Owners of small and medium businesses are in a squeeze. On one hand they need to find a niche to be able to be competitive with limited resources. On the other, operating in this niche today usually requires more IT resources than they have. So, how does a small business owner complement IT staff (if there is staff at all)? Here are 5 ideas:
1. Engage with an architect
When we build a house, it is advisable to start with architecture. This allows for planning to make sure that the entire space flows together and there is headroom for growth should we want to make additions in the future. Information Technology is no different. If current IT staff is only focused on day to day tactics, it will become more expensive to rearchitect the technology to fit the needs in the future.
2. Investigate ways to procure infrastructure less expensively
IT Manufacturers have many distribution channels and it is often very confusing figuring out the best path to get the best deal. Depending on the sector, there may be special price lists, there are overstock items in the channel and there are often promotional packages. Turbotek spends a lot of time navigating this maze for our customers.
3. Consider scheduled visits
Having planned IT managed services for your business is like taking your vehicle in for scheduled maintenance. It gives you the confidence that your infrastructure will keep running smoothly and gives you an opportunity to plan for repairs or improvements ahead of time.
4. Set up proactive monitoring
Small businesses are often in a situation in which they need to be reactive rather than proactive. So, when a problem comes up, they will fix it, but this often causes a firedrill and can be quite disruptive. With some simple proactive monitoring (e.g. disk space, operating system updates, etc.), one can diagnose and potentially solve problems before they arise.
5. Create a disaster recovery strategy
Exisiting IT staff may do on-site backups with tapes or some other means, but what happens if there is a flood as in the case that occurred in the northeast not too long ago:
How are you helping your IT staff?
- A sound IT architecture and procurement strategy prevents unneeded expenses both initially and over time
- Scheduled IT service and proactive monitoring will prevent problems before they arise
- Disaster strikes when we are not thinking about it and requires planning to avoid IT catastrophe