Consider something for a moment: aside from their size and the resources at their disposal, what makes a small to medium-sized business so different from a large, enterprise-sized one? If you really consider it, there isn’t all that much. This is why many SMBs have turned to managed services… to receive IT support comparable to what the large businesses get.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog
Some parts of running your business’ infrastructure involve a lot of time… time that you simply don’t have in the day. Applying patches, monitoring network traffic, and updating software solutions are all the usual culprits. In light of this, we recommend that businesses implement a solution that allows for management to occur remotely, as it can provide a great benefit for businesses with both limited workforces and budgets.
In business today outsourcing your IT management or project management is routine. It wasn’t always so. For the first couple of decades of IT for business, that was the only way you were going to get a piece of technology up and working again without massive capital investment. Today, we will take a look at the break/fix method to IT management and how it is far more expensive than you may think.
No business can be successful if it’s constantly suffering from data breaches. Therefore, you should take measures to mitigate the issues caused by these threats before they present themselves. Here are four of the biggest issues your business could face in the field of network security.
Chances are that you’ve dealt with the following scenario: You are working along fine and you try to open an application only to be rebuked by an error message on the screen that tells you that there is some type of critical error. You close that out hoping that it was a one-time exception, but nope, it pops up again. You think to yourself, “Why does this always happen?”
Tech-support scammers traditionally are people who dial random numbers and try to convince the people on the other end of the phone that their computer has problems and they can fix them if the user allows them to remote into the device. They use tactics that are as generic and vague as possible, to avoid having to mention any specifics; and, since some people (especially those who have computers that are a few years old) find that their system’s performance is sluggish, they will give these people access. This typically ends in disaster.
Vendors… how many do you have to deal with? Chances are, quite a few. Now consider how much time is spent managing each of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to reduce this time to effectively nothing? Well, we have some good news for you.
IT is meant to help your business function more smoothly, not hinder operations. This is the cornerstone of the way that most organizations need to think about technology maintenance. Unfortunately, there are some organizations that either don’t have dedicated IT support, or waste valuable time and resources working with break-fix providers who don’t have their business’s best interests in mind. To keep your organization from falling victim to these practices, you should consider managed IT for your technology maintenance.
Here are three ways that managed IT services can help your business improve operations.
Managed IT Lowers Costs
Let’s say that you don’t have a dedicated IT department that resolves issues as they happen, as it is rather expensive. You generally only contact tech support when you have already experienced a problem, reacting to an issue rather than preventing it altogether. This is what managed IT services attempt to resolve. By taking proactive measures that keep issues from happening in the first place, you spend less on hardware replacement, service fees, and downtime, making it practically imperative if you want to cut unnecessary costs. It’s like having a full in-house IT department without paying all of their salaries.
Managed IT is Hands Off
One of the biggest perks of managed IT is that the issues are often resolved without you even knowing they existed in the first place. Through the power of remote monitoring and management, your managed IT provider can keep an eye on your systems without even being on-site, which allows them to identify and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Rest assured that you will be notified of major issues that need your attention and awareness, but know that most problems can be resolved without an on-site visit.
Managed IT is Flexible
There are so many services offered by managed IT providers that you can practically pick and choose the perfect service level agreement that suits your needs. Whether you need something as simple as implementing a new email solution or the management of an entire infrastructure, managed IT services has a solution that can make your organization’s operations run just the way you want them to--if not better!
Your business shouldn’t be wasting time managing its own IT infrastructure--not when you have much more important things to be doing. After all, you’re a business owner, and you need to be running your business, not focused on resolving technology problems. Still, this doesn’t diminish the importance of proper IT maintenance. Managed IT services from Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. is one of the many opportunities your organization has to improve your return on investment for your technology. To learn more, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.
Your business relies on mission-critical hardware that keeps its infrastructure running, including servers, workstations, and networking components. However, these pieces of technology require maintenance in order to function properly, and replacement every so often to keep the risk of downtime and hardware failure to a minimum. Thankfully, modern managed IT services have yielded a solution to this issue that can make managing your hardware infrastructure as easy as possible: Hardware as a Service.
While many may consider an audit of any kind to be a pain in the neck or worse, they can actually be an effective way to ensure that businesses are following best practices and remaining compliant. After all, nobody wants to be the company that failed an audit. Despite this, many companies aren’t up to standard where their IT is concerned, and it has an impact.
Two major concerns of every business owner are the protection of their company and making sure their technology does what it’s supposed to do. It can be overwhelming to manage these two aspects on your own, which makes outsourcing the security and maintenance of your IT such an attractive option.
Let’s say you get a bill in the mail for technology support, but you don’t necessarily know why you got it. Pretty troubling, right? Clearly someone in your organization isn’t privy about the proper method of getting help for their technology, but if you regularly work with a break-fix IT provider, this kind of correspondence (and cost) is unavoidable. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.
The aforementioned scenario is created when you expect your employees to contact tech support when they are experiencing an issue, rather than contacting someone within your organization. If your company doesn’t have someone dedicated to IT support, they might be left with no choice but to reach out to someone who can help them, whether it’s in your budget or not; especially if it means completing a project on time. How can you keep your organization from being surprised by hefty IT support invoices?
It’s clear that working with a managed service provider who offers help desk support is better for your business. Managed IT providers like Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. charge only a flat monthly rate based on your service level agreement, rather than unexpected bills for unexpected support. You don’t have to worry about a stray call from an employee accruing extra charges since, as the call is covered under your service level agreement.
Consider how much can change simply by looking at your help desk solution in a different way. If your organization is billed per call for IT help, your employees might hesitate to reach out when something goes wrong. While these intentions are noble, IT issues that go ignored can escalate into full-fledged problems that can eventually cause downtime. Workers using machines that suffer from performance issues will be less productive, causing long-term problems and creating stress for your workforce.
Give Your Staff “All You Can Eat” IT Support
A good solution to the IT support conundrum is to give your staff access to unlimited IT support so that they can get the most out of their technology and perform their tasks with minimal issue. You want an IT provider that isn’t billed per call, but one that costs a set rate every month. This means that you can effectively get as much support as you want and/or need for no extra cost. This is extraordinarily important if you want a predictable IT budget.
But How Can You Get this Kind of IT Assistance?
We know a reliable way to make sure that your business never has trouble accessing trained IT professionals. Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. wants to help your organization get past the problem of a limited IT budget through affordable monthly payments for all-you-can-eat IT support. With a help desk solution from Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc., you’ll never be left wanting more with your IT support. Gorge yourself on our expertise and use it to further your business’s operations.
To learn more, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.
When was the last time you had to reach out to IT support, only to have to wait for the tech to drive to your office and resolve the problem far too late? This is a common occurrence amongst business owners, and if your technology is mission-critical, you can’t afford to deal with more downtime than necessary. How can your business more effectively take advantage of technology support? A remote monitoring and maintenance solution may be just what you need.
Remote monitoring and maintenance allows your business to get the help you need, when you need it. An outsourced provider can keep an eye on your business’s systems for any discrepancies and address them without an on-site visit. There are plenty of benefits that your organization can reap from a remote monitoring and maintenance service.
When you have components and applications across your network infrastructure being accessed by your entire workforce, it can be tricky to make sure that everything is working to your specifications. When you have remote monitoring and maintenance, resources can be adjusted as needed to ensure maximum functionality.
Unless you have eyes on your network at all times, chances are that a threat could slip into your infrastructure and remain undetected for some time. Thanks to remote monitoring and maintenance technology, it’s possible to discover threats before they manifest into problems and root them out. Furthermore, you can detect telltale signs of hardware failure and take preventative measures before something goes wrong.
Patching and Security Updates
One of the most valuable services offered through remote monitoring and maintenance is the ability to patch and apply security updates as they’re released. This can be challenging for a small company that may not have the time or resources available to deploy patches, so it makes the most sense for an outsourced provider to administer them. This way, you can be sure that you never miss an update again.
You might be surprised to hear that most problems that your technology experiences can be resolved remotely, without the need for a costly on-site visit. Therefore, it makes the most sense for your organization to invest in remote monitoring and maintenance, as it’s a mutually beneficial service for both your organization and your provider. You don’t have to pay for the time that the tech spends on the road to reach your office, and they don’t have to saddle up for an on-site visit. Granted, some problems simply can’t be resolved remotely and require an on-site visit, but the fact remains that the more problems that you can fix remotely, the better. Trust us--your budget will thank you.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can help your business get started with remote monitoring and maintenance. To learn more, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.
When your organization is suffering with failing computer hardware, you will almost certainly experience increased downtime that will result in operational inefficiency and an overall lack of productivity. In order to keep your business technology properly working for you, you will need access to knowledgeable technicians and their years of IT expertise.
Two problems that most organizations have with this is that either their IT department has completely maxed out its resources, or your organization doesn't have an IT department. Since easy access to an IT helpdesk may not seem like a necessary expense for the modern office, it is often overlooked; usually, at a detriment to the organization. As more technology gets introduced, IT problems are inevitable and Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.’s IT services can present real value to any small and mid-sized business struggling with downtime as a result of ineffective IT.
It’s a safe bet that you don’t think about most of the technology that your organization uses. Of course you have your computers (servers and workstations), and people are always on their phones, which if they are using the network, require Wi-Fi (routers). Your average employee doesn’t pay any mind to the other parts of your network infrastructure that all come at a substantial cost and will fail at some juncture. We understand the balancing act.
At Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc., we offer several IT-related services that hold value for any organization having problems with their IT. Our first consultation will be a complete assessment of your computing infrastructure. We comb over your technology to see that every essential component of your company’s IT is working as intended. Using the information that we gather from this assessment, we will then build a roadmap to provide you the support and innovation you need to get to where you are going.
Our managed IT services package includes complete remote support of your network and computing infrastructure (servers and workstations), IT consulting, hardware and software support, vendor support, comprehensive network security, and a potentially business-saving backup and disaster recovery solution.
If, after the consultation, you believe, as we do, that managed IT services can help your business see more uptime, higher degrees of productivity, and access to some of today’s most innovative technology, give us a call at (508) 622-5100. We can provide you with the peace of mind that with your network and infrastructure are properly managed so you can again focus on what’s important to you: your business.
How often does your technology experience trouble? If your business is constantly dealing with technical hiccups, your assets that are meant to be a boon to your organization, can quickly become a nuisance that holds you back. How can you take better care of your technology, and use it to usher in a new era of productivity?
There was once a time when businesses would only seek out technological expertise when it was necessary. This would be when a major component was on its last leg, or if they required new technology following a major hardware failure. Today, a better type of IT service model allows businesses to avoid the downtime and unexpected support costs associated with broken technology, by practicing proactive maintenance.
The break-fix IT model is one that has simply lost its flavor in the business environment. Organizations are leveraging technology in previously unprecedented bulk, and are now more reliant on technology than they ever were before. They want a more dynamic solution that doesn’t rely on them investing heavily in new technology whenever something breaks down. That, and the increasing amount of efficiency and productivity that organizations demand, requires a more conscientious approach to managing their technology solutions.
Thus, managed IT services were born. Designed to proactively manage and maintain technology, the managed IT service model seeks to take a more active role in the upkeep of your business’s technology. In comparison, the break-fix IT model takes a reactive approach, only stepping in when major problems surface. Managed IT prevents the problems altogether by handling minor issues at their roots, preventing expensive downtime.
Here are some of the top reasons that small businesses are choosing managed services as a quality alternative to traditional break-fix IT solutions:
- Fewer capital costs: Technology is expensive. There’s no getting around this fact. Naturally, you want to replace your technology as little as possible due to the immense up-front costs of doing so. This means that you need to take exceptionally good care of your technology if you want to limit your expenses in the long run. Plus, the amount of money that you invest in your managed services agreement can be recorded as an operating expense, further mitigating your capital costs.
- Reduced management responsibility: One of the key benefits of the managed IT service model is that your business doesn’t need to spend as much time dealing with technology repair problems, and can instead focus on improving business operations. In other words, the responsibility of handling your technology is taken care of for you, so you can concentrate on what matters most: running your business.
- Quality technology maintenance: If your team doesn’t regularly handle IT maintenance, and you don’t have an internal IT department, chances are that your technology isn’t getting the attention it needs in order to stay up to date. By outsourcing this responsibility to a managed service provider, you can rest easy knowing that your IT is being handled by seasoned professionals.
If your business is ready to start handling your technology the smart way, give Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. a call at (508) 622-5100.
The break-fix IT model can be exhausting and unpredictable. When your technology unexpectedly breaks down, you shouldn’t have to grasp at straws just to keep operations running. Thanks to the proactive approach of managed IT services, the break-fix model is on borrowed time. Will your business move on from this antiquated method of managing technology, or will it remain stuck in the past, unable to move forward?
It’s already a couple of months into 2016, are you still relying on a break-fix company to fix your technology problems? Using technology comes with its own set of problems. For example, dealing with an influx of new devices in your office, determining whether or not your technology can take another year of use, and budgeting around new technology expenses, can be suffocating. If you haven’t done so yet, now is a great time to cast aside the break-fix IT policy and take your technology maintenance and management seriously.
Are you experiencing performance issues with your computer network? Does it seem like it’s not running as effectively as it used to? Given the nature of technology, eventually, you’ll have to replace all of your computer hardware. But before you do, give your network a boost by trying these four IT maintenance best practices.
How involved in your operations is your IT department? Does your SMB even have an IT department? Many organizations tend to consider IT an afterthought because they don’t believe themselves to be targets for hackers, or don’t anticipate costly technology issues. However, these business owners underestimate the power of complete transparency between an organization and IT.