Let Somebody Else Manage Your IT
In opinion / By Guise Bule / 30 June 2016
You should let somebody else manage your IT, so that you can focus on your business.
I have been involved in a few businesses in my career and I think that the the key to success is focus, being able to remove distractions that stop you focusing on the business at hand.
Typically making money and finding new customers.
IT can often become a huge distraction, because nobody really wants to talk to anybody about hardware lifecycles, even less about cataloging their applications.
We need IT and we want it to work ALL of the time, but nobody really wants to deal with it anymore than they have to and that’s completely normal.
Most business owners have more pressing commercial concerns to worry about and just need their IT to work in support their commercial efforts.
Because our businesses are totally dependent on IT, we all understand how damaging it could be if our IT fails, so we employ ‘IT people’ to take care of it.
Now before continuing, I should warn you that I tend to be cynical when it comes to the subject of small to medium sized businesses managing their own IT, I have seen too many horrors, seen too much.
I would also like to qualify the following statements by saying that I have come across many exceptions to the rule, those well run businesses that competently manage their IT infrastructure and support it well, there are lots of you.
But some of you need to have a word with yourselves.
After a decade spent looking at the IT infrastructures, you can take my word for it when I say at least half of you are doing it badly.
I would say that roughly half the small to medium sized businesses out there are committing some sort of IT sin, some of you multiple IT sins at once!
Some businesses back up their files religiously, but then forget to validate their back ups to make sure that they will restore properly.
There are others who depend on in-house servers to provide access to files, connected to the public internet via a standard internet line and router.
You come across users with admin rights who like to download and install ‘modern tools’ in order to do their jobs effectively, its called shadow IT.
I have seen cheapest and nastiest firewalls protecting networks, shared storage and confidential communications, none of which were encrypted.
None of this is really your fault, when we based our businesses on technology and leveraged the internet, nobody told us that we were walking into the wild west or that we needed a gun, although we really should have expected it.
For a long time, security through obscurity (hackers do not know about me, therefore I am fine) worked well and you could get away with having unpatched software, old operating systems and random ports open on your network.
But nowadays, thats not enough.
To be fair even the largest businesses with experienced IT teams sometimes struggle to properly manage and secure their own IT infrastructure, expecting a small business to have the resources is a bit unreasonable.
To summarize, at least half of you are fudging your IT and its amazing you have not been hacked by cyber criminals or competitors and had your customer/transactional data stolen.
But fear not, I have a solution.
Obviously my solution involves you giving one of the companies I work for money, but that’s ok, because I am going to wheel out that old chestnut and tell you to “you focus on your business and let us worry about your IT”.
I am in marketing after all, how could I not?
I happen to be the group CMO of the largest hosted desktop provider in Europe, we are publicly listed on the London stock exchange with multiple subsidiaries in the UK the country and points of presence in the US and Asia.
We have some of the tightest and tidiest data centers that I have ever walked around, the team supporting them are competent and conscientious.
At this point I could go on about fantastic security, redundant networks and multiple data centers and all kinds of wonderful technical details, but I am not going to because I am in marketing and we have a CTO for that.
Its enough to say that we retain our customers for long periods of time because we are good at what we do and spread across our group, we have some of the most experienced and accredited technical specialists in the country.
Our operating procedures and processes are audited by independent 3rd parties and pass through the ISO 27001 security standard certification process, which specifically focuses on security and the availability of customer data.
Our customers include some of the largest law firms on the country and we operate within the tightly regulated financial service and government sectors.
As a Microsoft Gold hosting partner and a G-Cloud government certified solutions provider, we are the leading hosted services provider in the UK.
In conclusion, you should let us manage your IT.
We can fix the costs of IT, upgrade you to the latest technology with no outlay and provide 24/7/365 support of any technology touching your business.
Support needs to be 24/7 because sometimes your Marketing Director likes to call our technical support team at 3am, the night before the big presentation, to ask why his Excel spreadsheet will not export to PowerPoint and that’s ok.