In this set of posts, we’re looking at the foundations of a successful small business IT strategy. In our first piece, we covered the necessity of responsive service to deal with unexpected outages and emergencies.
Let’s look at the other two pillars you should have in place for your company…
#2 Proactive IT Care
What’s better than having fast and professional service when your technology isn’t working correctly? Not having to deal with an unexpected issue in the first place.
Proactive IT care is worth more than a lot of businesspeople realize. It’s not about fixing pressing issues, but rather managing things like device updates, hardware compatibility, and software patching. It also means managing heating and ventilation near hardware and keeping on top of things like cables and backups. In other words, it might appear mundane from the outside, but it can help your IT team to spot potential issues before they ever become noticeable in your business.
It’s much easier to handle IT proactively when you have a few different elements in place. One is a trusted IT partner who works with your company regularly, and on a fixed rate (usually referred to as a managed services agreement). Then, they have the time and flexibility to think ahead rather than just responding to error messages and emergency calls. Another is a stable hardware and software configuration that makes sense for the type of business you are running.
When you have a knowledgeable IT team working proactively to eliminate problems and issues in your company, things just seem to run more smoothly. You still get prompt service, but you don’t need it nearly as often. This is important, but it still doesn’t complete your IT plan. What’s missing is a bigger picture strategy.
#3 A Smart Technology Strategy
Even when your technology is running smoothly, you still might not be making the most of the tools that are available to you. There could be better equipment or software that would help you to save time or increase sales. Or, you might be missing out on money-saving upgrades, or potentially ignoring future issues that could end up costing you in a big way.
The solution to all of these issues is to have a comprehensive IT strategy that ties together with your overall business plan. This just means you know where your company is headed, and that you have a sense of how you’re using technology to help you get there. It might mean smarter budgeting, but could also incorporate backup and disaster recovery preparedness, mapping out an upgrade path for older devices, or planning the tech aspects of future location changes and expansions.
Given that most business owners and executives aren’t tech experts, the best way to get the answers and expertise they need is to consult with an IT partner who understands their company, along with its plans and challenges. Ideally, that would be the same firm providing emergency service and proactive IT care.
When you have a smart IT strategy in place, you give yourself a huge advantage over the competition. You’re looking ahead rather than just focusing on what needs to be fixed or installed today, and you’ve got much more control over your bottom line. Smart companies use technology to give themselves a leg up, something that’s almost impossible to do without the right plans and direction.
Does Your IT Strategy Make Sense?
It is not unusual for us to meet with business owners or executives who admit that they don’t have an IT strategy that ties their technology decisions and expenses in with bigger business goals. In fact, many admit that they don’t really have a technology strategy at all – they just move from one problem or purchase to the next.
If you’re in the same shoes, or just feel like you should be getting better, faster, or friendlier service from your outsourced IT vendor, then we can help. Contact Fantastic IT in Los Angeles today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll be happy to review your setup, talk about your goals, and look for ways to save money and boost performance. It could be just what you need to turn a new corner with your business in 2020!