If you’re an IT professional I think you agree with me when I say ad-hoc IT support for businesses is a broken model.

The technology now exists to help all business types become more efficient in their day to day business and it needn’t cost the earth.

In today’s post, I’m going explain if your business is still relying on ad-hoc IT support why it’s truly a broken model and what the solution is.

Firefighting:

Reactive IT support, “call us when you have a problem.” This is a big mistake that I see a lot of new businesses making. They’ll go to the local staples or PC world and purchase the best deal on a desktop PC they can find. Install the system themselves then it’s just a matter of time before problems start to happen. Be it a virus, ransomware or problems moving their email to Office 365 the issues will compound and they’ll finally call for IT assistance.

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These compounding problems will slow down the day to day running of the business and when the IT company is finally called out to help it will usually be met with a large invoice.

What makes this problem worse is that it could have been easily avoided and if they’d spoken to the right IT company in the first place.

The big problem with Ad Hoc IT Support:

Apart from firefighting IT problems by providing a reactive IT support service there’s no clear IT strategy in place for the future of the business. This means that when the business is ready to grow the IT problems are compounded. Factor in the larger IT issues this will be reflected in the spend on IT support.

Whilst a set agreed monthly amount for IT support might not seem attractive the alternative is an endless stream of invoices from the IT company that you can’t control.

It’s also not in the interest of an ad hoc IT provider to fix the root cause of your problems and provide the correct solution. (becuase they bill you hourly, more problems for them equals more money for them)

The solution:

Fully managed IT service, this, in essence, is a formal contract with an IT company who will act as the outsourced IT department for your business.

What’s in the box?

It’s a combination of proactive and reactive IT support for your business using the latest technology to monitor and maintain your systems.

This combination of proactive / reactive IT support and managed IT services allow you to manage the IT function of you business with minimal hassle.

The proactive element of the service includes remote monitoring of all servers, workstations and laptops. We can spot when there are problems on the network or IT infrastructure before you even know about them. The quicker we can resolve the issue the less impact it has on your business.

Let’s talk IT strategy:

This is where the managed IT services come into their own. We’ll look at your business come up with a formalised action plan for your technology. This plan is aligned with your goals for the business. The whole purpose of this plan is to help you meet these goals more efficiently using technology.

What does that really mean:

We’ll there are simple solutions you can put in place from day 1 here’s some examples:

Have a backup system that’s regularly checked (this will protect your business from security breaches)

Swap out the traditional hard disk drives in your workstation for a solid state device. (This will save you approximately 15 minutes/day/machine waiting for your computer to load applications and process items)

Close look at your successful competitors. We can find out what technology they are using and what the market has to offer your business. There are some amazing cloud technologies that can really transform certain manual tasks currently done in the business. This can have a massive effect on what your employees are doing on a daily basis.

Where to get started with all this?

It’s a big transition for any business, we’ve helped not only the ad-hoc clients but also when there are internal IT teams that are transitioned into a managed service model.

The first thing to look at is your current spend on IT support and services. How much money has been paid out over the last 12 months of operation?

These costs can be hidden in things like:

  • New PC purchases,
  • Time involved to set up software
  • Internet connection issues
  • Server faults
  • Software licensing
  • IT support requests
  • Server patches
  • IT Staff costs

These are just some examples of where you are already being charged for time, and as you might not know usually part of a managed service agreement.

it-budget

Budget your IT spend – get a true picture of what’s going on.

Once you’ve got an idea on what the 12-month cost to your business is for IT support you can then approach the prospect of a managed IT services contract with a much clearer view from a price perspective what the difference is.

The added value:

As we’ve discussed a managed service contract is much more than just IT support it adds real value to your business and is not just another commodity like the electricity or water bill that has to be paid. Keep this in mind when you do go to tender on your IT contract.

Last words:

If something looks too good to be true then it usually is. I personally know of some local managed IT service providers that are charging less than £20/month/PC for a fully managed IT service.

The math here is all wrong and the market dictates like with anything – you get what you pay for. This is so true when it comes to what’s known in the industry as the “Pizza Techs“.

These are the IT support providers that charge almost nothing for their time. The big questions here is why are they so cheap, do they really know what they are doing? If you want a good IT service you will have to pay but it needn’t cost the earth.

Bonus Investment:

Imagine you got given a large chunk of cash to invest in your business. For every £1 in you got £1.50 out. Well, that’s what any budget spend on IT services should be viewed as. The right technology in your business will be an investment and not a cost. Find your nearest managed IT service provider using out online IT directory here.