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The Best Software for Small Businesses

Written By: Ridgely Evers
Technology plays a crucial role in starting a new business. Often, however, the choices of which technology to use can be overwhelming for entrepreneurs. Small businesses that deploy technology aggressively will be able not only to distance themselves from their less forward-thinking peers, but will also be able to close the gap between themselves and big enterprises. Therefore, it is essential for small businesses to consider a progressive software that will allow them to safely and completely run their business.

Large enterprises have advantages that stem from technology, leaving mom-n-pop retailers behind. While small business have been quick to adopt computers, it really has not been anywhere near leading edge in terms of reaping the full benefits of information technology.

That is changing because of "on-demand software," also known as "Software as a Service" or SaaS. The big idea behind SaaS is that the software sits on a server in a data center, and you use it over the Internet via a web browser.

Big businesses have been using SaaS (and its ancestor "thin-client software") for years, because they could see the benefits and they had the infrastructure to deploy it. Lots of research has been done about this, but the bottom line is that those big companies used IT to differentiate themselves from their big competitors, and as a consequence really widened the technology gap between large and small businesses.

SaaS also provides a more secure way for small businesses to store data. Many small business owners are under the false impression that the safest place to store important data is in their own computer or in a server at their company. The truth is that the biggest risk to data security comes from within a company - a dishonest or disgruntled employee who could easily steal or destroy data. It is important to have a back up of critical business data located in a different physical location from the business.

Many worry that storing secure data online is unsafe due to the threat of hackers. The reality is that hackers do not present a large threat to small businesses because they tend to target large companies that have millions of credit card or social security numbers stored. Please note it is important to use a secure connection to access you online data (https not http).

Today, internet connectivity has reached the reliability of dial tone and WiFi hotspots are prevalent. Storing important data online also gives small business owners access to data when they are away from the office or do not have their computer. Data is vastly safer online, assuming that the place it sits treats data the way banks treat money. And, since data is accessible from anywhere there is an internet connection, entrepreneurs will also discover whole new levels of convenience, flexibility, and power for themselves and everyone else in their company.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products like NetBooks for true small businesses or NetSuite for slightly larger businesses not only ensure incredibly safe online data security, but also supply a platform for managing an entire small business.

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