Technology today allows us to accomplish more tasks faster than ever before. Paperless documents, remote collaboration and video conferencing have all lowered the costs and increased the speed of everyday business at an extraordinary rate. The benefits of modern IT does however, come at a cost. Consistent maintenance has become a critical component of almost every business. The IT department is now as important to the functioning of a firm as sales, marketing, or management. The advantages that come with modern technology more than outweigh the drawbacks. It’s up to you as a business owner to balance both. In today’s highly competitive business environment the latest tips, tricks, and tools are essential to keeping ahead of the competition. The Cost of Great IT While well maintained IT is a powerful asset; poor, crumbling IT can quickly turn into a liability. Machines, servers and desktops need to be kept up to date with the latest operating system and security patches as a matter of priority. Data requires consistent back-up too. Poor security and data backup measures put both your own and your customer data at risk from attack. Regular security updates close vulnerable gaps, while backups protect valuable data. Strong security protects your liability against losing your own and your customer data. Determining what is and isn’t good IT practice for your firm takes the experience and knowledge of a professional. Good security involves more than one managed system to protect your assets. Good data backup is ideally done daily, involving more than a single copy in an off-site location. Without taking these steps at a minimum, a business is as little as one glitch away from a complete critical failure. Managing Internal IT The IT demands of every firm changes on a near-daily basis. Software is often added or removed, user accounts need to be added, removed, or changed and permissions require modification to suit ever-changing requirements. The time requirement of daily IT changes alone is more than many departments can handle. Many small firms deal with accounts, permissions, and software at an individual level. Wherever this is the case, complications inevitably happen. Software and services get lost and forgotten in the system, often polluting other packages and causing IT issues throughout the firm. User accounts are often left on the system months or years after an employee has departed. For reliable and secure IT management, managed group policies prevents bad systems. IT management allows staff to get on with their work without technology getting in the way. Data is managed at a department level, accounts are removed for staff that depart the business and software is installed by professionals. Using this approach the liability of the firm for IT failures is dramatically reduced. Managing IT Without Added Burden One of the major complaints about setting up well managed IT is the overhead that it adds to the firm. Staff costs, additional management, and the office space of an IT department is a daunting financial burden to add. Staff costs alone can make building an equipped IT department prohibitively expensive. Qualified, dependable, knowledgeable IT staff demand a high salary and costly benefits. In addition, equipment costs and lead time to get up and running on your business systems drive the costs even higher. Some firms simply don’t have the space required to add an entirely new department to the business. That’s why, for many businesses, outsourcing is the most effective way to update their IT without increasing business overhead. Outsourcing provides modern IT for a simple, fixed monthly cost. Removing the distractions of managing an entirely new department allows the business to focus on doing the job they do best. What We Do By trusting your IT to us, we ensure that your systems are up-to-date, secure, and fully backed up. We can keep you competitive by allowing you to accomplish more than ever before. Along with day to day IT management, monitoring, and setup; CITE can assist your transition to paperless documents, setup remote working, and provide IT assistance to set up the latest technology that will enable you to succeed. Allow us to help you do more than ever before. Bring your IT demands to us and we’ll provide you with the modern IT you need to let your business thrive. Call us at 605-791-2423.