The best way to talk about this would probably be to create a fake company and describe how consulting can bring them the most value for their money. The problem is, that there are thousands of different ways a company can invest in their technology and improve. There are hundreds of thousands of different business models, and there are millions of different businesses. If you don’t know the best way to spend capital earmarked for IT, there is a good chance that you will waste that capital.
If you were going to build a house, and you only have an idea of what the house should look like, would you just buy some property, some supplies, and start building? No? Right, you would consult an architect. You’d hire them to draw you up specifications so that you know, down to the bolt, what materials are needed, what steps need to be taken first, and how to go about getting your house built. Chances are your neighbors would appreciate that your house isn’t built like a makeshift shack you’d see on the frontier 150 years ago. Imagine showing up at the local homeowner’s association meetings to justify why your brand new house looks like one built by the second little piggy.
The same can be said for your business’ technology. Just getting some new tech is great, but using it to its maximum usefulness will take some insight. A consultant can help you identify technology that can really work to help your business, protect your data and infrastructure against threats, and just be overall more useful than if you did it piecemeal by your own design. Let’s take a look at some ways that technology can hurt the business to illustrate how IT needs a roadmap, not just capital.
What About Security?
You’d probably figure we’d go this route, but there is a reason for that: It’s extremely important. No matter what information systems you use in your business, if they lack a coordinated effort to keep them secure, there are a myriad of issues headed your way. You may have the smallest business in town, but if you take in revenue and have customers, you are a target for hackers. There is no other way to say it. Every business is a target.
Everyone is after money. Do you think that a scammer would love to steal huge swaths of money from a business? Sure, but how in the world is that going to happen? The best way they can steal from you and make money is to gain control. The best way to gain control over data, people, etc. is to have leverage over them. You see this with ransomware, one of the most devastating types of malware going. An individual who isn’t properly trained to care over your data, will likely make mistakes with it. A consultant, along with helping you find the right technology for your business’ needs will also insist that you renovate the way that you train your employees to securely use that technology.
After all, without security, what’s the point?
At Aspire, our technicians understand that you can set your network and infrastructure up with the latest and greatest security solutions that are designed to thwart attempts by outsiders to get onto your network, but if you don’t have a comprehensive plan to train and test your employees’ ability to do the right things, all the invested time and money won’t mean a thing.
Avoiding Operational Redundancy
Another issue many businesses run into when attempting to innovate is that they will deploy software that effectively does the same thing another piece of software that is already implemented does. This can create major operational problems for any business. Not only can it create inefficiencies, it can cause workers to lose track of work, and in some cases lose track of files altogether.
This also can cost your organization more than it needs to. If you are going to use a software for a specific purpose, you don’t need other pieces of software that do the same thing. Today, there is an application for nearly every task out there. Beyond that, there are multiple ways to access those apps and the corresponding data. To build efficiency, scaling back the amount of apps your business depends on does two things for your business. First, it reduces the chances that data will get misplaced, as mentioned above, a real problem for businesses that use too much software. Secondly, it simplifies the management of your IT infrastructure and reduces the chances that your network will be affected by shadow-IT-related issues such as exploits brought on by unpatched vulnerabilities.
Software Can Burst Your IT Budget
To effectively reduce your company’s software spend, you have to consider what you use the technology for; and who is going to be using it. If you figure that you need some hardware and a couple of software licenses for any particular part of your business, looking at cloud computing may be an option for you. It’s one thing to need a license for every member of your staff, it’s completely another if you only need that application for a couple of employees.
The cloud has a multitude of options that can work for any business, but especially if you need specialized software for a limited number of staff members. HR software, design software, and other applications are offered as-a-service in the cloud. Your company will essentially transform the large capital expenditures that go along with hosting new software into operational expenses. You will pay per month for access to the software you need at a flat rate. Typically, these options are available from anywhere on many different types of devices. Better yet, the maintenance costs are baked into the cost of the solution. This strategy can help you eliminate hardware and support costs while getting the tools your company needs to be successful.
Technology can bring massive benefits to your business, but it can also be a time and money sink if it isn’t approached conscientiously. If you would like to talk to one of our certified technicians about technology options for your business, reach out to us at (469) 272-0777 today.