Member Insights by By Anna Madden
In today’s world, every business is in the IT business. Commercial construction companies, investment firms, engineering firms and real estate management companies all rely on a stable IT infrastructure. Their business operations can’t work without one. Businesses across the U.S. experienced an immediate shift to a mandatory work from home model in early 2020. This shift exposed gaps in small to medium sized business IT networks that became obvious barriers to employee productivity. As a result, companies that had already partnered with a strong Managed Services Provider weathered the transition more easily.. Companies without that partnership began to consider investing in an IT consultant to help them restructure their network to better navigate sudden upheavals in business operations. Here are three reasons you need business IT consulting to help streamline your small to medium sized business IT infrastructure.
Your Business IT Strategy is Outdated
Oftentimes small and medium sized businesses find themselves focused on daily operations and improving profit margins. Consequently they overlook their IT infrastructure. Their IT Strategy, if it exists at all is years old. Rarely is it tailored to their current operations or future growth trajectories. Discovering the need for an IT consultant usually comes after business owners notice trending system downtime, increased IT costs and decreased employee productivity. Many business owners haven’t considered the security holes and lapses in legal and regulatory compliance that can be associated with an outdated or aged network. Partnering with a business IT consultant empowers the business owner to assess their current IT environment and prioritize needs as they align with operational function.
IT consultants can run a network assessment to provide an outline of security concerns. Accordingly they can propose a plan for remediation and assist the business owner in actively addressing concerns. Many IT consultants are experts in maintaining digital compliance for regulated industries including healthcare and financial advise – two of the most highly regulated industries in the United States.
Your Business has Outgrown its Current IT Department
Small and medium sized business owners are expert tacticians. When the market demands, they respond. This can result in an internal IT department becoming overwhelmed almost overnight. IT departments can become swamped with daily troubleshooting and find themselves constantly putting out fires for employees. Often internal IT departments for small and medium sized businesses consist of one person. Their IT capabilities can be limited by experience, education, time and inherent prejudices regarding IT investment. An IT Consultant can partner with internal IT teams to create a system designed to support a business’s immediate and long-term IT needs.
IT consultants can also create a scalable strategic plan to position the business for future growth. According to Fortunly, the most commonly outsourced jobs in small businesses are accounting and IT. The skill set required to navigate technology has become too expensive for many smaller businesses to justify an internal IT expert. Even businesses that can afford an internal IT department will rely on an IT consulting company to fill knowledge gaps and ensure company growth doesn’t outpace IT infrastructure capacity.
You Are Just Starting a Company
Number three of three reasons you need IT consulting is to help launch your startup company. New business owners have hundreds of things to consider before opening doors. Their fledgling IT network is just one of them. Checking with an IT consultant to ensure the basics are covered can mean the difference between an open for business sign or going out of business sale. According to Business News Daily, many small business owners leave their valuable data vulnerable to hackers. They oftentimes undervalue their information because they are small and new. Proactive security management and a remediation plan are essential to new business survival in the event of a breach.
A new business IT consultant can also advise clients on the right hardware to purchase and install. Cheapest isn’t usually the best and when planning for a long term business venture. It’s wise to be properly educated on the foundation of a viable, scalable network that can be built upon for years to come.
There are many options available to small and medium sized businesses when it comes to IT consulting. The aforementioned three reasons you need IT consulting just skim the surface. Finding and partnering with the right IT consultant can take the burden of IT management off your shoulders and breathe some fresh air into your stale network. Contact a trusted advisor like Astute Technology Management today for all your IT consulting needs!