Thanks to the new connected world, our businesses run 24x7x365. And while staff may not be on duty, or the doors may not technically be open, so long as your website is operational and your email box is configured, your customers, employees and just about anyone else on the planet can reach you.
This is a good thing for so many reasons. Being able to be found by potential clients around the clock from anywhere in the world opens up a endless opportunities for businesses of any size to expand into that which dreams are made of.
Having said that, there is probably one person in the company that doesn’t love the new connected world. Their name…” IT Guy (or gal)”
While a 24x7x365 business is good for sales, marketing and customer service, the IT person is responsible for keeping the company’s technology up and running, not to mention dealing with all of the “Computer Support” problems that stem from typical use and abuse (cookies, malware, adware etc), and on top of that they get to hold the hand of the company’s non-technical users who can’t figure out how to check their email.
And while that may not seem like a lot, when you add up just the technical support requirements of most small businesses, that alone takes a full time person to manage. The crazy thing is that is just the beginning of what the dedicated, or shall I say delegated IT person is responsible for. The list is much longer though…
Have you considered everything else that IT has to manage for your small business? To name a few…
- Telecommunication Services: Most phone systems are now on the network, and even for small businesses that don’t have VoIP systems, they still depend on IT to setup, configures moves adds and changes, and support the phone system (including dealing with the providers).
- Backup and Disaster Recovery: What would you do if you lost your data? If just one time you hear the screeching of your dying hard drive that isn’t backed up, it is enough to change your life (and behavior) forever. IT is managing this, because your data is everything these days, and most people won’t do this on their own.
- Network Security: Do you worry about hackers or internal employees gaining access to data and information that they shouldn’t? The IT department owns this problem, and has to make sure that access to programs and files is available to those who need it, but not to those who don’t or shouldn’t.
- Cloud Everything: IT knows that there is an application in the cloud that can “Do That,” whatever “That” is. That doesn’t mean it is simple to integrate, secure and support. However, the IT Person is on it.
- Domain Management: Making sure that your website is always up and running and that other sites, landing pages and marketing efforts are pointing back to where you want is also an IT issue. This includes dealing with hosting providers and their intermittent issues. The good news is that this is usually seamless to you, but it takes both time and know-how to manage this.
- Software License Management: Between Office, your CRM package and your business line application, the software requires patches, updates and license renewals. This has to be tracked and managed and is hard to get done when Jim in accounting needs a system restore done because he deleted his user drive.
- BYOD: Hear about bring your own device (BYOD)? Pretty cool that you can use any device with all the company applications. For IT, that is a big undertaking as every device is unique and requires testing and configuration. While the users don’t see this happening, it is keeping IT Managers everywhere very busy.