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managed service resources for building SMBs technology stance

8 Warning Signs You’re Using the Wrong IT Service Solution

Dreading your company’s technology review because you can’t show how your technology is performing? Have a provider suffering from a lack of ideas on how to truly accelerate technology?  You’re not alone – these are common symptoms for Bay Area businesses having selected the wrong managed IT service solution.

Who could blame you? The marketplace is crowded with vendors and tools that promise to deliver exactly what you need. Even the “do-it-yourself” path, with homegrown systems or spreadsheets, can seem like you’re moving in the right direction.

Sooner or later, you will sense “something is wrong,” but you can’t quite put your finger on what exactly. If that’s you or could become you, check out these 10 warning signs that your company needs to make a change:

8 Warning Signs You’re Using the Wrong IT Service Solution:

1)  Lacking a consolidated point-of-service for all technology related matters

2)  Tired of burning service hours on re-active support instead of proactive thinking?

3)  Bouncing between different relationship and account managers within your IT support’s organization?

4)  Weeks have passed without any word from your account manager or that IT Guy you hired

5)  There’s no personalization – Your IT support never seems to know your network, let alone, your name

6)  No one owns the roadmap for projects, unplanned work, updates, and changes

7)  The “out-of-the-box” support solutions were over positioned, and  don’t deliver

8)  Your “good enough,” functionality isn’t good enough for your management team

Coming to the Realization That You Didn’t Make the Right Choice?

Make a change — your next quarter doesn’t need to be a repeat of this quarter. The bottom-line is that executives need to know technology is being supported by scalable trustworthy, technology partner. This includes building a check-list of “would-like-to-have” features, “must-have” features and “deal breakers.”

Reference your list closely as you vet future products and solutions. Finally, it’s smart to secure feedback from others in your industry or channel. Consider inviting potential solution providers to your site, to your team a solution demo.

There’s no doubt this process is rigorous. But, it’s what’s required to find the best IT support and service solution for your organization. Contact Us – for a no-cost, no-obligation, conversation regarding unlocking the true potential of your business network and managed IT service solution.

Use Managed Services to Expand IT Support for Your Company

If your business is doing well, then it’s growing. Growth is desirable, but it presents some challenges that must be addressed for your company to fully realize the benefits of that growth. One challenge is increasing the IT support to serve the needs of an expanded infrastructure and workforce. That is where a Managed Services Provider comes in.

If you have an internal IT staff, you can add more people, of course. But hiring staff is time-consuming and expensive. When costing out new assets it’s best to consult a local salary guide, so you know the total cost including any benefits offered by your company. There is a better way: Engage the services of a Managed Services Provider (MSP) for added IT support. Always

Here are the benefits of IT support from an MSP (whether as sole-source or as a supplement to existing IT staff):

  1. Overall cost is less than a full-time employee
  2. Managed Services augments an entire IT staff, not just one person. (Creating no gaps in coverage for vacations or illness)
  3. An MSP can provide vCIO services to aid in:
    1. Strategic planning
    2. IT budgeting
    3. IT projects (Planning, Execution, & Management)

An MSP will have procedures and tools to work with an in-house IT staff to supplement their knowledge and skills, plus add expanded monitoring, maintenance, and management for your entire IT infrastructure.  When you need to add new equipment due to technical refreshes or growth, a Managed Services Provider will have relationships with vendors, and buying power to receive highly competitive pricing.

Adding Managed Services to your IT support will make your business more nimble and efficient.  Clare Computer Solutions has helped hundreds of companies realize the true power of technology, and how to leverage technology in a more strategic way. It starts with a conversation – contact us to get started.

The Ugly Truth About Cycling-Out Aging Technology

The rate of change in technology has always been rapid, but now changes come faster than ever.  This can pose some challenges for companies. Technology goes from being brand new to being outdated in the wink of an eye! Sometimes, it seems the ink has barely dried on your purchase order for servers or software and it’s time to buy them again!

However, as brief as the lifecycle on technology appears, there is an orderly pattern, and companies can avoid the “sticker shock” and cash flow surprises by implementing a strategy for asset management with a technology refresh plan.

Many companies don’t realize the importance of an IT strategy. They purchase technology as needed (often reacting to a crisis), then forget about it until it grows old and stops working. Then they have to act reactively in crisis mode again, and the vicious cycle is repeated. Cash flow takes a hit from unplanned expenditures, and time and energy are poured into damage control.

With an IT strategy, any purchase of technology is done after consideration of the company’s immediate needs AND longer term goals. The long-term IT strategy will also have a plan for scheduled technology refreshes to phase out aging equipment before it fails or underperforms.  In some cases, the refresh may include implementation of newer technologies, such as virtualization or cloud computing. Implementing these updates before the aging infrastructure causes problems will save money and prevent interruptions in productivity.

Often, the reasons companies don’t have well-developed IT Strategies is that the skill set to create and implement them is not available on staff. Working with an outside IT Provider can give companies access to CIO/CTO strategic planning, without having to bear the expense of hiring a person with those skills. Clare Computer Solutions provides CIO-level strategic planning for companies, including technology refresh, budget planning, asset management and long-term strategic planning. This helps businesses compete more effectively, and meet their growth goals through the alignment of business and IT.

Clare Computer Solutions can help your company devise and maintain a strategic plan for your company’s IT to ensure that updates and technology refreshes occur in an orderly, predictable manner. Contact us now to get started.