Small businesses' top technology challenges with remote working

| Tuesday June 9

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 9 June 2020

Small business, with all it’s adaptability and pivotability were generally able to move quickly to our new cosy, home based locations to run our businesses. But did any of us realise this would throw up a whole truckload of problems which we would need help with? Bandwidth management, cybersecurity and adapting the ways we collaborate are just some of the problems universally faced by small business with the shift to remote working.

How do I maximise my internet accessibility from home? Am I more vulnerable to cyberhackers in this new location? And does this change my relationship with key stakeholders like employees, contractors and clients?

CISCO has been supporting small businesses for years with these issues but they too had to evolve at full speed to keep up with the pace of this change, working alongside businesses to understand their needs and how to solve them. 

Luke Power brings with him a deep understanding of SMBs as the Head of Small Business Aust & NZ at Cisco and he’s here to share with us some practical strategies which will help you move past these remote working problems and get back to what you do best.

Welcome to the show Luke.

Topics we’ll be covering:

  • The evolution of tech - tech has up until now been about solving individual problems. Now it’s all about moving forward and tech leading the way to help them grow. Now big companies have had to pivot to understand the entire platform which needs to be offered.
  • Now it’s all about Collaboration. How do SMBs communicate internally and with their clients?
    • They’re on the run, how do they use the tech platforms to solve their problems?
    • COVID meant everyone had to scramble to get organised to work from home. Banking, hardware, internet connection
  • How did CISCO quickly adapt? How did the enquiries change? Essentially, they behaved like a small business.
  • Bandwidth management - what are the simple controls and infrastructure you can implement to ensure there are systems in place
    • Well managed network - updating your legacy technology. Prioritise your computer over other devices
    • Learn how to manage your device online when offsite
    • Think about where your wireless technology is located
    • The reality the tech and platform has improved compared to a couple of years ago
    • Example is a mesh network which allows for better coverage
  • Cybersecurity - Have we seen an increase in cybercrime activity? Mobile devices, reduced focused, remote working has increased our vulnerability.  BUT we’ve learned a lot in the last few years
    • The fact is Firewalls are not good enough because other users have access.
    • Visibility is crucial Two step authenticators (e.g. Duo)
    • Has there been a shift in the way small business is being attacked? No, it’s all about the data. Ransomware is still a large risk.
    • Look into data loss prevention
    • Cyber hygiene - are you using the same laptop as others in the household? Be aware
  • Collaboration - what’s some of the advice you’re giving the small business
    • Take a step back and ask yourself how can I be more efficient and collaborate better? Think about the new customer journeys. Reflect on how you’re communicating with them?
    • Who exactly do you collaborate with in my business circle? Go through each of the pathways and map it out?

About Luke Power

Luke Power is the Head of Small Business & Distribution of Australia and New Zealand.

As part of his role, Luke is accountable for the overall vision, strategy and operations of Cisco’s high-growth Small Business segment within Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately, working to deliver the best technology solutions to small businesses, with Cisco’s IT solutions that are secure, simple and flexible.

Luke has worked as a Sales Leader for 20 years, starting his career in a local computer store helping people with their IT issues, and since with experience from companies such as Intel Security, Avaya, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Acer and Silicon Computers.