In the last blog in the series, we explored the gaps with what ‘traditional’ IT Support is, how in most occasions it does not go far enough to meet the needs in modern business, and therefore highlight what most IT Support providers are not providing for their clients, which in our opinion, they should be.
As we identified previously, traditionally, IT Support referred to on-demand reactive support – a team of IT techies that were on-hand should you have an outage or snag holding you up in completing your work. While they may be maintaining things behind the scenes and supporting the infrastructure of your IT, their approach is generally static and not dynamic – yes, they fix the problems as they arise, but this approach does not allow your business to grow and utilise the ever-changing landscape that is the modern interactive workplace and the tools that it has to offer to improve the way you do business.
Understanding how things shouldn’t be, leads us onto exploring how a relationship should be between a business and its technology – and therefore highlight: What should your IT provider be doing for you?
Focused on the business and not the technology.
We have already covered the barriers on your journey for growth, now let us take a look at those barriers and explore how a good IT provider can overcome them and guide you to a beneficial relationship with technology.
- Time – It can be impossible to find time to implement all the new strategies and work processes that your new provider recommends, but a good provider should take this into consideration and implement these new strategies over a time scale that not only suits you, but in such a way that will be the most beneficial to the business as possible.
- Expertise – A good provider should offer expertise that most businesses simply do not possess – that is why you are employing their services after all. The provider should pass on their expertise to the in-house IT team – or nearest alterative – wherever possible, educating your employees is of the utmost importance to ensure that you get the maximum out of the tools you are adopting.
- Cost – Spending money unnecessarily is a truly wasteful exercise, a good provider will communicate with you on what your business goals are and how you plan to achieve them, they will then explore the best, most cost-effective methods on the market and communicate with you as to which way you want to go about achieving your goals.
- Being at the coal face/ pressure – Pressure, a feeling that business owners/ managers all over the world know too well. A good provider will take the pressure off your shoulders wherever possible, you will be in the driving seat making all the important decisions whilst they handle the ins and outs of your IT, this way you can feel less pressure and achieve a better standard of work.
- Spotting the potential pitfalls – You cannot know every single issue within your business, some issues may not even be viewed as issues until highlighted as such, a good provider will communicate with individuals from across your entire organisation in order to find any potential pitfalls a particular sector of your organisation may be battling with every day. This will also boost your employee’s morale with not only the feeling that they are being listened to – and their opinion is being taken into account – but because they know that their workday is going to get easier and more productive at the same time.
Most traditional IT Support just covers the ‘backbone’ of the support you need – and there was nothing wrong with that – ensuring the most important of functions that allow your business to continue trading are running smoothly and efficiently is important, but, in the modern technological age we live in, that is simply not enough. Modern IT allows the backbone to run by itself and therefore not be as important. IT Support in the modern age needs to put their time, expertise, and energy into the most important element of your entire organisation – no, not the customers, or even the money – your employees, they are the lifeblood that allows your business to continue trading, if they are equipped with the correct tools and educated on how to use said tools to their full ability, the customers – and therefore the money – take care of themselves.
How your IT provider should be delivering the future for you.
The strategic approach
Most providers fall completely short in this aspect – when they are trying to acquire your service, they advertise themselves as ‘proactive’ – and you believe them – when in reality they are sitting back receiving the service fees every month, all whilst hoping the phone doesn’t ring and they have to actually do something, and when it does, they take a ‘reactive’ approach.
The modern workplace brings its own pressures, the world of work has become a place to achieve more with as little resources as possible. Technology is the only way that this can be made possible, and if you and your IT partner are not working in unison to find and implement technology – and a strategy around using that technology – you will struggle to compete with the competition if they are utilising it to its full potential. This will leave you behind both technologically and when it comes to the bottom line.
As the stereotype goes, tech minded people are not good at communicating. This is a real problem, especially when it comes to your IT provider as one of the top concerns from business owners regarding your IT provider is the level of communication they can provide.
In a world in need of a ‘human face of technology’, and with a variety of different channels that make communication – not only possible – but easy, a good provider should communicate with you constantly, offering support, guidance, and education as the core of communications and other courtesy calls to retain a positive relationship and stay up to date with changes in the business. Do not settle for less, good levels of communication with your IT provider have the power to revolutionise your workplace.
As we explored earlier, your users are the most important cog in the machine that is your business, for all of its many components nothing is as important as the users, they are the life blood of your organisation.
Previously, the importance of the users has been overlooked by IT providers, this is unacceptable. If a user’s job is made more difficult by the tools provided to them, or could be made easier by new tools being offered to them, how do you expect to get the most out from them? How can they possibly complete their tasks to the best of their ability?
An example of this is with the introduction of Business Process Automation (BPA), if skilled users are using their time completing mundane tasks as opposed to the job that they were employed to complete, this is a poor user experience, introducing BPA will automate the mundane tasks and allow the users to get back to doing what they do best – being productive.
A lot of IT Support ‘specialists’ would have not even discussed a Roadmap in the past. A Roadmap is a high-level visual plan for the future, in this case, the future of your IT. It is a way of communicating your technological strategy.
Without one it is easy for your future to seem unclear, as we said, businesses in the past have become accustomed to speaking to their IT Support provider as and when a problem occurs so a Roadmap would not have even been on the agenda.
In the modern world it is highly beneficial to have a Roadmap, a good one can align your target stakeholders, like IT, software engineering, operations executives, and even sales teams, by creating a course of action to onboard new technology solutions.
As we have said earlier in the blog series, the reactive nature of IT Support in the past came with a variety of problems that we have already discussed, but one of the most pressing is the risk of not being compliant to the regulating body your organisation resides under. As I am sure you know already, remaining compliant is of the utmost importance. Not being compliant can have serious legal ramifications, fines, and can give your business a bad name amongst others in your industry.
A modern IT Support specialist will – as we said earlier – get under the skin of the business and really see how it ticks, and by getting that in tune with a business, learning what regulations they operate under is simple. A good IT specialist will keep up with changes to regulations and see that your IT adapts accordingly.
Our approach – Evolve.
Our approach towards IT Support starts by focusing on the parts of your system that are disrupting or threatening your business, once having resolved those issues we work on enhancing your system to support the strategic aims of your business.
- Protect your systems and data.
- Save you time and money.
- Advise you so that you can do more.
You can break our IT Support down into three distinct categories, let’s see what they are now.
- Reduce disruption.
- Better cyber security.
- Grow your business.
Now let us break those down and you can see how we achieve them.
1. Reduce disruption.
Disruption in the workplace is never good, especially when it is the daily IT frustrations that are causing it.
We offer a range of services on a fixed-price plan.
Our core services are designed to bring stability to your system – and to keep it that way. We start by getting rid of all the day-to-day frustrations that prevent you and your team from getting your work done. At the same time, we implement a series of proactive measures that prevent IT problems from happening in the first place.
- A responsive and friendly Helpdesk.
- Backups checked and fixed every day.
- Problems resolved before they affect you.
- Constant maintenance ‘behind the scenes’.
- Technology advice whenever you need it.
2. Better Cyber Security
Cyber safety cannot be overlooked, especially in the modern world, cyber criminals’ methods of attack are evolving and improving every day, so that means that we must too.
All businesses are at risk from the growing threats from cyber criminals spreading viruses and malware. An infection can be devastating to any business, it is essential that effective measures are in place to secure your system. That way the threat to your business is greatly reduced.
These days, the scale and complexity of Internet threats is unprecedented. Your system is being attacked from all angles. To combat this, you need a technology partner that takes a holistic approach to your protection:
- Cyber security measures are a fundamental part of all our fixed price support plans.
- Your protection can be further enhanced by filtering e-mail and Internet activity.
- We provide advice for your team about cyber threats and how to stay safe online.
A combination of these three protective measures gives your business the chance to avoid the risk, disruption, and potentially catastrophic ramifications of a security breach. We will keep you safe while you get on with business.
3. Grow your business.
Growth is on most business owners’ minds, as a rule they are very ambitious individuals. But without the correct tech tools growth is just a dream in the modern technological age.
We help ensure that your technology supports your business goals.
You know your business goals and your focus is on reducing risk, reducing cost, and increasing revenue. As IT specialists we take that strategic plan that you have worked out and work with you to align your technology with your strategic goals. Enhancing your system comes from three complementary and overlapping sets of services:
- We have been supplying Cloud solutions to our customers for several years. Our services range from Office 365 migrations to disaster recovery solutions.
- Fundamental to everything we do is our ability to plan, implement and manage Projects in all aspects of technology. We use structured processes designed to improve your system without disrupting your business.
- When you need advanced expertise, we have a range of Consultancy services. From a specific piece of research to a virtual Chief Information Officer (CIO) we can provide you with strategic technological insight.
With our experience solving technology problems for business since 2002 we are in a great position to help your business proper.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or are facing any challenges in your organisation, I would love to hear from you.
Your business and technology in perfect harmony.
At Evolve, we have turned the world of IT Support and digital transformation on its head. Our team of experts take a consultative, board-level approach to implementing technology that best fits the business.
Our process starts by understanding the organisation – its people, responsibilities, challenges, goals and obligations. Only by getting under the skin of those core components, can the right IT tools, applications and infrastructure be identified, tailored to and implemented within the business.
If you are planning for your growth or are simply suffering from poorly aligned technology that is throttling the functions within your business, we can help. Please make contact with our team to schedule a free, no-obligation, discovery call in which we will explore the challenges you face at-hand and leave you with independent insight and considerations that will help map-out the path forward for you and your business.