Does every day feel like Groundhog Day in your IT department? Your helpdesk keeps getting calls about the same issues. The same technicians get dispatched to fix the same problems. Meanwhile, critical functions get pushed aside and important security patches and upgrades get missed or delayed. Again.
Even though the classic comedy movie, Groundhog Day received a thumbs up from critics of its time; when it comes to your IT department, repeating the same mistakes is a big thumbs down. But they don’t have to feel doomed to relive the same day over and over again.
Here are ways your organization can equip and empower your valued IT team members so they can be freed to focus on strategic, critical functions that can both protect and grow your business.
Provide Adequate Tech Support
Many organizations lack a dedicated IT person to address their technology needs, and it’s not unusual for the employee who displays the greatest knowledge about computers to be called away from their normal duties to help troubleshoot a problem.
The National Small Business Association (NSBA) estimates that 40% of small businesses try to handle technical issues by themselves and many lack the knowledge to handle major issues and threats. It’s not that some of these businesses fail to see the need for greater technology support; they often lack the resources to hire a dedicated and qualified IT professional.
A growing trend among small and mid-sized organizations is to work with an outside technology provider that can assess current needs, identify potential risks and provide the necessary expertise to equip organizations with the technology and support they need. This option is often more cost-effective than hiring an additional IT professional or CIO. Some innovative technology providers provide a dedicated virtual CIO (vCIO) to provide recommendations, maintain a working relationship and overcome technology challenges, so be sure to thoroughly vet your options.
The technology landscape is rapidly evolving, and equipment and software can become obsolete just as quickly. Keeping up with the latest innovations, equipment, software, upgrades and security patches is a never-ending challenge for IT personnel, and it’s imperative for organizations to provide ongoing training to mitigate the risks of downtime associated with technology issues.
Often overlooked, however, is training of non-IT staff. If calls to the helpdesk about the same issues happen over and over again, such as printer jams, slow computers or suspicious emails, the issue may lie in inadequate training of the users. Work with your IT team and help train employees on various common issues including tips for preventing phishing scams, common printer-related issues they can fix themselves and other common issues that chip away at IT productivity. If you rely on a technology services provider, ask them about training and resources to offer your employees.
Improve Your Backup Strategy
What would you do if your systems went down… and never recovered? Sadly, a staggering 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within six months. Is your backup system reliable? How would you know? Has it been tested? If you’re not certain, these questions should cause great concern. If you’re repeatedly backing up your systems to a system that is unproven, untested and unreliable, it’s like not having a backup at all, and it could end up being the most costly IT mistake you ever make.
Work with a technical expert to assess your current backup strategy, and develop a disaster recovery plan or a . With cyberattacks and data breaches expected to increase as the world becomes more and more connected online, it may just be the most important step you take.
Update Your Technology
The average lifespan of a typical computer is anywhere from three to five years. As computers age, they are less able to handle the influx of new software, updates, increased data loads and compatibility requirements of emerging technologies. Repeated sudden shutdowns, slow startups, buffering and the dreaded blue screen of death prompt panicked workers to call for IT help on a more frequent basis.
New technology can take up a sizable chunk of an organization’s budget. For many, the option of leasing equipment through a Managed IT provider is the best route to go. They can offer the latest technology and a service plan to go along with it to alleviate the strain on your IT staff (and the frustration of your workers). Rather than having to budget for a major capital expense all at once, you’ll have a fixed monthly payment that evens out cash flow over the course of the agreement. A qualified provider will also have a 24/7 help desk and technical support that is built into the agreement so there are no unexpected repair costs. Issues are dealt with promptly by fully trained and experienced technicians — removing the burden on your budget and your staff.
Whether you handle IT issues yourself or have a dedicated IT team, avoiding common mistakes that rob productivity is in the best interest of your company and your employees. If you’d like to know more about how a Managed IT solution can work with your current IT structure and help your organization meet its technology challenges, contact the Gordon Flesch Company for a no-cost consultation. You might just discover a new day is dawning.