commerce, however, introduces another potential point of entry for hackers. The widespread development of e-commerce apps has been made more cost effective and less time consuming through the use of APIs, Application Programming Interfaces. APIs allow companies to develop an e-commerce app quickly by serving as a generic source code upon which it is easier to build a final product for consumer use. However, the readily accessible nature of APIs means that they are just as accessible to hackers who can use them to identify weaknesses in the source code than allow them to hack into a given app made with a given API much more easily. Taking the proper steps to invest in API security is therefore a must to implement this kind of technology not only cheaply and easily, but also safely.
An important part of the modern commercial landscape is IoT technology. The Internet of Things design philosophy has a simple mission statement, that of creating a more interconnected world. Likewise, it has been implemented, with great success, in the form of smart homes and smart offices in order to give users more control over the space around them. The smart office can be many things, but it most excels at organization and automation. For example, many clerical tasks, such as payroll, can become more organized with the use of time tracking apps, and those same apps can automate the process of calculating wages once the hours employees have worked are available. IoT tech can also improve the effectiveness of traditional automation by imbuing machinery with smart tech designed to enable remote controls and self-diagnostic capabilities.
Not unlike IoT technology, cloud technology focuses on bridging many of the gaps involved in the workflow of businesses. However, it does so in a completely different way with a different end goal. Cloud computing is, essentially, a type of networking. However, it differs from traditional networking in a few ways, not least of which is the ability of cloud connected devices to share processing power in addition to files, allowing a business’s private cloud to process data much more quickly and effectively.