As technology innovates at a breakneck speed, trying to keep up can feel a bit like being on a
roller coaster—as soon as you reach that lull where you feel like your small business capabilities are relevant, up-to-date, and competitive, you’re lurched into yet another stratosphere of evolving tech. With more and more businesses moving to an online or hybrid workforce, the benefits of cloud-based technology solutions are clearer than ever.

In order to stay competitive, small businesses like yours need to be able to adapt quickly and reflexively to technological changes. You no doubt feel this need, but knowing there’s a problem and knowing how to solve it are two very different beasts to tackle. So, where to start?

Remember the food pyramid growing up? Well, when it comes to technology, small businesses should look for a well-balanced “diet” of features to meet their business goals. This pyramid should include a wholesome mix of flexible networking, intuitive collaboration, and enhanced security to keep your small business “healthy” and productive.

Utilize Small Business Networking

The foundation of this healthy tech diet is effective networking—making sure that employees can connect to your systems wherever they are and from different devices. When choosing a small business networking platform, small business owners should focus on three key factors: Simplicity, Flexibility, and Built-in Security.

  • Look for a simple, intuitive cloud-based solution that includes mobile and web-based applications. Incorporating an easy-to-use platform into your business will reduce onboarding time and allow your team to fix issues quickly
  • You also want a flexible technology solution with the right mix of products relevant to your industry. Whether your employees operate in-office, at home, or a combination of both, they can access your network wherever they are
  • Long gone are the days of having to buy and install antivirus software. Built-in and automatically updated security solutions are available now with cloud-based solutions, which prevent malware, phishing, and other threats from reaching your business without extra labor or monitoring

Leverage Team Collaboration Tools

If being able to connect to your business is the carbohydrate of your healthy technology mix, being able to connect with one another is the nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Now more than ever, small businesses sustain themselves by remote team collaboration. That means having platforms so that your workforce can communicate seamlessly and efficiently, from chat to video, from shared work files to effective version control.

Whether it’s mobile, desktop, or a dedicated conference room, employees can connect over high-quality video at the click of a button. They can deliver engaging presentations and collaborate on projects together in real-time. Users can easily share screens and transfer files with remote employees, keeping their entire team on the same page, literally.

Enhance Cybersecurity for Your Business

Lastly, security is the protein of your technology diet—something you can really dig your teeth into, but bad actors can’t. Due to the always-on nature of cloud technology, it’s vital to ensure wired and wireless networks are always safe. Business owners can accomplish this through enhanced security or on a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – an encrypted network that hides user location and keeps activity private.

Your business’s cybersecurity solution should allow users secure access from anywhere, on any device, and at all times. You also want your security to provide deep visibility, context, and control over potential breaches. Your software should automatically detect, block, and remedy incoming malware quickly and efficiently across all endpoints.

Here at Cisco, security is paramount. That’s why we formed Cisco Talos, one of the world’s largest commercial threat intelligence teams, providing rapid threat detection and prevention for all Cisco customers. Through the years, the Talos Team has blocked more security threats than any other security provider.

The Answer Lies in The Cloud

If you remember Hansel in Zoolander’s misguided cry of “the files are in the computer” right before smashing said computer to bits, that should be a cautionary tale of the dangers of misunderstanding technology. The solutions you’re looking for are in the cloud, but we promise that no destruction of property is required to unlock them. Cisco is here to give you the answers, guidance, and tools you need.

If you’re a small business owner who is new to cloud-based technology solutions, know that many misconceptions are floating around the internet. Here are the facts:

  • Today’s cloud technology is user-friendly and is easy to set up, requiring minimal onboarding.
  • It’s low maintenance, giving you enhanced flexibility and control, allowing teams to collaborate without boundaries.
  • Cloud-based technology has never been more secure and backed by qualified security experts and top-notch encryption to protect your data at all costs.

As you can see, there are tons of benefits for small businesses that adopt always-on cloud technology. Products like Cisco Cloud Solutions include everything your business needs to securely collaborate over your network – with additional workload management functionality thrown in for good measure! If you want to learn more about our small business solutions, contact a Cisco small business expert today.


Ian Thompson

Leader, SMB Marketing

Americas Growth Marketing