If you’re in the business of managing people, numbers, and finances, chances are that software is one of the least of your concerns. However, in this technology-driven economy, managing your computer system with the help of an IT company is one of the most important decisions you can make. Not only can an IT provider help protect you from security risks and cyber crime, but they can also manage your computer system in a way that can maximize your profits.

What exactly is patch management?

A patch is a string of code that is applied to a software system after it’s installed on your computer. These are added on to improve problems with an operating system or to increase the efficiency of a program. An IT service, therefore, manages these patches on your business’ operating system to ensure that the patches are installed and maintained correctly. They can also explain what each of the patches do, in layman’s terms, so that your patch management plan works just as you need it to.

How does patch management protect your cyber security?

As much as you may have heard about backing up your data, your business is at risk for significantly more. The human attack surface (that is, the number of individuals that are online and could potentially be victims of a cyber attack) will be six billion people by 2020, and many of these will be small business owners. Cyber criminals exploit weaknesses in existing operating systems to steal sensitive information, which can cost your business and potentially lead to criminal charges if sensitive information is compromised. A trusted IT company has information on these weaknesses and can install patches to keep your company’s information safe.

Patch management can also increase your profitability.

Of course, not all operating system weaknesses will necessarily lead to a cyber security breach. Some systems simply may not keep up to date with the needs of the businesses. Very few businesses fully utilize all of the big data accessible to them, and this can actually hurt their bottom line. If the standard Fortune 500 Company increased its data accessibility by just 10%, it would result in over $65 million in increased net revenue. For smaller companies, fully utilizing big data can result in an increase in operating margins by over 50%. In this instance, it literally pays to develop a patch management plan for your business.

Dipping your toes into the waters of patches and coding may seem intimidating, but fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert in computer technology to create an effective patch management plan. Building a good relationship with an IT service can not only increase your revenue in the long term, but it can protect you and your clients from cyber crime as well.