Posts Tagged: ‘IT Services’

Is Your IT Professional Also a Trusted Business Advisor? They Should Be!

Posting Date: 03/17/2014  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up, Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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As a business owner, one of the best moves you can make is to outsource your IT services to a professional provider. When it comes to outsourcing your IT service needs, there are a wide range of service options that involve varying levels of management responsibilities and costs. An IT professional can provide service for a single specific task such as help desk support or managing network security. At the other end of the service spectrum, an IT professional can assume management responsibilities for a client’s entire IT infrastructure. The advantages of outsourced services are improved operational efficiencies, cost savings and predictable service for a nearly-fixed monthly fee.

Redefining the Role of Your IT Professional
Redefining the Role of Your IT Professional

An increasing number of businesses have switched to the outsourced IT service model. If you are already working with a contracted IT professional, then you have given your business the advantage of a head-start on the competition. The next big question is whether your business is actually making the best use of your contracted IT professional? It is likely that your IT professional is responsible for repairs, fixes and upgrades for your business’ computers and network problems. Computer repairs might be a key part of the contracted job, but there are probably some value-added IT skills that your business might not be fully utilizing.

Do You Need a Trusted Business Advisor or a Computer Repair Service?
Do You Need a Trusted Business Advisor or a Computer Repair Service?
  • Trusted advisor is an important role that an IT professional can fill by understanding the business owner’s goals and long range plans for the business. By understanding the “big picture,” an IT professional can share expert technical information while understanding various solutions, costs and the latest technology trends. Functioning as a trusted advisor, an IT professional can make experienced recommendations that are in the best interests of the business’ long term goals as opposed to implementing quick fix, computer repairs.
  • Decisions about new technologies might not be in the comfort zone of most business owners. How can a business owner be fully versed in technology and able to identify the difference between the latest hype and a proven strategy? Which technology is going to provide the best return on investment? Is it the best strategy to implement a new technology now or wait until next year? Is your business currently compliant with network security requirements? Is your data safe? If your business needs to update its operating system, is now the time to purchase new computers? If your IT professional is acting as a trusted advisor, these larger issues can be explored together with the shared goal being the long term sustainability and success of your business.
  • Technology coach is another important element of the trusted advisor’s role. As a member of the client’s “inner circle,” the IT professional needs to bring a variety of skills to the table including the ability to carefully explain technology solutions. The ability to really listen to the business owner is also critical. One size does not fit all – especially when it comes to technology decisions. A knowledgeable IT professional must be able to not only recommend the best technology solutions, but also make the best recommendations for a business’s particular needs in the context of their industry, finances and long range goals. A proactive IT professional will be constantly evaluating new technology products, solutions and reliable vendors that will best serve the needs of the client’s business.
Thinking Beyond Computer Repair Services

As a business owner, you know that we all need to think “outside the box” more often. Geeks On Call encourages you think outside of the “computer repair” box and see that your IT professional is a valuable asset that you might be able to utilize to even greater advantage. Geeks On Call values your business and we want to be your trusted advisor when it comes to technology solutions! Give your local Geeks On Call office a call today. We are ready to listen.

Is Outsourced IT Support Right for Your Business?

Posting Date: 07/25/2013  |   Filed Under: Consoles, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Numerous companies are beginning to utilize Outsourced IT Support, but the fact of the matter is very few people know what it is and how it can help their company. We have leaned on a seasoned franchise owners to help us uncover the answers that surround the questions about Outsourced IT Support and why your company may wish to consider this option.

According to a survey completed by CompTIA 62% of the organizations surveyed planned to make greater investments in Outsourced IT Services (managed services) over the next two years.

Q: What is Outsourced IT Support?

A: Removing the frustration of ensuring your computer, network, and server is functional while ensuring you or your own staff is performing the roles they were hired for and are experts. By allowing an organization that has the expertise and ability to properly support your computers, you can forget about technology equipment except as vehicle to help you in achieving a profit.

Q: How should you evaluate if Outsourced IT Support will be beneficial?

A: If you are spending over an hour a week dealing with laptop or computer issues, if anyone automatically associate technology with various “descriptive adjectives”, if you have more than 3 employees/systems or your needs extend past just one computer, you need an outsourced IT support crew.

Q: What products/services does an Outsourced IT Support model implement as well as support?

A: Anything and everything in the IT world that’s needed to allow you to focus on your organization objectives.

Q: Does this Outsourced IT Support model work better for certain corporations and industries than others?

A: Without a doubt.

Q: What questions should you ask when assessing an Outsourced IT Support provider?

A:

  • What is the service guarantee?
  • What is included as service?
  • Are added maintenance items charged or included in the monthly service?
  • Does the provider work proactively or reactively?
  • What is the expected response time?
  • What is the expertise and skill level of the provider? (Can the support networks as well as servers, etc).
  • Can the provider show a listing of clients?
  • Can the service provider actually fix things or is it just smoke and mirrors? (try them on a project basis first).

Q: What business indicators can suggest that an organization should consider Outsourced IT Support?

A: An Outsourced IT Support provider needs to be used if:

  • The primary machine(s) for the business are not recoverable or properly backed up
  • Minor issues linger over time (account details, email, install of Line of business applications and updates).
  • If the Infrastructure has not updated or evaluated for over 30 days.
  • If anyone person in the company spends more than 5 hours a week on IT issues.

Q: What benefits do your customers find moving to an Outsourced IT Service Model?

A: Less stress, more cost effective, single source of contact to solve issues among multiple vendors, proactive solutions regarding equipment and computer software, reduced time researching problems, difficulties, solutions, accountable historical data such as tickets and reports, reduced worry on moving to various platforms.

Q: Is there a cost savings when moving to an Outsourced IT Support Model?

A: Initially, no. After the first two or three months, the savings begin to appear. The start of agreement may be costly while the IT infrastructure is base lined and brought up to date. Afterwards, the ROI expands because systems demonstrate improved efficiency and reduced down time. As the IT Infrastructure recedes on the “front burner” of issues, the IT Infrastructure produces better return on investment by processing properly and allowing the business to focus on the primary company objectives.

Q: I understand this can be this a proactive method to IT Support rather than reactive, can you explain how that is helpful?

A: By finding issues before they impact the organization, any down time can either become eliminated or moved to non-productive hours (after hours). For example: if a hard drive is failing and swapped out during off hours, the computer is not offline from use and system / data is saved. If the hard drive announces its failure during the day, the organization down time of not having that machine as well the potentially lost files or programs can certainly linger and impact the company for days or weeks (or longer). Presume the accounting laptop or computer is failing: if it is repaired and operating without impacting the organization, it makes money. But if that fails and accounting data is lost for the year (or longer), the impact is felt for a year; especially during tax season.

Q: What should your Outsourced IT support provider actually provide and be the client to establish trust?

A: Honesty: If the provider makes an error, they should admit it and have a plan to resolve the error. Experience & skill: Not measured in years, but in work performance. Responsiveness: The provider needs to respond quickly and work to eliminate the problem quickly.

Q: Once the decision is made to move to an Outsourced IT Support Model what’s the process to convert a business?

A:

  • A provider should perform site survey and consult EVERY users for their technology  pain points.
  • The service provider should detail the transition method, the milestones, and offer regular status updates around progress.
  • The client should anticipate a flurry of activity for the first few weeks as systems are base lined (hopefully after hours).
  • The client needs to have control of the items being worked on with the service provider. For example the service provider, as well as client, should agree on the resolution plan and timeline before the work begins.