Build Your Business,
Forget Your Technology
Starting or running a business endows one with a never-ending list of action items. Whether as a sole proprietor who must wear many hats in the beginning phases of a business endeavor or as CEO of a growing multi-million-dollar organization, your To-Do list never seems to shorten. Technology is important to getting it all done, but technology should never be allowed to kill momentum by going awry.
The saying “Time is money” is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Whether this aphorism was truly coined by Franklin is irrelevant, but as a business leader, you know that time spent doing the right activities is what produces results within your organization. The wrong actions, given precedence, slow productivity. When technology fails, productivity can go from bad to worse as employees are unable to complete their vital contributions for the team.
At this point, the passing of time means a loss of money. Your team is forced to close shop or work on lesser priorities, which may cause a cascade of undesired consequences. You know the scenario: you are working on a time-sensitive project, and you no longer have access to any IT resource: no printing, no email, no CRM, no Internet. When this occurs, in a traditional IT support model, you contact your IT vendor…and wait.
How did we get here?
The pace of small- and medium-sized organizations does not lend itself to the patience required for remediation of IT issues. Even with all staff members doing their part for the success of the business, when technology is on the blink, regardless of whether it affects one individual or many, your business is not firing on all cylinders to keep up the needed momentum to achieve your goals and objectives.
The prohibitive cost of hiring your own IT staff makes the use of third-party IT teams to support your business a wise investment. On the other hand, a negative in many outsourced arrangements is the battle to gain priority in the long client support queue. The critical support you need may fall far behind those of others with whom that company is working. Depending on the size and maturity of that third-party support team, you may not even get to talk with a representative immediately. Service level agreements may not exist. When you are able to speak with a representative, he will want to walk you through numerous troubleshooting steps, taking even more of your precious time away from vital business activities.
When the support technician on the phone is unable to resolve your issue, an onsite technician will be dispatched, which might take several hours or even days to occur. The technician may need to drive from the east side to your office on the west side. There may be several client stops she must make before arrival at your office. Once onsite, she must continue the troubleshooting efforts. As she is working at your desk, your productivity may be further diminished. Time ticks away as you become anxious about what needs to be done.
Can we fix this?
At some point, regardless of the support model, you need a person to work on your technology systems when troubles arise. Whether the task consists of installing a new PC or printer, troubleshooting an issue, or restoring data, there is no avoiding the fact that it will take a technician to accomplish it. To reduce downtime due to a system issue, many organizations hire their own support personnel, either one person or a team. A dedicated full-time team means you do not have to compete with other businesses for attention. However, your costs of IT support have now risen dramatically. Salary.com reports that the average annual salary of a desktop support technician is $54,046.00, a cost that increases in tandem with your need for technical staff with more advanced skill sets. For many organizations, there is simply not enough work to justify the cost of keeping a full-time, qualified support person busy.
Another option for speeding up problem resolution is implementing redundancy in your IT systems. Many large organizations spend enormous amounts of money annually to ensure they are able to operate in the worst of situations. They purchase redundant Internet services and equipment to maintain near constant uptime of their network and servers as well as maintain spare PCs at the ready for when issues show up.
For a small business, much of this makes absolutely no sense. You may or may not ever need that $1500 spare laptop sitting in the closet, and your IT provider definitely does not want to warehouse extra memory, hard drives, logic boards, video cards, and monitors, waiting for the inevitable time when any of those components become obsolete and stale.
The answers are in the cloud….
Reducing downtime so that you can keep your business humming at full throttle requires new thinking. Support time must be reduced, and there must be less dependence on specific hardware. Achieving both these goals requires a new, dynamic way of envisioning how an organization interacts with technology. A solution built around cloud-based technologies achieves both objectives, giving you precious opportunities to spend more time with your customers, less with your technology.
The cloud desktop gives you the freedom to utilize any Internet-enabled computing device. This includes PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. If your PC were to lock up while working on a time-sensitive project, you can simply log into your desktop environment from your iPad or the PC of a vacationing team member.
Problems are going to happen. It is inevitable. Updates to Windows or other applications can break computers. Malware could infect your workspace. A power surge can destroy a computer’s internal components. When problems do occur and you are operating on a cloud desktop, you can call the support desk and, within 20 minutes, the representative will supply you with a clean copy of your environment. You no longer lose hours or days of productivity.
What about the dreaded Internet outage? Cloud technology converts a disaster into a short-lived nuisance. The frustration virtually goes away. While your Internet Service Provider is working to restore your access, you can simply connect to your phone’s hotspot or visit a nearby coffee shop.
How does this solution solve my concerns?
Safety and security
A major concern is the safety and security of data, and rightfully so. Regardless of your business model and product, you most likely have confidential information in the form of client and employee information and intellectual property such as patents, blueprints, and schematics. It is often incorrectly assumed that, by placing data into the cloud, you are giving up control of that data, thus reducing its safety. Nothing could be further from the truth when a cloud service provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) is employed. The secret? Simple economies of scale. While in a traditional data center, a single organization must pay for all the security controls they need, AWS can purchase the most advanced technologies, spreading the cost among all of its users. Individual users then gain high-level functionality at a fraction of the cost.
Economies of scale
These economies of scale work not only in the arena of data security, but also in the purchase and maintenance of the underlying hardware and software. Long gone are the days when an individual business or practice needed to purchase network switches, firewalls, servers, and all the other equipment for doing the heavy lifting. AWS handles the bulk of required hardware and software for its clients, with the necessary onsite network equipment included in your IT support plan. This reduces your total cost of ownership over the long run – you pay for only what you use. Your expense model is now transformed from a capital expenditure (CapEx) to an operational expenditure (OpEx), requiring only a monthly service fee spread throughout the year.
Higher state of customer service
Because of the reduced complexity of the technology from a business perspective, your IT vendor can provide a higher state of customer service. Saturday Night Live is famous for having the IT support technician bellowing at the customer, “MOVE!” This is humorous to watch, but unfortunately, it is the stereotype that IT professionals have long been given. Having a cloud-based computing environment that is standardized, effective, and efficient allows the support center to concentrate on you as an individual and the issues you are concerned about, rather than needing to dive into a litany of technical detail. Getting straight to the issue at hand can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to attend to your customers.
Is anyone using the cloud office environment?
We have our weekly team meetings on Mondays and one of our check-ins is if anyone is having IT issues, and that was placed as a check-in because previously there were always issues and often times multiple issues a week. We were talking about today how we probably can take it off because most of the time everyone says “no IT issues” in the check-in. Thought that you would like to know how much we all appreciate you guys.
– Trisa Hardin
IT is a black hole, right?
Three words should reflect all IT shops: Dynamic, Reliable, and Transparent. How often is this the case, though? But, with a new cloud environment strategy, you can be sure that your systems protect and deliver the data and applications you need, ready when you need them.
Because the underlying hardware and software are maintained and upgraded, you can rest assured that it will be available when you need it. Of course, there will always be times when technology fails. That is precisely when you need your IT provider to be most reliable, treating you as a valuable human being, answering the phone when you call.
As a business leader, you want assurance of a good return on your investment. IT can often be seen as a black hole, but moving to a cloud-based service ensures you can see exactly how your money is being used. Plain and transparent reporting is what builds trust and relationship.
You cannot afford to be “down”, either in mood or in the operation of your business. Your customers, your bottom line, and your sanity require trustworthy, working technology. A traditional IT support model can be a detriment to you and those who depend on you. It is time to envision a new mode of operation, a way of doing business that is free from the confines of specific hardware. No longer should downtime be measured in days. Bring your operation into the light, using the dynamism, reliability, and transparency of a cloud-based workspace.
AERIFY.io exists to provide you with a cloud-based office environment, enabling you to reduce downtime, employ a remote staff, and enjoy time with your clients.
Spend more time with your clients, not your technology.
Desktop Support Salary in the United States