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5 things IT consulting does for your business

IT consulting is different than hiring an in-house IT team or using a third party IT firm to handle all the technical needs for your business. An IT consultant may only work with your business for a short time. They can also come in intermittently to make sure everything is running as it should and make adjustments or recommendations.

Here are 5 ways hiring an IT consultant could help you:

1. Make projects happen

You’ve been considering a technological project, but you are not a technical expert. It can be hard to launch other projects when you are focused on your small business’ day-to-day operations.

Whether it is implementing a new CRM, setting up services in the cloud or making sure your technology infrastructure is truly secure, an IT consultant can come in and make it all happen, finally.

IT consulting can leaves you with space to focus on your area of expertise while giving you the comfort knowing your project is not simply getting done but getting done in a timely manner with professional oversight and accountability.

2. Help you get the most bang for your buck

IT consultants can help your business save money by implementing new and innovative solutions. For example, virtualization can help your business run multiple operating systems on the same server, letting you harness the power of different programs while saving you money on server space.

Moving to cloud services and storage with the help of IT consulting can also save money on expensive physical data storage costs.

3. Keep you secure

Digital security is of the utmost importance in this day and age. One way IT consultants can help to keep your business and data safe is by helping you to manage mobile devices and policies around employees using their own devices for work.

An IT consultant can make sure that your team connects via a secure VPN to encrypt any data transferred between mobile devices and your company’s valuable digital assets.

They can also help you come up with policies that protect data during the onboarding and offboarding process when personal devices are involved. IT consultants can also further minimize risk by training your team on digital safety risks like phishing schemes and malware viruses.

4. Be prepared for disaster

Hire an IT consultant to get your business ready for the unthinkable. Of course you hope you will never need to use these solutions, but it’s best to be prepared. Let an IT expert help you come up with a disaster recovery plan for your technology infrastructure, create trustworthy backups and educate your team on how to avoid errors that could lead to data loss.

5. Communicate better

Communication is the foundation of any small business. You have to communicate with your employees, your vendors and your clients.

Having the latest in VoIP technology, seamless integration of applications like Office 365 and other modern solutions, and proper training on using these tools can make your office function as efficiently as possible.

Contact an expert IT consultant to get more information on how consulting can help with your small business IT needs.

The Technology That’s Necessary for Business

Today’s businesses rely on technology to meet consumer needs and stay competitive. Unfortunately, some small businesses don’t know which technologies they should invest in. By choosing the following options, you can make your company more efficient and competitive.

Mobile Payment Options

If your business ever accepts payments outside of your office or storefront, then you need a mobile credit card reader that lets customers pay even when they don’t have cash.

Most mobile payments apps are free to download. Many will even give you free hardware for accepting credit card payments.

You will, however, have to pay your service provider a percentage of the payments you take from customers. The fees vary from company to company, so you should look into your options before you decide which one fits your business’s needs best.

Some of the most popular mobile payment apps include:

Cloud-Based Apps

Cloud-based tools have become increasingly popular over the last few years because they’re often more convenient, secure, and flexible than using applications stored on personal servers. Cloud apps can do just about anything that you need.

Slack makes it easy for your team members to collaborate with each other and track project goals. Salesforce helps you manage customer relationships and improve your online sales. Concur gives you tools for generating invoices and reimbursing employees for travel expenses.

If your business experiences a pain point frequently, there’s probably a cloud app that can solve the problem for you.

Websites Optimized for Mobile Users

About 52% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. People aren’t as attached to their desktop computers as they once were, so they rely on their smartphones to visit sites.

Unfortunately, the site that you have for desktop visitors won’t work very well on mobile devices. You can solve that problem by optimizing your site for mobile users.

Optimizing for mobile devices will also boost your site’s Google ranking.

The Perfect Hardware

Of course, you’ll need some combination of devices to run and manage your business. That includes desktop workstations, laptops, tablets, and more. Choosing the right devices depends heavily on your needs, and how you want your organization to run.

Mostly mobile employees? You need a robust mobile-capable device force, such as laptops.

Have graphic or video-intensive jobs? You need a powerful device capable of performing right.

Performing cloud-based access jobs for the large part? You need a good all-rounder.

Keep in mind that you’ll need specific tools and different skill sets to manage and maintain these varied devices. Partnering with a managed service provider can help you get valuable consultation on the right technology for your business, as well as the management of it.

Chatbot Customer Services

You can make live chat even more efficient by adding a chatbot. A chatbot can answer frequently asked questions that don’t require human interaction. If the conversation gets too complicated, then the chatbot can always pass the customer on to a live service representative.

With a chatbot, you can always offer immediate services to customers. You may find that using a chatbot also helps means that you don’t have to hire as many customer service reps.

Technology changes rapidly, so you always need to pay attention to the latest trends and developments. Currently, you can make your business more effective by using these five technologies. Pay attention to emerging trends, though, so you can keep up with your competitors.

Want more helpful content? Be sure to check out What to Look for in a Work Computer.