Whether to use Google’s G-Suite or Microsoft’s Office 365 is often one of the first decisions a small to medium business owner makes when moving to the cloud. Depending on the size, expected growth, and technical needs of the organization, what cloud platform one chooses may vary. Some of the most important factors to consider include security, collaboration, integration, functionality, and usability.
As in most things, the answer to the question "do managed services benefit small businesses?" is "it depends." As unsatisfying as that response may be because of our seemingly inherent desire to drive things to black and white statements, some benefit and some do not.
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
Unfortunately, when it comes to small business computer services, many owners, CEOs and presidents fall into the trap of short-term thinking.
How do your employees communicate and collaborate? Is the level of functionality in your office working so that everyone's best talents are put to use, especially yours? Although most small business owners are initially successful because (by being clever and intrepid) they can 'do everything', it also means that owners tend to take on all the responsibilities, working tirelessly to increase profits by whatever means necessary. This usually results in long days, as you struggle to pull yourself ahead while your true talents for networking, leadership and sales get pushed aside. Needless to say, this isn't the most efficient way to use your time.
Encourage Individual Strengths
There is a common misconception among small business IT support professionals about solving IT problems. Many believe that they can fix any issue by identifying which hardware or software is out of date and then update it, or if they’re not virtualized, they just go to the cloud. The reality is that these quick fixes only address the symptoms of a problem, not the root cause. To truly solve an IT problem, it’s important to put proactive planning methods into action.
In many ways, martial arts can be an appropriate metaphor for running a business. For example, there are probably hundreds of thousands of entry-level martial arts studios available for beginning students. It doesn’t really matter what martial art you decide to study, only that you get started and learn whether the art is right for you. However, as you grow in ability and dedication, you find that your needs sharpen and you need a higher level of expertise to guide you along the right path. You need a master.
I was talking to a business owner the other day who asked me “If I’m in the cloud, what do I need IT services for?” Inwardly, I groaned, because this is a question I’m hearing more often these days – and it represents a misunderstanding about the ‘magic’ of cloud services. The cloud is powerful, and has the ability to save companies thousands of dollars on things like the upkeep of a data center, but ultimately it’s just another deployment model. A deployment model with its own set of challenges, risks and questions that need answering.
When developing IT strategy for a company (if such an activity even occurs), small businesses often do not understand the true impact of technology on their bottom lines. If this is the case, IT may remain a cost and a potential drag on the business. Following are some ways to transform IT into a profit center.
Topics: IT Strategy