Who would you trust more to care for your sick child – a friend Googling symptoms or a licensed healthcare professional?
Unless the friend happens to be a doctor – it’s safe to presume you would rather have a medical professional look after your loved one.
Why then when it comes to dealing with things around the office, most people have almost no problem calling in a subject-matter expert to handle the issue. Air conditioning stopped running? Bring in an HVAC certified professional. Simple, right? Yet, it seems that there’s one notable exception: technology issues.
How many devices and technology solutions does your organization have to manage on a day-to-day basis? More often than not, small businesses have a limited quantity to work with for IT services, whether it’s a budget that’s too small or a workforce that’s too stretched. The problem is that IT troubles wait for no one, so you have to do everything you can to prevent them–even if it means asking for help from others.
All businesses need technology to function properly, at least to a certain extent. Depending on how heavily they rely on technology for operations, however, they will need varying degrees of support. Some businesses are fortunate enough to have an in-house IT department that can handle most any request, but others depend on employees being their own tech support option. Needless to say this isn’t the preferable scenario to be in.
Some business decisions are easy, like when to go to lunch, for example. Others aren’t nearly as cut and dry, like where to go for lunch. If you think that one’s tough, consider the weight of some of the decisions you have to make concerning your business’ technology. Here, we’ll review a few ways to help simplify the decision-making process for you and your team.
If you have an internal IT administrator, they might be pretty stressed about your business’ security. Why? Simple – there’s a good chance that they feel trapped in a few common situations. Let’s review some stresses that influence IT employees, negatively affecting your security.
There’s no way around it; your business relies on technology to operate. From computers and servers to phones and email, every part of your business is affected by technology. How does your company manage all its technology solutions? A lot of small businesses don’t have the budget or staff to maintain a company’s worth of technology effectively. For situations like this, looking at a managed service provider can offer your organization substantial value.
How a business, big or small, uses technology depends on its industry. What’s universal is the need for IT support. It’s only a matter of time when a computer acts up, a printer stops working, or any of the countless tech-related issues occur. When these problems arise, who takes care of them?
The service level agreement (SLA) is a fundamental piece of the client/service provider relationship. It sets the groundwork for expectations through the entirety of the contract. Without the SLA, there would be no way to measure success or failure or to keep anyone accountable. Regarding outsourcing IT, a service level agreement establishes benchmarks for all technical services, including downtime guarantees and response time expectations. Learn what a service level agreement is and how both the client and service provider can benefit.
The selection process of any vendor is an intensive process. You need to find the right balance of expertise, services available, and how they fit into your business’ budget. It’s no different when looking for a qualified managed IT service provider. Much like hiring a new employee, a few key qualifications should help you gauge the worth of the provider. Knowing what to look for is the hard part. Let’s go over a few of the significant things to look for when selecting a managed IT service provider.
IT serves an essential role in your business. Each department, from accounting to marketing and everything in-between, relies on up-to-date software and hardware for their daily functions. But IT isn’t just about keeping your computers and software current.
Network and information security is a crucial part of an IT departments role. With threats evolving fast, having a robust network security structure is an important defense. A well-trained and experienced staff is needed to keep it properly maintained.
So, for a small business, it’s not whether you need to have an IT department or not, it’s whether to hire in-house or outsource IT to a managed service provider. To make the best decision for your business, you’ll need to look at what each option can provide for your organization.