Topics: Small Business IT Resources, small business it support, Managed IT Services, small business solutions, proactive problem solving, New Hampshire IT, Utilizing Technology in Business, small business IT infrastructure, IT best practices, IT infrastructure, IT Strategy, Networking, interviews, IT Strategy Planning
When I speak with other business owners, I field many variations of the question,"Would managed services benefit my company?"
As with most things, the answer is: It depends. Although we have an inherent desire for simple black-and-white answers, the reality is that some companies benefit from managed IT services and some do not. Let's take a closer look.
Topics: Small Business IT Resources, small business it support, Managed IT Services, small business solutions, IT Managed Services, Utilizing Technology in Business, small business IT infrastructure, IT best practices, IT Strategy
When you are examining your current IT solution, it can be difficult to figure out whether or not you are in an ideal situation or if maybe you could use some help. There are many different facets to consider when thinking about potential IT solutions, so to help you make the best decision for you, let's take a look at some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
Topics: IT best practices
In order for any small business to thrive, it needs to have an IT process that is capable of being both proactive and adaptable. Asset Management, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Proactive Process and a Security Process are some areas that can greatly reduce potential risks, lost productivity and improve return on capital investment. These are just a few examples of processes that need to be executed to generate results.
As the needs of your small business evolve, your employees within your company are often required to evolve as well – even if that means doing jobs within the company that they were not hired to do or trained to do – like performing IT functions. How would your small business benefit if your IT people were doing what they were trained to do instead of managing IT and putting out IT-related fires?
Do you know your company’s true IT costs? I met some employees of a company who were concerned that their IT vendor took a formulaic approach to support that was not adequate enough to resolve all of their IT problems. This approach is at the core of an issue most companies face with IT management: If an IT vendor takes a formulaic "ingredients vs. results" orientation with IT management, that approach will be less able to adapt to unique situations that are bound to arise. IT vendors are more successful when they take an approach of managing to results, in which the formula changes based on what is required to meet the company’s needs.
Whether your small business serves retail customers or other businesses, you are only successful in the eyes of your customers if you can meet their expectations of success - not your parameters. As a small business, it is critical, then, to understand what it is your customers expect as an outcome and then have a plan in place for ensuring you can deliver to their expectations. Because technology is one of the primary tools small businesses leverage in order to achieve the results their customers expect, having a comprehensive IT plan and proactive IT infrastructure is crucial to the success of your business.
There are a number of IT services that offer to audit your business and identify your IT issues. You should be careful about jumping in to do an IT audit without understanding its purpose. The issues an audit identifies – antivirus issues, spam issues, server issues, security risks – are symptoms of an IT infrastructure that is out of alignment. The natural reaction for any business owner will be to fix those issues. However, implementing an IT process that aligns IT to the business at the lowest overall cost solves not only the symptoms but the underlying cause: taking a reactive vs. proactive approach to IT management.
Technology in the 21st Century changes more rapidly than ever, and if small-business owners aren’t careful, they can end up spending all of their time putting out fires, updating equipment and worrying about security threats. Small businesses may find it difficult to support the cost of a full IT department to handle their IT management.
“Assembly required” is always a nerve wracking statement when we are making a purchase. Exactly how much assembly are we talking about here? It is hard to tell whether there are two pieces or 200 pieces to assemble, until the package is home and fully unwrapped. Even in circumstances in which an item comes fully intact, it is rare when anything is fully functional straight out of the box. As much as we would like to believe that commodity items should simply work, they don’t. It is a difference in expectations, which can be frustrating to say the least. When considering ways to improve IT infrastructure, any "assembly required" can be costly.