How reliant is your business on technology? If you’re like most, the answer is VERY. We don’t often think about it, but our operations run on hardware and software. What happens though, when something breaks down? Consider that question now – when you’re not in crisis mode – to save a lot of time, money, and frustration.
Basically, there are three options when it comes to managing your IT environment.
1. Break/fix technical support
As the name suggests, this arrangement involves contacting an IT professional, often a helpdesk, to fix something after it’s broken. You are responsible for preventative maintenance that keeps your network, programs, and computers up and running, so you only pay for service when there’s a problem. In the short term, this can be an inexpensive option, since you only pay for the service when you need it. If you’re not on top of all of your maintenance though, it’s a lot like starving your car of oil then paying for major engine repairs.
2. Proactive support
This option provides your business with regularly-scheduled maintenance and performance monitoring. This is ideal for businesses that don’t have sufficient IT resources to perform ongoing preventative maintenance or would rather have their scarce IT resources performing high-valued tasks. Still, things can go wrong (aging hardware will eventually fail) and some important IT tasks are not covered in this option. If additional support is required, the cost is in addition to your monthly proactive support arrangement.
3. Managed services
This is an all-inclusive arrangement that covers preventative maintenance, optimization, software updates, and even management of your other software or hardware vendors – and unlimited helpdesk support, at no additional cost. The key advantage here is in partnering with a single vendor that fully understands your business needs. It can help you to align your objectives with enabling technology, such as mobile solutions, e-commerce, cloud computing, or the next big thing.
The bottom line is that technology has emerged as the primary driver of cost control, productivity, and profitability. It's an ever-evolving area of your business that, in the right hands, can provide a strong competitive advantage. If you don’t currently have sufficient IT resources to enable your business plans, talk to us about a support program that meets your unique needs.