If you’re an IT professional, I think you agree with me when I say ad-hoc IT support for businesses is a broken model.

The technology now exists to help all business types become more efficient in their day to day business, and it needn’t cost the earth.

In today’s post, I’m going to explain if your business is still relying on ad-hoc IT support why it’s genuinely a broken model and what the solution is.

Firefighting:

Reactive IT support, i.e. “call us when you have a problem”.  This is a big mistake that I see a lot of new businesses making. They’ll go to the local PC store and purchase the best deal on a desktop PC they can find.

Install the system themselves; then it’s just a matter of time before problems start to happen.

Be it a virus, ransomware or problems moving their email to Office 365, the issues will compound and they’ll finally call for IT assistance.

These compounding problems will slow down the day to day running of the business and when the IT company is finally called out to help, it will usually be met with a large invoice.

What makes this problem worse is that it could have been easily avoided, if they’d spoken to the right IT company in the first place.

The big problem with Ad Hoc IT Support:

Apart from firefighting IT problems by providing a reactive IT support service, there’s no clear IT strategy in place for the future of the business.

This means that when the business is ready to grow, the IT problems are compounded.  Factor in the broader IT issues, this will be reflected in the spend on IT support.

Whilst a set agreed monthly amount for IT support might not seem attractive, the alternative is an endless stream of invoices from the IT company that you can’t control.

It’s also not in the interest of an ad hoc IT provider to fix the root cause of your problems and provide the correct solution. (because they bill you hourly, more problems for them equals more money for them).

The solution:

A fully managed IT service.  This, in essence, is a formal contract with an IT company who will act as the outsourced IT department for your business.

What does this usually include?

It’s a combination of proactive and reactive IT support for your business using the latest technology to monitor and maintain your systems.

This combination of proactive/reactive IT support and managed IT services allow you to achieve the IT & technology function of your business with minimal hassle.

The proactive element of the service includes remote monitoring of all servers, workstations and laptops. An MSP (Managed Service Provider) can spot when there are problems on the network or IT infrastructure before you even know about them. The quicker your MSP can resolve the issue the less impact it has on your business.

Let’s talk IT strategy:

This is where the managed IT services come into their own. For example, at Gopher we look at your business and come up with a formalised action plan for your technology.

This plan is aligned with your goals for the business. The whole purpose of this plan is to help you meet these goals more efficiently using technology.

What does that mean?

Well there are simple solutions you can put in place from day 1 here are some examples:

  • Have a backup system that’s regularly checked (this will protect your business from security breaches).
  • Swap out the traditional hard disk drives in your workstation for a solid state device. (This will save you approximately 15 minutes/day/machine waiting for your computer to load applications and process items).

A close look at your successful competitors.

We can find out what technology they are using and what the market has to offer your business. Some amazing cloud technologies can transform specific manual tasks currently done in the business.

This can have a massive effect on what your employees are doing daily.

Where do you get started with all this?

It’s a big transition for any business.

The first thing to look at is your current spend on IT support and services.

Then look at how much money has been spent over the last 12 months of operation?

These costs can be hidden in things like:

  • New PC purchases
  • Time involved to set up software
  • Internet connection issues
  • Server faults
  • Software licensing
  • IT support requests
  • Server patches
  • IT Staff costs

These are just some examples of where you are already being charged for time, and they are usually part of a managed service agreement.

You’ll need to budget your IT spend to get an accurate picture of what’s going on.

Once you’ve got an idea on what the 12-month cost to your business is for IT support, you can then approach the prospect of a managed IT services contract with a much clearer view, with a price perspective of what the difference is.

The added value:

As we’ve discussed a managed service contract is much more than just IT support, it adds real value to your business and is not just another commodity like the electricity or water bill that has to be paid.

Keep this in mind when you do go to tender on your IT contract.

Last words:

It’s easy to perceive IT support and services an expense to your business.  However, in this day and age, the technology in your business is an investment.

If you have not invested in the right technology, your competitors will out perform your efforts due to their efficiency gains which can be achieved by choosing the right technology partner.

If you’d like to find out more about how Gopher can help you, then feel free to get in touch wth us.

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