Tip of the Week: The Best Way to Cut Your IT Support Costs

1. Managed Services Prevent Many Issues From Happening Here’s the big problem with IT solutions: most issues they experience will not only cost money to resolve, they prevent the business at large from being able to function to some degree. This makes the cost of these issues effectively double the price tag for any repairs. Furthermore, considering that the business is hemorrhaging income for as long as this functionality is impaired, there is generally a fee to resolve the issue charged by whoever comes in to fix it, with no guarantee that the issue won’t come back at some point in the future. In other words, better get out the checkbook. With managed services, your IT infrastructure is monitored to proactively detect issues, meaning that they can often be resolved remotely before they even materialize and have an impact. This eliminates the expensive downtime that would otherwise add to the damages of resolving the issue. 2. Managed Services Make Costs Predictable Speaking of the “damages of resolving the issue,” managed services operate differently than what one would expect, mainly due to their service-based approach. Through this approach, the managed service provider charges an inclusive, monthly fee based on the agreement they have with the business in question. Unless there is a need for something that goes outside the scope of the agreement, all services performed by the MSP are covered. This allows a business to more accurately budget for their IT expenses, rather than over- or under-allocating funds for them. 3. Managed Services Maintain Standards Most businesses are subject to at least one regulatory standard, whether it’s HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and/or any others. Managed services can help you ensure that your technology and its security protocols meet the requirements outlined in these standards, preventing you from being fined. Do Managed Services Sound Like the Right Choice for You So Far? Give SRS Networks a call to discuss them further! Our professionals are ready to chat and help you make the best decision for your needs. Call (831) 758-3636 today.

Identifying the Value of Managed IT: Procurement

Why IT Procurement Matters So Much In order for a business to see the most value from its technology, there needs to be an awareness of how interconnected and codependent the individual pieces are, and what technology solutions are needed. Let’s go over some of the components that a business will need. Servers and Networking Solutions In order for your employees to be appropriately collaborative, there needs to be an infrastructure in place that makes communications and data sharing practicable. As a business grows, the capacity of this infrastructure needs to grow with it. However, if tackled by someone who isn’t very familiar with the solutions currently in place, this expansion is apt to only cause further problems. The same goes for other improvements as well – a single misconfiguration could potentially cause a very expensive downtime event. On the other side of the coin, by calling in a professional to assist with the expansion of your networking infrastructure, you can effectively eliminate the risk of causing downtime while greatly expediting the actual process of upgrading your infrastructure. A professional can both advise a business in what is best for it to adopt, as well as come in to assist with the installation of the improved solution. Workstations and Computing Resources Without the right technology for their tasks, your employees aren’t going to be able to achieve very much. This makes it important that you acquire the right tech for the task at hand, rather than focusing exclusively on bargain hunting. Consider the possible ramifications of automatically going with the least expensive option, without taking the time to consider it more comprehensively. Bargain hunting online can lead to ultimately wasting money on a system that doesn’t actually serve your needs – or worse, doesn’t even work properly. In that case, you’d likely be stuck having to pay a professional to fix your newly acquired systems… and that’s assuming you wouldn’t be stuck having to purchase other ones. Once again, in working with a managed service provider, you have a resource that will assist you in selecting the right technology – the first time – potentially even getting a better deal than you would have otherwise. Software as a Service Of course, if you plan on using your technology, you are also going to need the appropriate software. If handling this independently, you may be tempted to cut corners a bit – downloading torrents instead of paying for the software you need. Doing so puts your business at considerable risk, and subjects it to negative attention from law enforcement and the public at large. However, a managed service provider provides a much better option. Instead of putting your reputation and operations at risk, you can lean on your provider’s Software-as-a-Service offering, Instead of investing a large lump sum on a software title that’s only going to need replacing in a few short years, a Software-as-a-Service arrangement effectively serves as a subscription to a particular solution. For a low monthly sum, SaaS provides your business with the most up-to-date version of a given software, as well as all the support you may need for it. That way, your employees have the tools to do their job, while you (and your budget) can rest easy. Which Experience Would You Prefer? If you’re looking […]

Why Proactivity is Always a Better Strategy than Reactivity

Let’s dive into how each approach typically plays out for the businesses that adopt them. A Reactive Approach An organization that reacts to external factors would be referred to as reactive. New competition opens up? Looks like it’s time to improve upon efficiency. Is the economy experiencing a rough patch? Maybe we should scale back on our spending. The big problem with this methodology is that it leaves a business a few steps behind, which makes it vulnerable to larger issues. Instead of being ready to handle any competition, a business that acts reactively will be forced to play catch-up, which means that the business will never quite reach its full potential. A Proactive Approach On the other hand, you have a business that anticipates changes, whether they would be detrimental to their business or beneficial, and plans for them accordingly. A proactive business will analyze the data they have access to as a means of predicting what trends are likely to emerge, and will often prepare for multiple eventualities… just in case. Keeping a data backup, maintaining it offsite and in keeping with the best practices we recommend, that’s an example of a proactive behavior. Managed services are proactive by their very nature, as you have to anticipate an issue to know to look out for it. Use Proactive Solutions with SRS Networks Don’t just take our word for it – give the services that we offer a shot and see for yourself. Our trained professionals will keep an eye on your technology solutions on your behalf – preventing issues before they interfere with your productivity. To learn more, keep reading our blog, or reach out to us directly! We’re just a call to (831) 758-3636 away for any of your IT needs. Start being more productive and reach out today – before you have no other choice.

Clarifying a Few IT Stereotypes

Misconception 1: Our vocabulary is limited to “Did you turn it off and on again?” Yes, yes, ha ha. This one has become the go-to punchline for almost any joke having to do with IT. However, consider what humorist Leo Rosten said: “Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.” In other words, jokes tend to poke fun at a larger truth – in this case, IT resources have gained the reputation of asking this question so often because they do ask it quite often. This is because it actually is an effective way to resolve many issues. Reboots have proven their value countless times over, so when we ask you if you’ve already tried doing that, we’re actually taking a lot of explanations for your issue out of consideration. This allows us to more efficiently troubleshoot the actual problem – and if you hadn’t yet tried a simple restart, it might do the trick. Misconception 2: IT is actually, like, super easy to manage. With computers being remarkably more user-friendly than they once were, it also isn’t all that uncommon for many users to assume that everything that IT does, they could probably do for themselves. Technically, in a lot of cases, yes… but it would probably be a mistake. In IT, while a process might be simple in and of itself, there’s a good chance that there are a lot of other considerations to take into account. For instance, let’s look at the process of setting up a new workstation. It’s a pretty plug-in-and-play process, right? Right – except that there’s data transfer, continuity, and security to also consider. On top of that, there’s also the process of getting the new PC ready for use. If done incorrectly, there are a vast amount of ways that your business can be left vulnerable. This is why it is so crucial to entrust these processes to someone who is very familiar with them. Misconception 3: An IT resource is really just a professional Googler. It isn’t uncommon to see an IT professional consulting Google, and sure, it might be unsettling for an end user to see it happening. However, it might help to put things into perspective. IT is one of the fastest-evolving fields in the world, so even the most credentialed and qualified tech might not be completely up-to-date. Therefore, to prevent their actions from causing a bigger problem, a good IT resource will turn to other resources to confirm that they are taking the right course of action. In fact, this makes it actually preferable to bring in a Google-happy tech. It just shows you that the tech is committed to doing their job correctly. At SRS Networks, we’re proud that our technicians know their stuff as well as they do – and know their limits enough to seek out the right answers to your issue. So, next time you experience a problem with your technology solutions, turn your system off and on again, and (if that doesn’t work) give us a call at (831) 758-3636.