Modern organizations have a lot to worry about. Of course, there are the day-to-day aspects of actually running their operations. But there’s also a dreaded tool that needs constant maintenance and performance tweaking.
We’re talking, of course, about technology.
Here’s the ultimate truth about technology and business: it’s a broad topic.
That’s why we’re breaking it down into sections. We want to make it easier to decide where to start and how to manage the technology for your specific business.
In the end, you should have a solid understanding of the building blocks of technology management. Ready to go? Start right here.
- Save Time with IT Outsourcing
- When Do I Need an MSP?
- Handling Internal Security Risks
- Protection Against External Security Risks
- Building an IT Budget
- Industry-specific IT Solutions
Save Time with IT Outsourcing
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve already got an IT infrastructure in place. You might even have some in-house IT staff, or a go-to “IT guy” that you turn to when things go wrong.
In theory, a few IT guys should do the trick, depending on the size of your organization. They can handle daily issues, like email sync issues or rattling fans. But this type of support isn’t proactive at all – in fact, it’s just a reactive response to issues that are likely to keep happening.
There are many business benefits to outsourcing your IT support, including a more strategic approach to handling the technology of your business. Outsourcing your IT support also allows you to tackle projects and infrastructure modernization strategies.
In short, working with a team of pros allows you to implement better technologies while minimizing overall risk. The outsourced team handles the issues for you, freeing up resources that you can allocate to other areas of your business.
There’s something else to keep in mind – outsourcing your IT support doesn’t mean you can’t keep existing IT staff. If you strategically divide and conquer your IT challenges, you can improve your overall technology posture and get on track to better technology management.
When Do I Need an MSP?
A managed service provider (MSP) is an expert in all things technology. They’re the guys that you turn to for outsourced IT services. But how do you know when it’s time to talk to them?
Start by asking yourself some of these core questions.
- What are my business goals? — Remember, you’re not using technology for the sake of using technology. If you buy a new server or get a new application, you’re doing it to improve the way your business operates. Start by solidifying your end goals before you contact an MSP.
- What challenges do I face today? — You don’t have to note every problem that you’re experiencing. However, it’s important to give them an idea of the challenges you face. Maybe your computers are running really slow. Perhaps you’re facing a slew of common PC issues. You could even be facing bigger infrastructure challenges. Ultimately, it’s the job of the MSP to consult with you and nail these issues down.
- How much can I spend on an IT budget? — This is a tricky one. It’s hard to nail down exactly how much your IT budget should be if you don’t know the technology you need. But if you can ballpark your IT budget, you can work with an MSP to choose a service level package that works to fit your needs.
These 3 questions should help you narrow down when you need an MSP and how soon you’ll need their help. With an MSP on your side, you get guidance from IT experts without breaking the bank.
In other words, it will become much easier to manage your business technology.
Handling Internal Security Risks
Modern businesses can’t even start to think about managing technology without considering security. There are two types of security risks:
- Internal security, which refers to potential risks that happen within the network. That can include malicious users, lost IT devices, social engineering, incorrect permissions, and more.
- External security, which is probably what you usually think of in terms of security – hackers, viruses, ransomware, and more.
Internal security risks pose a serious threat to organizations. After all, how can you manage your business and its data if you have to worry about threats coming from inside the network?
The answer is to take a proactive stance to security.
Start by enacting policies to keep your IT devices safe. With a robust security policy in place, you can decrease the chances of data breaches and security violations happening in the first place.
You must also actively work to keep your staff up-to-date on the latest security threats. Be sure to pass along information on how to avoid the top internal security threats. You can also conduct regular tests and audits to make sure that your staff is following security best practices.
Without security protocols, you can face fines, downtime, lost business, a damaged reputation, and more. That’s why keeping security in mind is an essential part of managing your business technology.
Protection Against External Security Risks
External security threats are a great cause for concern for businesses of all sizes. 60% of small companies actually go out of business within six months of a cyberattack.
In other words, they can be devastating. You need to avoid them at all costs.
Managing your business technology means understanding your goals and which of your technology tools will help you achieve them. But in the end, it’s all just a frail house of cards without adequate protection from external threats.
A solid security strategy begins with information – it’s vital to first understand what the threats are and how to stop the threats from attacking your business in the first place.
Protection against these external threats includes a healthy mix of proactive preparation and technology, such as antivirus programs, firewalls, and web filters. Much like internal security risks, it’s still critical to understand how to avoid the top external security threats.
Building an IT Budget
As mentioned previously, it’s really important to set realistic expectations on how you budget for IT expenses. Most companies enjoy slashing the IT budget because of a flawed logic:
“Everything works! Why am I even wasting all this money on IT services?”
“Nothing works! Why am I even wasting all this money on IT services?”
These concerns stem from both overspending and underspending.
The truth is that IT budgets need to be built around current and future needs and strategy, rather than immediate wants and problem patch-jobs.
Building an efficient IT budget requires you to understand the current state of your IT infrastructure and where you’d like it to be. Of course, along the way you’ll want to focus on ways to reduce your overall IT spending.
In other words, there are things that you should be investing a lot in, and things that you can afford to cut back on. Mastering the IT budget is a critical step in mastering the management of your business technology.
You can always turn to a pro MSP at any point to get expert consultation on the matter.
Industry-specific IT Solutions
Managing technology is a challenge shared by organizations through all verticals, but each industry faces unique challenges. Therefore, it’s important to understand that different IT solutions exist for different verticals – you don’t have to try and shoehorn them in to address your needs.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you run a private school. You’re in dire need of a laptop to deploy to each student. You’re looking for the best laptop for students.
Is it safe to assume that any laptop will do? Not necessarily.
There are technology partners and IT solutions that fit your specific needs. You may find laptops that come pre-equipped with scholastic tools that can save you money in the long run. But without consulting for industry-specific tools, you wouldn’t ever know about those options.
It’s not just limited to hardware, either. There are services and solution packages specifically designed to speak to your industry. You might find helpful resources on managing industry-specific IT or even helpful tips on how to filter content.
Talk to an MSP to see how they can help you explore and choose the right solutions for your organization. With the right tools at your disposal, you can manage your business technology far more easily and effectively.
Managing Your Business Technology with EaseTech
We’re here to help you implement and master the technology your organization needs to succeed. When you partner with us, we take care of your IT management so that you can focus on your business.
If you want to know more about IT solutions or how we can help you, feel free to reach out to us.