Oh; We Have a Guy
Imagine fingernails dragging on a chalkboard paired with the unmistakable high-pitch tone of the dentist’s drill hitting full speed. That is the sound I hear when a non-profit or business describes their IT, Information Technology, support with the phrase: Oh, we have a guy who does that for us.
Technology touches nearly everything today, and this is especially true in business. Take a look around you; the obvious suspects are there in your office but what about the technology “behind the curtain.” The unseen technology that connects you with everyone else in your office or that protects your critical information from malicious eyes. Entrusting your IT solely to “your guy” is not a sound strategy. In fact, it is a weak foundation and one that you should avoid. Build a strong foundation with the four cornerstones of IT; workstations, data infrastructure, communications, and security.
Computing is an integrated function of business today. Image the chaos that would ensue if you did not have computing hardware or software to drive the internal cogs of your business. Equipping your staff with the best tools, so business runs smoothly is critical to the health and success of your business. An experienced IT staff will translate the computing needs and recommend the best hardware and software for the job at hand. More importantly, they will also be there when that hardware and software fails. Yes, technology will fail, and when it does, you cannot wait for “your guy” to resolve this issue. Your business requires a loyal IT staff that will address the issue and keep the company operational.
Files are the byproduct of any computing. Rooms with file cabinets have been replaced by a data infrastructure network of file servers. Now, the file servers are being replaced by cloud storage. Ensuring these networks and files are secure, backed up, and accessible is critical to daily operations. This underappreciated and often overlooked task reaches out and influences every corner of your organization. From customer service, accounting, marketing, account managers, and operations. Ignore your network, and it will go away. A competent IT team will provide your system the attention and maintenance it needs to be secure, fast and reliable.
Communications is the proverbial business carrot that we are always in pursuit to perfect. An active organization employs robust communications empowering team members and staff to perform their best. Traditional phone and Email have been powerful communication tools. Improvements in mobile networks, instant messaging, online meetings, video conferencing and VOIP, voice over internet protocol, has come a long way in recent years and will challenge the traditional methods to be the principal means of communication. Your organization will need a zealous IT staff to implement and more importantly, maintain the communication system that keeps your organization in motion and conducive to growth.
The days of when a reliable antivirus application was the sole means to keep your network secure and safe have gone. The frequency and impact of data breaches by active cyber thieves have reached the point where IT has a new specialty in the field, IT Security. These specialists stay on the cutting edge of threat analysis and employ effective countermeasures to prevent hackers from burrowing into your network and stealing your sensitive information. Next, technology has transformed bulky camera surveillance into intuitive and cost-effective systems resulting in a sharp resurgence of camera surveillance systems in the marketplace. Cameras now capture full HD video and stream it to your mobile or workstation. Again, it is the IT Team who is best suited to employ and maintain the tools that protect your business.
As technology integrated with our work so that we can become faster and more effective at what we do, the role of the IT staff has manifested from the guy you call when click on this and nothing happens to the team that lays the foundational framework on which your business grows. Security, communication, workstations, and network infrastructure are the core IT elements. It is not too late to start building the IT team that will serve your organization well and provide a strong foundation for growth. If resources are not immediately available for a robust team, consider outsourcing IT support to bridge the gap. Having “a guy” on call is ok for landscaping and minor home repairs. Your business requires everyone to work together at a steady pace; gathering, creating and disseminating information so that the best decisions can be made and communicated clearly. At the foundation of that work is a reliable and professional IT team.
James Kazakavage is the founder and CEO of Attain Consulting, LLC. With 28 years of experience in customer engagement and business growth, James leads companies and organizations to attain their marketing and revenue goals through attentive communication, innovative strategies and tactical execution.