The IT Support Learning Hub
The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.
You’ve probably heard the term “managed services.” You might have wondered what it meant and if it had anything to do with your small business. You’ve also probably heard the term outsourcing. Those words are often used interchangeably. In a nutshell, outsourcing or managed services, means that a third-party acts as your IT department. Or in some cases, supplements your current in-house IT department. Do you have an IT department? Is your in-house IT team limited on time, resources, or ability? It might be time to check out what outsourcing can do for you.
Let’s just be honest, switching vendors for almost any reason can be a distraction and a time snatcher. But sometimes it’s the right move for your company long term. Changing IT vendors doesn’t have to be that hard if it’s planned out in advance. Perhaps your contract is up, or you’re not getting what you need from your current arrangement. Either way, moving to a new IT provider should be about adding value to your company. But value can be lost in transition if your processes, needs, and expectations are not planned and communicated beforehand. The transition might be the hardest part of your new IT services contract, but it doesn’t have to be.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
Here in Southern California, we take it for granted that growing season extends throughout the year. Did you know that our state leads the nation in agricultural production? Food grown here makes its way to grocery stores and food processors, not only all over the country, but all over the world. The reason why California has been able to become an agricultural leader is largely due to the climate, and conditions that are conducive to growth. As you seek to grow your business, it’s vital that you create conditions that are conducive to business growth. Here are seven ways that managed IT services helps you to do that.
Can you believe how quickly February has passed? It certainly flew by for me. We've had a lot going on this month and I thought I'd share a bit from behind the scenes. Here is a quick update on what we have been focusing on this month:
Did you make any new year's resolutions as the calendar turned over to 2019? In addition to the usual personal resolutions, such as eating healthy and spending more time with family, I encourage business owners and managers to add a few business resolutions to their list. Information technology is critical to operations for most companies and has the power to stop, or at least disrupt, business if things aren’t going well. When utilized properly, information technology can give companies a strategic advantage and help them accomplish their business goals and objectives.
It's not too early for business owners and managers to update their business plan for the coming year. Planning is necessary to not only make sure that you'll meet your 2019 goals, but to set up a realistic timeline for execution. For example, let’s just say that your 2019 goal is to add an additional million dollars to your business. How are you going to do that? What is going to be different about the way your business operates in order to make that happen? Can any functions be automated or outsourced? Will you be hiring any additional resources? Will you be moving or opening a new location?
IT departments really are some of the hardest working, unsung heroes in your company. You probably couldn’t even fathom all the things they’re doing behind the scenes to “make it work” on a day-to-day basis. For most organizations, it's not feasible to hire enough experts in EVERYTHING you need from an IT support perspective to work in a productive, profitable manner. Adding a managed IT service provider (MSP) to your already stellar IT department, could remedy any gaps in your department’s expertise, and give you the reliable stability you need to thrive. Sounds like a win-win, right? Unfortunately, we still run into many IT departments of small to mid-sized businesses that feel like having an outsourced IT provider involved is competition --that somehow the IT staff is seen as less competent if they need “outside” help. But hear me out, because I'm going to make a case for the exact opposite.
Keeping up with technology these days feels impossible, or is it just me? It seems like every day there is a new acronym, or a term that has taken over a new identity, like the Cloud. With advancements happening so rapidly, it can be overwhelming, leaving your business hanging in flux. Trying to define what actually gives your small business a competitive edge and what's fluff is a full time job.
A lot of small to mid-sized businesses have already made the plunge into Cloud Computing, or some form of Cloud services. For those of you currently thinking about it or planning for it, we'd like to give you a realistic view of what moving your business environment to the Cloud could mean. Unfortunately, it's not the most natural thing for your current business environment to transition to the Cloud. You'll need qualified support to get the process underway. Let’s look at some of the commonly overlooked factors of moving to the Cloud – specifically, how it will impact your employees.
You’ve had an IT manager for the last 15 years, and he’s (or she's) just told you that he’s retiring. He knows your business and your systems intimately – he might have even built them! So, how will you fill his shoes? How will you get what you need once when he’s gone?