438_3383186This is a guest post from Kimberley Laws.

You run a tight ship. The “i’s” are dotted, the “t’s” are crossed, everyone knows their roles, and everything is in its place. There is one thing, however, that even the most conscientious business leader can fail to anticipate–risk.

Thankfully, the marketplace is teeming with technology designed to combat potential peril and keep your company safe and secure.

By partnering up with technology, you can protect your business from both inside and outside threats.

Here are just a few ways that technology can safeguard your business from risks.

Risks Associated with Time

While your company does face external risks, one of the most common sources of loss and waste comes from within — lost productivity.

If you are a small enterprise that still operates with paper, you are in dire need of adopting modern technology. Not only do filing and cataloguing systems take valuable time to develop and maintain, they are vulnerable to error — and anyone who has ever spent hours looking for a missing manila folder will attest to what a huge time-waster they can be. Using computerized filing systems, word processing, and e-mail software can save valuable time and money.

Productivity technology can also greatly enhance your company’s ability to use its time more wisely as well. As “Using Technology to Increase Your Business Productivity” states, business productivity software can help your company increase productivity and output by allowing for faster communication of strategy, increased time spent on strategic priorities, and greater completion rates, thereby decreasing the risks associated with missed deadlines, wasted man hours, and duplication of efforts.

Risks Associated With Assets

Your company — big or small — boasts many assets that it requires to successfully carry out business. Everything from printers and photocopiers to safety equipment and cooling devices. When it comes to tracking and maintaining computerized systems, it is especially important to keep on top. As “Four Best Practices for Asset Management” warns, “a clipboard in your server closet is not an effective management tool.” In order to ensure that your company’s assets are present and accounted for, that lease or maintenance contracts are followed, and that maintenance is properly performed, you should investigate adopting asset tracking software.

Risks Associated with Security

The divulging of company secrets, sharing of confidential information, and other breaches of security pose imminent risks to your business. Thankfully, technology can help mitigate these dangers and keep your data safe.

According to “5 Ways Technology Can Help Facilities Managers Reduce Risk,” technology helps ensure that only the right people can access the information they need to effectively perform their jobs — making it more difficult for both accidents and purposely malicious behaviors to occur.

Risks Associated With Users

While technology can benefit your business in countless ways, it is important to note that as “Reduce Your Risk: 10 Security Rules to Live By” states, “your enterprise is only as secure as your most- and least-technical users.” Quite simply put, if your employees who will be using your technologies don’t know what they’re doing, they will pose a risk to your company.

Ensure that they are computer savvy and familiar with threats associated with phishing, spam, and malware. Educate them on how to create and maintain passwords. And ensure that anti-virus and firewall programs are installed and up-to-date.

By choosing the right technologies for your business and learning how to use them to their full potential, you can insulate your business from many risks. Yes, you can transform your “tight” ship into a bulletproof, water-resistant, built-like-a-tank, unsinkable vessel–impervious to whatever perils dare cross its path.

What do you think is the largest threat facing small businesses today? Why?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project.

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