When it comes to how companies manage their technology, there are different methods they choose or sometimes they fall into without much notice. Most small businesses will fit into one of the following situations:
1) Tech-Savvy Staff Member
Some businesses rely on that techy-savvy employee to help them out with there is a technical jam. The one part IT guy, one part another job title. Sometimes, that person is the hero and things return to normal. What about those times when the problem takes longer than expected? An hour, several hours or longer can go by and the problem is still unresolved, that staff member’s normal tasks have been interrupted and the company has lost productivity with the impacted technology. Perhaps that person has had a number of IT duties put on them and they can’t keep both sides of their work identity productive. Perhaps their IT knowledge is limited and they can’t provide solid recommendations. Not a good situation.
2) Dedicated IT Manager/Person
If a company has enough resources, at one point it decided to hire on a full-time IT person to handle their computers, network, and even their website. The salary of 50-80K per year seemed like a great idea to begin with, but more often than not that person is not busy enough or putting out fires that aren’t necessary. Whether productive or not, it is a huge expense and not necessary.
3) Geek-Squad or High-Overhead Managed Services Company
When a problem occurs, this company calls the big name tech support company like Geek Squad. They send out a guy who is more familiar with the latest flat-screen TV than computer software and after a couple hours of troubleshooting and several Google searches, the issue might be resolved (for now). You are most likely paying too much for the level of skill demonstrated, and you often get a patchwork solution without much of an explanation. If not them, it's a local managed services company likely with many clients, undertrained staff, and not enough staff to respond to trouble.
4) Off-Shore IT Support
Many IT companies advertise as local, but they are usually national or international companies where most of their techs provide remote technical support from Pakistan or India. There is often an accent that can lead to communication barriers, a ticket must be submitted before getting a response (sometimes with a wait of a few hours to days), or when support is provided you get transferred between techs because their qualifications are limited and the time to providing a solution is far longer than it should be. Also, there are risks with these companies because you don’t know how legitimate they are and if their remote access into your machines could breach your information security.
If you are the first two in the list, you are more than likely losing time, money, and productivity. The tech-savvy staff member is likely being drawin in too many directions and can't keep up with either regular duties or IT needs for the company. The dedicated IT person probably get the job done, but you are spending a lot on the salary for those one or more people when there's nothing to be done.
With the last two on the list you are not getting the quality of service and explanations you need. While with Greek-Squad you are saving money compared to an in-house IT person you are likely reacting to problems rather than addressing your list of IT concerns and long-term plans. With the off-shore IT support, which is often who you interact with for cloud-based subscription plans, you are often battling languange barriers and getting a script versus real help. With either, you are not getting someone who really understands and cares about the specifics of your business and technology.
Finding and utilizing a competent tech support and consulting company is crucial for every company whether small or large. It doesn't matter if you are a small operation with a few people or have 200 people under your responsibility: you will benefit from a quality IT company.
Many companies like to claim that they are the best. ClarITy doesn't think it's the best. What we believe is that we are part of a very small number of businesses out there that provide truly local, straightforward, personal, and experienced technical consulting and support for a wide range of systems and situations. We know we can benefit your business because we have benefited so many others of all sizes and types over the years.
Make yourself the fifth classification and give us a call to discuss your situation.