Who has heard of the new IT gold rush ? Am I the small child in the crowd watching the naked emporer walk by, with thousands of other businesses, also marching along with him?
Unfortunately this metaphor works at three levels, and none of them are good news, on the surface.
At the first level, the volume of information in a business is significantly increasing year on year. On paper it might be decreasing as a proportion, but digitally, businesses are completely soaked in information. When even the one-man-band plumber whips out a tiny device to take credit card payments using his phone's internet connectoon, which then posts the results into his Xero accounts system, then we can see that EVERYONE is running an information business, but we each just happen to specialising in some kind of people service "on the side". The "gold" is the information that leads to sales, and payments. Nobody seems to have realised they are all in the information business!- This is the "good-ish" level of the gold rush story.
At the second level, most businesses are almost naked when it comes to protecting themselves i.e. "their modesty" from the prying eyes, and Internet penetration tools, of the hackers out there, who inpect millions of online users every day looking for weaknesses so they can harvest all the user profile data, and even insert fake invoices into business systems. Incredibly some Apple Mac users still think they do not need antimalware protection. But even Windows PC users think that some cheap antivirus protection is enough. - This is the "bad / dangerous" part of the story. 99% of businesses do not have sufficient protection and awareness. What might have been okay even two years ago is just not enough today.
At the third level, if you have actually realised that you are drowning in your own information, there are lots of companies out there selling "amazing" AI (Artificial Intelligence) solutions that proclaim to find hidden nuggets of insight inside your vast silos of information, that you have not spotted one your own. I would put most of these solutions in the "borrowing your watch to tell you the time" category.
So what should a business owner do? Where do you start?
Well, look at your business with screwed up eyes, so that all you see is the information flowing around, like lines of gold particles in the sand! Work out which parts are really important, which data needs more publicity/ better sharing / more protection and start with that.
Then talk to someone who really understands IT strategy who has a deep understanding about information. Somoene who also understands how to setup the correct hardware and systems to manage that information. There must be other people out there who understand networks, hardware, Windows, applications and information to talk to, but if you really get stuck then call us at IT 4 Business. If we have capacity, we will bind you into the client portfolio, but you might have to wait, sorry about that, until another client has been completely sorted out, and allowed back into the wild.