2013 Synergy Newsletter
IT Management For More Smaller Businesses
Most experts would agree
that, for the last several decades, the U.S. economy has grown primarily through the creation and success of small businesses. Entrepreneurial ship
(including flexibility), determination, along with human skill and technology are the main tools that allow start up businesses to rapidly expand into mid-size firms and large corporations.
Larger corporations have
made significant progress servicing and supporting the small business community. Specifically, a more comprehensive set of automated functionality
(mostly on the internet) that also continually improve and become more robust, allow small business employees to further develop their skills, be more productive and informed. Right now, however, helping businesses effectively manage their technological decisions is only available to the midsize and larger size firms.
This leaves one very important concern all small companies will face: How do you effectively manage the large group of technologies being used?
This is where the great
opportunity is - to service and support smaller companies in a better way and where there is a large need going unfulfilled. To effectively manage
technology, start-up businesses and small firms will need to confront a few complex tasks that Manage Service Providers (MSP’s) are experts in:
- How to put it all together, budget and coordinating everything from monitoring and securing all computers, devices and email communication. Identifying the most ideal configurations and proper software usage. Developing the company website, social media outlets and performing internet optimization.
- Buying the right type of equipment, software or service, knowing what technologies you currently have that can save you time and money. Recognizing and preparing for the different disaster recovery situations that can occur. Planning for IT spending derived from the company objectives.
- Each employee's aptitude using technology, even customizing it for their ease of use, to a company's website or other electronic forms of communication.
The smaller the
business, the more difficult this challenge becomes. Most small businesses seem to assign the responsibility to a "tech-savvy" person that has shown
interest and knowledge about technologies being used by the firm. In some cases, the firm leader or owner takes the lead.
This approach typically leaves much to be desired. The responsibility to manage all technology in an aggregated, cohesive way requires a decent amount of time to spend on it. One consistent issue with this approach is if something technologically goes wrong and a company resource is responsibility for both technology and another job that takes priority. That employee’s productivity on the higher priority responsibility will be hampered at unexpected times.
Small businesses can choose another option and hire someone that has the full-time responsibility to manage all technology being used, with the right background, expertise and skill. This person should have broad technological knowledge to deal with the large variety of choices on the market. Of course, there is a large cost associated with hiring a person for this purpose that most small businesses cannot afford.
When you add it all up, the tasks and responsibility, the time you need to devote to
technology and the expertise needed, small businesses need trusted IT advisers that can provide the support services and also manage IT well.