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Why having an IT Team is so critical in the modern business environment

Dennis Kyle

February 16, 2021

Information Technology is Evolving

As 2021 begins, it’s important to take the lessons of 2020 into account when planning for your company’s future. One area that should be of particular concern is Information Technology (IT). The IT sector was already of high importance, as big tech has evolved over the past few decades, but with remote work becoming the norm, having an IT team (even if it’s comprised of just one individual) is critical to ensure your company is adapting to the changing demands and evolving threats of today’s world.

An SWZD IT survey found that about 76% of surveyed companies said they were preparing for long-term IT changes.[1] Additionally, businesses are expected to increase cloud and managed services spending in 2021, even as overall IT budgets may decrease slightly year over year.[2]

This shows how much of an impact the shift to virtualized work environment was in 2020 and will continue to be for at least the near future. It’s important, especially as an SMB, to weigh the costs of having an IT team compared to the potential costs of not having one.

An IT Team is a Necessary Expense

The security landscape is changing at a rapid pace as businesses have shifted to a primarily online presence for both customer engagement and for businesses operations (when applicable).

In the past, IT has been seen in the past by some SMBs as a sunken cost, many times because they’re not fully aware of the depth and breadth of functions an IT team provided. Below is a short list of some of the major responsibilities of the average company’s IT department.

IT Department Responsibilities (from Career Builder)[3]

  • Governance
    • Creating and implementing the rules and structure by which everyone uses the network and IT systems
  • Infrastructure
    • Creating and maintaining hardware that allows the network to function and management of the network itself
  • Functionality
    • Application Development/Support
    • Telephony/Unified Communication
    • Technical Support/Help Desk

Since so many of those items are required in order for a company to function online in this day and age, these costs are not sunk, but very necessary even if it’s not easy to see a direct ROI from them.

An IT Team can help prevent and resolve security issues

The potential pitfalls for skimping on an IT budget can lead to security vulnerabilities, workers unable to do their jobs due to lack of training or access to the appropriate resources, or potential threats from outside influences such as bad actors trying to access your systems.

Bad actors continue to find new ways to infiltrate company networks, which has been made easier as workers utilize new tools they’re unfamiliar with and aren’t always given proper training on how to spot risks.  A properly trained IT team can do a lot of mitigate these issues.

The first order of business for most IT teams should be to identify the IT needs of the business. With the focus on virtual work these days, some items that are likely to be at the top of their priority list are: setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for users to access the company’s system through, creating Single Sign On (SSO) for users to log in with and training users on how to use any new applications, along with providing the best practices to keep their computer and data safe online.

Whether you’re managing a small business or are in charge of a department in a larger company, having the right people in charge and a plan of action in place is essential to ensure your workforce knows what they should and shouldn’t do, while keeping your data private and secure.

Remote Work has accelerated the need for IT support

As most people are currently working from home or another remote location, this can lead to challenges when someone encounters a technical issue. One can no longer walk down the hallway to ask a colleague how to fix the issue. Instead your team often needs to rely on phone calls or virtual meetings to communicate, which can be doubly frustrating when your team member experiences issues with their virtual meeting platform.

Without a properly trained IT team to assist, your workforce may find itself unable to complete simple tasks such as accessing your company network, communicating with clients, holding meetings or utilizing essential applications.

A dedicated internal IT team/helpdesk can be there to offer support, remote access into the worker’s computer if needed and help them resolve the issue. The IT team can also provide training to new and existing workers to help them better utilize the applications they need to do their job. Since the IT team is also working virtually, it’s important for them to have the resources necessary to be able to accomplish what they need to do while also assisting the rest of the business.

Final Thoughts

It’s very important to invest in your IT team now, to avoid issues that may arise in the future. As an SMB, you may not have an IT team today, or your current IT team may not have enough resources to handle all of the change management that has come from this virtual migration.

As a partner of many industry-leading cloud solutions, from CRM to document collaboration to unified communications, Positive Results™ helps companies like yours by analyzing their IT business processes, addressing gaps in that process and creating/updating tools and processes to help your business stay secure and your team function effectively. We support existing IT teams with training and assistance, and also provide guidance to help businesses ensure their IT needs are being met.

 

If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:

 

Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions

440.499.4944

https://PositiveResults.com

 

[1] https://swzd.com/resources/state-of-it/

[2] Ibid

[3] https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/what-does-the-it-department-actually-do

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