A business has many components that help it generate revenue. In general, the background consists of departments like manufacturing, payroll, and accounting. As the company grows, it also encompasses information technology into the environment. The IT department is extremely important for any size of business.
Most operations take place over the internet. Even production machines utilize the Internet of Things (IoT) to alert workers and managers to issues. However, not all businesses can bring on a full-time IT team. So, how can an organization work on normal and abnormal IT issues without going over their budgets? Here are a few tips on how your business can manage your IT services.
Go To The Cloud
The best way to minimize hardware maintenance and issues is to not have any. Overall, the servers you own eventually run out of space or become obsolete. Also, their failures can result in lost data and income. The solution in this scenario is to move your data storage to the Cloud. Applications like OneDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive have the capacity to store multiple terabytes (TB) of data. Furthermore, they have enough redundancy to maintain its integrity if there’s an outage or malicious activity occurs on their end.
On top of this, Cloud companies have the capacity to expand your storage needs as you grow. This is critical if you begin to deal with Big Data. When that happens, Cloud services have the ability not only to store the information but also to compile it for rapid retrieval.
The best way is to outsource your IT operations. You wouldn’t be alone. Close to 40 percent of small businesses outsource IT services along with accounting and digital marketing. Several advantages exist when you choose these managed IT services. Foremost, you save money. You don’t pay individual salaries for each IT employee. Instead, you pay a company for the services of their subject matter experts.
Second, you save time. You don’t have to spend weeks going through a pool of interviewees to determine which ones have the most experience. Nor do you have to do another round of interviews when an IT person leaves.
Third, the managed IT service can grow with you. In fact, the organization will probably work on a proactive plan with your administrative team. In that way, a process is in place as your business moves to the next level.
Here, you don’t outsource all of your IT services. Instead, you take on some responsibilities. For instance, you might maintain the necessary hardware while a Software as a Service (SaaS) team deals with your internal and customer-facing applications. Conversely, if your business is based on software development, then you want to bring on a Hardware as a Service (HaaS) team to handle storage and network issues.
You may handle both the hardware and software but need someone to handle your networks and security. For those, you bring on an outside network operations center. They set up the necessary monitoring tools to maintain solid connections and minimize malicious activity.
ERP and CRM
If you do manage your IT services, the one thing you need to do is consolidate. Too many software packages result in potential data losses and incompatibility between applications. This can be a problem when dealing with customer records and tracking sales. For this, you want to consider two different packages. For customer relations, you want to look at a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. To track a sale from initial interaction to completion, you want to look at an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool.
Both of these consolidate all of your customer information into data points that you can track throughout the process. In many cases, CRMs and ERPs work together to report on successes and issues that must be resolved. Needless to say, there are ways you can manage your IT services without much difficulty. That’s good news because it allows you to focus your time on increasing your client base. However, it’s not something you can do on the fly.
Make sure you research all of the components you wish to outsource. If you want to hire a small team for internal matters, they need to be fully vetted on their experience.