There’s no sugarcoating it.
Technology and IT-related matters are tough to understand and tougher to master. However, since modern businesses rely on technology to reach their goals, it’s pretty important to get a solid handle on how to keep things working on your terms.
Good news –that’s exactly what this guide is for.
Reading this can help you understand the core areas that you need to focus on to attain total IT control. With that control, you’ll see a slew of benefits come your way, including better productivity, increased flexibility, boosted stability, and more.
Where to Start with Business Continuity
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already run a business (or even multiple businesses). And, if that’s the case, then you’ll already understand the importance of keeping your operations running smoothly at all times.
If you don’t run a business, now is as good a time as any to understand that without your data and your people, your business can’t operate.
So what do you do to make sure it stays running?
For starters, you’ll want to focus on crafting a solid backup and disaster recovery plan (also known as a BDR plan). With a BDR plan in place, every mission-critical person will be on the same page. They’ll know what to do, who to contact, what role to take, and how to generally deal with whatever disaster is happening.
The truth is that you might never be able to truly prevent downtime from happening, but you can put forth the effort to largely minimize the effects of it.
Once you master keeping your current operations up and running, you can start to focus on improving and upgrading everything else.
Setting Up an Outsourced Help Desk
A big part of gaining total technology control is making sure the little things don’t bog you down.
But what constitutes the little things?
Generally speaking, anything that can be resolved by a technician without involving a large-scale technical team. Practical examples of these issues include:
- Slow computers
- Email sync issues
- Hardware malfunctions
- File deletions
- Software glitches
Trust us – there are many, many more things in that list.
Too many, if you ask your team.
The main idea to take away here is this: these issues are nuisances that are symptoms to bigger issues. To get rid of them once and for all, you can team up with a technology partner to outsource your problems to an IT help desk.
The help desk focuses on keeping these issues off your plate so that you can focus on running your business. They should be there to support you 24/7.
In short, they help you create a more stable technology environment. They help you answer questions like:
- What specs should I look for in a work computer?
- I forgot my password. What now?
- Why is this popup here all the time?
- How can I fix my slow Wi-Fi?
When Do You Need Managed IT Services?
Help desk services focus on the day-to-day technology issues that your company faces. But to keep your organization’s technology running smoothly, you’ll want to find a managed service provider to partner with.
But let’s back up for a second. What are managed IT services?
In essence, they’re a bundled packages of services that help organizations keep their technology under wraps. You can think of them as an IT service “buffet” – you pay a flat-rate fee to get lots of food (services) that are included in that price.
“72% of SMB decision makers say that technology solutions can help them significantly improve business outcomes and run the business better.”
Different managed service providers (also known as MSPs) offer slight variations on their managed services packages. Choosing the right one for your organization depends entirely on your specific needs.
So why do you want them?
For starters, you can use them to outsource a vast majority of your mission-critical IT services. They allow you to consolidate your vendors and keep your tech running smoothly, all through one point of contact that you build a lasting relationship with.
Managed services from an experienced MSP help you get a set of expert eyes on your technology situation. They can give you guidance on how to best protect your data, how to choose the right technology for your business, and even how to make your organization more productive.
Help with Strategic IT Budgeting
There’s just no way to talk about total technology control without getting to the nitty-gritty.
We’re talking about the numbers, of course.
The aim of the game is to strategically select an IT budget that gives you the most bang for the buck. You must actively balance a budget that gives you access to the technology you need for both the present and the future.
Spend too little and you’re stuck with bad equipment and annoyingly troublesome services.
Spend too much and you’re stuck with wasting precious resources on stuff you don’t really need.
There’s a careful science here – you can perform an audit of your own business needs to determine the perfect IT budget for your organization. With your budget set, you can determine things such as implementation timelines and technology prioritization schedules.
In other words, budgets help your organization create a technology strategy to help keep the financial focus on your priorities.
IT Consulting for SMBs
Many organizations struggle to align their technology to their business strategy. And yet, it’s basically impossible to scale and grow operations without at least SOME sort of technological assistance.
That’s where IT consultants come in. But what do they do?
IT consultants basically come in and take a good, hard look at what your current environment consists of. After they’ve taken a solid inventory, they can tell you about your overall technology health and if it aligns with your business goals.
More often than not, it’s a mismatch.
When that occurs, it’s the job of the IT consultant to recommend strategic plans of action to put your tech back on track. If you’re tackling a specific project that you’re not sure of, IT consultants also stay with you to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
An MSP can guide you through all the options and make sure you have the best system for your organization, while having the flexibility to change as your operations change.
The core message is this: IT consultants regularly audit your technology to ensure that it’s focused. In turn, that helps you keep total control over your technology.
Strategically Implementing the Cloud
You can’t possible discuss modern technology advancements without hearing about the cloud.
First up: What is the cloud?
To keep things simple, it’s a system of shared processing resources that isn’t on your computer. That means when you access applications and files (often over the internet) that aren’t actually hosted on your hardware, you’re using the cloud.
There are plenty of misconceptions of what the cloud is and how it works. However, all you really have to know is that it allows your organization to take your mission-critical technology and make it flexible and mobile. Cloud computing allows you to focus less on the hardware that you’re using and more on the accessibility aspects of connecting to your data.
When you master the cloud as a tool for productivity, you can scale your organization to whatever size you want.
Attaining Technology Control
These six topics are the pillars of attaining total technology control within your organization. Want to know about something else? Think we missed a core aspect? Questions about anything we discussed in the article?
Reach out to us and let us know. We’re more than happy to create helpful guides for you.