The month of August has had me answering this question a lot more often than in months past. My phone has been ringing off the hook with requests to come talk about IT and the frustrations owners and managers are having.
I guess because the summer is over, kids are back to school, and businesses are back in full swing, business executives are now focused on getting better or different results from Information Technology. I have sat down with at least 10 business owners over the past 30 days to discuss what they expect from Technology and how they plan to achieve their goals.
As it turns out, the folks that I have visited with have very specific goals about where they want the business to be in a few years and agree that without the best use of Technology, they probably won’t get there.
The discussions have been around voice over IP systems, internal communications, ERP systems, customer relationship management, inventory management, EDI, copiers, security, disaster recovery, help support services, and slow response times.
In most cases, when asked who would address all of the above issues, there was silence and then “the IT guy” would be mentioned. This led me to answer the question “What exactly is IT Support?"
The Reader’s Digest version of IT Support is as follows:
- Secure your data and system so others don’t get in
- Protect your information so that if you have a failure or breach, you can get it back
- Check under the hood to make sure all is well
- Have a list of critical maintenance processes that are checked daily/weekly/monthly
- Test your backup and disaster recovery plans
- Help you quickly when your day is interrupted by something that does not work
- Design and implement Technology that helps you reach your goals
- Help you plan and budget for the future
- Manage the communication between the multitude of vendors that sell Technology
- Let you know when something new that may help you is introduced
- Help you find new Technology Systems that may give you a competitive advantage
As it turns out, the list above is very comprehensive and confusing, so most choose not to deal with all of it.
In each of the discussions, I feel as though I helped clear up the question of “What is IT Support?” I hope each of the individuals I spoke with are better able to implement change and achieve their goals.