Humans are hardwired to be afraid of things we don’t understand. Evolutionary speaking, if an unidentified object appears in your line of sight (say, an animal you’ve never met before), it could very well be a potential threat to your life. It is a good thing, then, that our ancestors had these systems built into their DNA.
Unfortunately, our inherited instincts do not always translate into smart modern society decisions. In an age defined by a suffocating overload of information, we’re faced with the unknown every single day, and in most of those encounters, the only thing in danger is our own feeling of self-worth.
That has precisely been the case with I.T. services. In technological context, society has split into two stereotypical audiences: people who devote their lives to the I.T. world and are more comfortable with code than with other humans, and people who treat technology as cavemen used to treat fire—they use it every day but have no idea how it works.
While there is some truth to the hyperbole, the stereotype is a luxury to apply in today’s business world. Customers want faster, better, more digitalized, more convenient, more personalized services. The tiniest of details often determine the winners of user experience battles. Companies, meanwhile, are struggling to tame I.T.—the solutions are difficult to navigate and expensive to manage.
The stakes, however, are higher than ever. Characterized by data privacy and business integrity issues (from outrageous bank lending before 2008 to the Cambridge Analytica scandal), the level of trust the public has in corporations is at all-time low, and, with social media and other modern communication platforms, it is not uncommon for one major mistake to spark a disastrous chain reaction that can turn today’s industry leader into tomorrow’s afterthought.
This calls for close collaboration between businesses and I.T. specialists. Since I.T. runs through the veins of most company departments today, it means that by merely strengthening their I.T. infrastructures, companies can prevent security breaches while also gaining a competitive advantage through superior customer service. Let’s take a closer look at how it all happens.
Why Do Companies Need Cybersecurity?
According to multiple studies, people tend to view themselves as “good,” or in other words, they view themselves with a positive outlook. Even those with unacceptable qualities or tendencies find a way to justify their behavior and position themselves on the positive end of the spectrum. This leads to certain points of confusion when it comes to I.T. security: many businesses sincerely believe that since their business is ethical and “doesn’t hurt anybody,” they won’t be subject to cyber attacks.
The reality is that the hacking business is just like any business in the free market—if there’s demand for cyber attacks, someone’s going to take care of the supply. And, as everyone becomes more cognizant of and sensitive about the privacy of their data and security of their (trans)actions online, it is not difficult to figure out that the demand for data is at an all-time high. (Here are some numbers that illustrate this point.)
Which means, for most cybercriminals, it’s just business. They are simply looking for the weakest member of the herd, not a specific target. You don’t have to be in any way special to become a victim—you just have to have something to lose, and a weak security system to become “eligible.” After that, the show begins: data held hostage, ransom requests follow, PR leaks and reputational damages are threatened, then escalated to lowered market share, followed by bankruptcy. “I am the captain now,” as the famous movie line goes.
The good news is that you don’t have to have Pentagon-level security protocols to protect your business. Standard systems work just fine—it’s usually during the management of security when business-threatening mistakes happen. Even sophisticated security systems can be left riddled with holes when set up by “Joe the I.T. guy,” who may know a lot about repairing hardware, but is out of his depth when it comes to modern I.T. security.
If You’re in Business, You’re in the Customer Service Business
Monopolists have it easy: they dictate the rules, and the buyers adapt since they don’t have an alternative. However, chances are you’re not in a market dominated by one or several powerhouses. And the more competitors you have, the more freedom your customers have to choose someone else should they feel unsatisfied with your services.
In fact, there’s no shortage of good products anymore. There’s no shortage of money, either, so to speak. According to a study by Walker, in 2020, customer experience will become more important than price or product. Let me repeat that: the process of using an iPhone is more valuable than the iPhone itself.
And again, at the core of every good customer experience is a sound I.T. system that enables the whole process. I.T. systems help define how confident your customer feels when purchasing your product or service. Technology systems dictate how smoothly production and delivery will happen. I.T. systems make sure your customer is satisfied, and, if not, give you information as you figure out how to change that.
What I just wrote isn’t 100% accurate—I.T. systems don’t usually do all of this themselves. But they do serve as an infrastructure that enables your team members to perform on crucial moments that define whether a customer stays or leaves for something better.
Data Can Be an Asset, or It Can Become a Liability
Given the ultra-sensitive nature of customer interactions and their impact on overall business performance, many companies put effort into tracking and collecting as much data as possible on all things measurable—from standard marketing metrics to customer journey touchpoint analytics.
It is one thing, though, to have all of this data, and it is something completely different to make sense of it all. The latter requires, besides statistical and managerial expertise, robustly organized data management systems. To understand data, it is not enough to just have it buried somewhere in spreadsheets—one needs to be able to access key information quickly.
I.T. systems don’t just play a major role in data acquisition and management—they are the primary tools that enable business executives and specialists to employ data to gain a competitive advantage. Smart I.T. infrastructures help businesses track all relevant information—from inner processes (like communication and sales) to customer metrics (like customer satisfaction and retention.) Most importantly, sound data management structures make the data easy to access and understand.
Technology has permeated every aspect of modern businesses operations, to the point where strong I.T. infrastructure and support are as vital for small and medium organizations as they are for large one. JMARK has been helping businesses of every size leverage technology to save money, improve efficiency, and increase profits for thirty years. To find out more about how our experience and expertise can benefit your organization, contact us today. Call 844-44-JMARK, email [email protected], or use this website’s Contact Us page.