Your IT consultant may be doing enough to keep your business running, but are they covering all the critical aspects of IT? While there are benefits to having an IT consultant, they may fall short for a number of reasons. As an SMB, your in-house IT consultant may be stretched to their limits. That means some things just don’t get done, like deploying and managing the latest business technologies.
What your IT consultant may be missing
One of the most important aspects of IT is system monitoring. You need a 24/7 watch on all your machines, services, and networks. What if something happens in the middle of the night? Will your IT consultant be responsive? Will systems only be serviced the next day? That could cost you serious downtime, and, in turn, serious dollars and hours of lost productivity. So, you need to ask yourself how well your systems are monitored.
Another key area is security. Your IT consultant must be able to identify, protect, detect, and respond to cyber threats. Do they have this kind of bandwidth or expertise? Your IT infrastructure could be at risk right now. However, most SMBs invest less than $500 a year on cybersecurity! Considering that cybercriminals often target SMBs, that number is far too low. Along with security, you must have substantial backups in place, so if an incident occurs, you’ll be ready to respond. While it’s best to be proactive in the realm of security, you still need a response plan in place. These details may get lost by an IT consultant who is constantly putting out fires.
Your IT consultant may be behind on software updates as well. Updates are critical to keeping your systems running optimally. Plus, they help protect against cyber attacks as updates often have crucial fixes for possible weaknesses.
You should also be asking your IT consultant what they’re doing to ensure that all employees have the right technology. The procurement of hardware can be a long process. However, it’s a necessity for your team to be as effective and productive as possible. Ask yourself how many times a new hire has shown up on the first day with no computer or other technology. This doesn’t leave a good first impression and wastes precious time in getting new employees on board and acclimated.
Finally, what’s the status of your IT strategy? Or do you have one? A one-person show that has so much on their plate probably doesn’t have the time to develop an IT strategy. But you’ll need one to grow and scale appropriately. Or maybe you only do an annual review. So much can change quickly in the world of IT, so this is something that needs to be revisited more often and fine-tuned as your business evolves.
The better solution for SMBs
Your IT consultant offers a lot of value to your organization. But you could be doing more. You should consider partnering with an IT consulting firm that offers managed services. With managed services, you can reap so many advantages from proactive security measures to round the clock monitoring to managing vendors. See how it can work for you by chatting with our IT experts today.