Posted by: Heather Toll on May 18, 2018 at 8:00 am
The idea called “extended IT” applies to a scenario where a business with an IT person or team needs a little more help or expertise, but not enough to justify hiring another full-time IT person. Instead, they contract with an IT services provider for the additional services they need.
How common is this scenario? 27% of small businesses do not have any IT support. Many have an employee who “does the computers” along with the duties they were specifically hired for, splitting their attention and reducing productivity for their official function.
And yes, some small businesses under 100 employees do have a full-time, dedicated IT person. However, the rise of cybercrime as well as rapid business growth can overwhelm your qualified IT staff. Business owners also want to know more about using the cloud and mobile devices to increase productivity. The business needs help, but you don’t have the budget for another on-site, full-time IT person.
So, how does a busy manager handle it all? “Extended IT” could be the answer.
What kind of services can an Extended IT provider offer?
Server and Server Bank Monitoring. Perhaps you’re a genius when it comes to the everyday hands-on work involved in taking care of workstations and general end-user problems like email questions, password changes, adding new users, and software installation, but do you really know what’s going on behind the scenes? Is your server running at top efficiency? Are your hard drives about to fail? Are you under a DDOS attack? Is your server sloooooowww and you have no idea why? Maybe you just have too many servers for one person to handle, but do you really want or need to pay someone to sit there and watch them to make sure they behave? Outsource your server monitoring and you’ll get alerts as soon as something goes wrong. In many cases, you’ll be notified by the monitoring service before you see any ill effects in your network. That’s peace of mind.
Backups. Most businesses know they need to back up their data, but how much data? How often? How do you know if a backup ran? What’s the best way to keep the backup data safe? Outsource backup configuration and management to an off-site team that can keep your data safe.
Network Security. This is a particularly difficult area of IT, especially for non-experts. On one hand, it’s one of the most essential areas of IT. Some would say the most essential. After all, if your network is open to hackers and thieves, does it matter if Bob’s email isn’t coming in? (Hey, maybe that’s why he’s not getting his email…) On the other hand, getting network security up to par, keeping an eye on alerts, and trying to stay on top of the latest malware can take up a ton of time that you need to spend to keep people working. (By the way, Bob still needs his email.) Get that security monkey off your back and outsource your firewall, antivirus, and other security protections to experts who have the time to manage it correctly because it’s literally what they do all day.
Migrations and Changeovers. Upgrading to Office 365? Getting a jump on phasing out Windows 7? If you could use some expert guidance in planning a major migration project, or some extra hands to manage the work, “extended IT” might be the answer.
Mergers. Congratulations! Your company just bought out a competitor. Now you get the fun task of blending the two computer networks together. Setting up incoming employees, integrating data, merging two networks into one – could you use a helping hand?
So, if you find yourself faced with a bit more than your current IT person or team can handle, consider partitioning some of the work and using an “extended IT” team to help out.
TAZ Networks is a managed IT services provider with full-service options as well as managed backups, managed security, and more. Give us a call today to find out how TAZ Networks could assist you get more done with your IT.