IT Management for Small Businesses

Modern asset management is key to maintaining business continuity. Small businesses can get the resources and capabilities they need to manage and help secure devices with the Intel vPro® platform.

Main Takeaways for Small Business IT Managers

  • Some of the main challenges small businesses face are that they are expected to do more with less and also can’t customize a solution that fits their specific needs.

  • There are three main values that IT managers should think about: security, performance, and manageability of IT assets in a dispersed work environment.

  • The Intel vPro® platform can address each main value IT managers hold, enabling them to help keep employee devices secure, manage updates, improve performance, and deploy tasks easily.

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Small Business IT Challenges

When it comes to IT, businesses struggle with attaining sufficient levels of performance, budget, and quality information on trusted technology. They often have smaller budgets and less formal budgeting and cannot afford PC refreshes every two to three years. Small businesses also lack access to trusted information on technology and are often bombarded with blogs or benchmarks that lack actual insight. They often cannot stay on top of trends and are frequently asked to do more with less. Finally, small businesses are tasked to manage and help secure remote employee devices with minimal manageability and security capabilities for remote work.

Small business owners also tend to rely on out-of-box vendors and solutions (like Microsoft Defender) that come with PCs to solve their IT challenges. The problem with these approaches is that these solutions aren’t customized to fit the needs or specific challenges of each business. Simply relying on antivirus software or an overly eager, sales-focused vendor may not always be enough.

Top Three Values for IT

There are three essential values that IT managers should keep in mind: security, performance, and manageability of IT assets. Each of these values is vital for businesses to run seamlessly, allowing owners to focus on other issues that may need their attention.

Security

Of all the ransomware attacks on enterprises in 2020, 55 percent hit businesses with fewer than 100 employees.1 That’s why it’s important for small businesses to have a security strategy to stay ahead of modern threats. Additionally, investing in cybersecurity training can help employees develop best practices. This could include creating stronger passwords, developing internet usage guidelines, and learning how to spot phishing attacks.

One of the best ways to ward off cyberattacks is with hardware-based security capabilities. Hackers are currently looking for new ways to inject malware where other devices cannot detect it, but hardware-based security features can help deter modern cyberattacks. It adds an extra layer of protection at the silicon level, helping ensure that a PC’s software and hardware are equally secure. Since hardware-based security is built at the foundational level, users can stay protected against modern cyberthreats and firmware attacks. Also with hardware-based security features, small businesses can benefit from robust security capabilities right out of the box, helping provide them with a foundation for covering specific, strategic needs.

Performance

Business-class performance through powerful devices that are responsive and can multitask with ease is key to enabling workplace productivity. In a study commissioned by Intel, researchers found that slower computers can make an employee as much as 29 percent less productive, which can cost employers up to USD 17,000 per year in lost productivity.2

Powerful devices built on Intel vPro® not only help boost productivity but also help deliver more positive workplace experiences for employees.3 With Intel vPro®-enabled devices, workers and businesses alike can benefit from cutting-edge AI technology to optimize their workflows. These devices also integrate the best Wi-Fi capabilities for virtual collaboration.

Management

For small businesses where a majority of employees work from home, remote management can be tricky. With a PC fleet that is supported by powerful remote management technology, IT managers can help keep each device secure, manage updates and patches, and remotely log into devices easily. However, most of all, remote manageability technology enables IT managers to access employees’ systems without having to physically travel to their locations. This can help small businesses save on traveling expenses, increase productivity among IT staff, and enable stability that can help minimize downtime.

Business-Class PCs with Intel vPro®

Intel vPro® Enterprise for Windows enables IT managers to focus on their three main values: security, performance, and manageability. For security, PCs built on Intel vPro® come with enhanced hardware-based security features. With technologies like Intel® Hardware Shield, users can help prevent attacks and malware injections below the OS, help protect their apps and data, and help detect advanced threats such as ransomware and cryptojacking.

In terms of performance, a business-class PC on Intel vPro® delivers fast productivity and connectivity, an empowering user experience, and flexible form factors to support all employee needs. Finally, Intel® Active Management Technology enables IT staff to remotely manage and repair PCs, kiosks, digital signage, and more, even when devices are turned off or are out of band (meaning IT staff can still access devices when the OS is not working or unresponsive.) Intel has designed each of these professional-grade features and tools to give small business IT staff the resources they need to help their business thrive.

Product and Performance Information

1“Ransomware Attacks Fracture Between Enterprise and Ransomware-as-a-Service in Q2 as Demands Increase,” coveware.com, August 2020. https://www.coveware.com/blog/q2-2020-ransomware-marketplace-report#1
2“Demystifying PC Technology: RAM vs. Processor,” intel.com, date of access: December 2021. https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/business/small-business/resources/ram-vs-processor.html
3“Invest In Employee Experience (EX), Drive Your Bottom Line Growth,” Forrester Consulting, October 2020. https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/white-papers/lenovo-ex-whitepaper.pdf