For many companies, their IT costs are out of control. Some months, they’re low, and other months, due to unexpected tech issues, the costs are much higher. The reason for these out-of-control costs is simple: out-of-control technology.
Technology is not something that can be installed and forgotten – it is interwoven into the business itself, and thus needs to be managed just as the business itself is managed. In addition, technology must also play a role in the business strategic planning.
Technology should not be a cost center
Handled properly, technology is not a cost center – it’s a cost controller. Technology can enable your staff to easily communicate, gather data, process orders, analyze business trends, plan marketing, manage the supply chain, and handle accounting. With something this important, why wouldn’t any business seek to actively manage this set of tools?
The roots of the problem go back to the days when technology was applied piecemeal, to solve specific problems. One person needed a better typewriter, so they got a PC. Everyone with a PC wanted to share a printer, so that was set up. The accounting person needed accounting software, so it was installed.
Often, little or no strategic thought went into these implementations. Each one existed separate from the other, and each implementation was considered an end in itself.
The problem is, as networks grow in complexity, with an uncontrolled mix of various technologies of various ages, things start to fail, and those failures have a ripple effect. When systems fail, emergency efforts are brought to bear (and emergencies are always expensive!), with solutions intended to address just the immediate symptoms. And that cycle can go on and on, draining money and energy from the company.
Align Business and Technology
The modern office aligns technology and business. The Information Technology (IT) infrastructure is seen as a part of the business process. Expenditures and implementations are made with this in mind. Any changes, implementations or improvements are made with an eye on the big picture.
For day-to-day operations, the infrastructure is monitored and proactively managed. These practices ensure, on an ongoing basis, that the network is up-to-date, and trouble spots are often identified before they impact productivity.
This type of involvement pays huge dividends, because network downtime is expensive – over $10K per hour, according so some studies. Therefore, if bringing technology and business into alignment can reduce network downtime by just a few hours, the technology truly contributes to the company’s bottom line.
When IT service companies take on the network management for a business, it is called Managed Services. The emergence of Managed IT Services in the past decade or so has revolutionized how businesses use technology to control costs and boost profits.
Clare Computer Solutions has been providing Managed Services through their NetCentral service for well over a decade. At first, communicating the value of this service was difficult – companies were too accustomed to the “break-fix” support paradigm. Managed Services also translates well to the hybrid onsite/cloud IT infrastructure model. Contact us today, and find out how your business can benefit from NetCentral.