While investing in technology is not an insignificant part of any business’ budget, having the right IT services in place could actually help your business to save money.
In this blog, we share our five essential services to ensure that your IT budget is well spent and your business isn’t just surviving but thriving.
#1. IT Strategy & Planning
Technology is ever-changing and, while it’s tempting to adopt the latest shiny gadget or software trend, it’s important to ensure that you have an IT strategy in place that aligns with your business goals. Working with an IT consultant who understands business as well as IT, you can create a plan and budget for your technology needs into the future that aligns with the direction and growth of your business. Having a plan in place will ensure that there are fewer IT emergencies and less unnecessary expenditure, which is much better for your budget.
#2. Managed IT Services
With the right IT strategy in place, now you need a team of IT experts on hand who understand your business and can deliver IT support, services and recommendations. Managed IT services is essentially having access to a responsive helpdesk support team, combined with proactive management of your technology systems. All this comes at a fixed monthly price. It will save your business money because:
- IT issues can be managed proactively, often before you’re even aware that there’s a problem (so the issue doesn’t turn into an emergency).
- As part of the service, patches and updates are run on your computer system outside of hours and behind the scenes, minimizing impact and downtime to your business. This means your team can be at their most efficient and productive.
- Having a fixed monthly cost enables you to manage your cashflow.
- You have a whole team of IT experts on hand with a wide range of skills and experience, rather than paying for a dedicated IT staff member with a limited skillset.
- You don’t have to manage an IT staff member’s leave and downtime (as you outsource to us).
- Your managed service provider is familiar with your business and can provide advice and recommendations that align with your business goals and help drive growth.
#3. An integrated platform for productivity and collaboration
There are many software packages available to businesses these days. Growing businesses can often be stringing together many different tech tools, without really understanding the true cost to the business, which includes learning the new systems and making each tool integrate smoothly. We are firm believers in adopting a system that aligns with your business goals and strategy, offers easy integrations between apps, and is secure and reliable. That’s why we use, support and advocate for Microsoft Office 365.
Microsoft’s ever-expanding suite of business products provides many productivity and collaboration tools, cloud services and high-end security. As well as Microsoft 365 and the Office suite of apps giving you an edge in today’s ever-growing world, Microsoft offers flexible plans and scalable pricing.
With scalable pricing, you can scale up and down as your business grows or you take on projects. Flexible plans and service offerings mean you can use the Microsoft Office 365 products and services that you need now and explore additional features later. You can even mix and match to suit different staff requirements. As well as offering incredible benefits to staff retention and engagement through the use of these powerful collaboration tools, you can save money because you’re not paying for licenses and features that you don’t need.
#4. Cloud Solutions
Migrating your business systems to the cloud is now key to unlocking a plethora of great opportunities for growth in your Organisation. Your business is unique and needs the right tools with the power and flexibility to enable you to drive productivity while reducing risk. The right cloud solution will bring enterprise grade capabilities into your business in an accessible and easy to manage package.
Not sure what cloud solutions even means? Some business products that you could utilise using the cloud include:
- Having a phone system using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) rather than traditional phones.
- Backup and disaster recovery, so that your business is backed up and running as soon as possible, in the case of an emergency.
- Collaboration tools between remote workers using Microsoft 365 and Office suite of apps.
- A business grade, high speed internet service so that your team is always working at optimum speed and not waiting for the internet to catch up.
When you consider what it might cost you to have an internet service that constantly lags or drops out, an outdated phone system, or not having backups in place if an incident causes your whole business system to be taken out, you can see that having the right cloud services in place can actually save your business money.
Cyber-security threats and data breaches are becoming increasingly rampant, sophisticated and difficult to mitigate. Even more worrying is the rising cost of cybercrime to businesses. In Australia, the average cost of a single cybercrime is about $276,000. Implementing and maintaining a strong cybersecurity stance is crucial in every business, regardless of its size, and businesses these days can’t afford not to have adequate protection in place as the risks are too great.
A great place to start with cybersecurity is to learn more about the Essential 8 framework and ensure your business has a strategy in place that covers the basics of prevention, limiting the extent of attacks and disaster recovery. We are so passionate about security solutions that every client we support with a Managed IT Agreement has the following baseline inclusions:
- Endpoint security protection and management
- Network firewall management
- Security monitoring & alerting
#6. Adoption & change management
As an added bonus, one more thing to consider when it comes to managing your technology budget, is Adoption and Change Management.
Focusing on the people side of things in a business can often be overlooked but is one of the most important aspects of growing your business. Without managing the people side of change, even an organisation that has met all the technical requirements and milestones can still fail to deliver results and benefits. In our experience working with many clients over a range of industries, we know that organisations that embrace change management are more likely to achieve the intended project outcomes, stay on schedule and stay on budget. It’s all very well to implement the best technology, but if no one is using it, it’s no use to anyone and it certainly isn’t bringing growth to your Organisation.
By investing in an IT plan and strategy, managed IT support services, a reliable platform for productivity and collaboration, cloud solutions and cybersecurity, you can actually save your business money in the long run. The important factor is to ensure they are the right technology services for your business and aligned with your overall business strategy so that the business can grow and thrive.