In the past, a small or midsize business (SMB) typically relied on a small IT staff to handle all of their company’s technology needs. This team, sometimes comprised of only one person, would manage servers, install software, manage desktops, handle security, ensure peripherals were all working, and make sure that any other technology was working properly. However, changes in the way businesses use technology make it nearly impossible for a small team to survive in today’s IT field. Systems and solutions are capable of so much more now that an IT worker is no longer able to serve as a technology generalist. Teams need to find members with specialized skills that know how to make systems and solutions work with one another in order to stay successful.
Today’s current environment requires teams that understand the major trends in SMB technology, such as software unification, cybersecurity, and even artificial intelligence. With technology’s growing complexity, many organizations find themselves dealing with some of the following common problems.
Too Many Systems to Manage
Businesses face an avalanche of different systems that are required to keep things moving. Research from Salesforce shows that these needs include customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, financial software, internet hosting, and hardware. Other systems and solutions that are common for organizations include enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, identity and access management, cloud services, and multiple security solutions.
Add the issue of having to integrate many of these solutions into existing, legacy solutions, and it is easy to see why IT projects often fall behind, and why IT teams are reluctant to embrace newer technology. The end result of an overburdened IT staff is that business goals that rely on technology are not achieved. This leads to frustration from business leaders, people who use the technology in their jobs, and even the IT staff charged with implementing these systems.
Lack of Specialized Knowledge and Expertise
Technology changes quickly. Current systems update frequently to address gaps, new innovations require immediate adoption in some industries, and older solutions are outdated and often become irrelevant. Your IT staff often finds themselves in a position for which staying ahead of the game is nearly impossible. By the time they build up the experience to master the necessary skills for a platform, it may be replaced by a newer technology.
Not only do IT employees find themselves constantly having to learn and hone new skills, they have to do so at a level that allows all of the various systems already in use to integrate with one another. For example, the human resource information system needs to integrate with directory services, or the ERP solution needs to share data with the CRM application. These integrations require knowledge and experience to handle effectively.
The Ever-Changing World of Cybersecurity
Just as companies need to constantly innovate to stay relevant, cybercriminals need to find new ways to work around the ever-changing defenses that businesses employ to keep information secure. The threat landscape is constantly evolving to bypass the technical controls and blinking boxes that keep the bad guys at bay.
Again, IT staff find themselves in a situation where they need to stay up to date—not only with the technology that defends their networks and data, but also with the attack vectors that criminals use, so that the staff knows what they need to protect. Not having the technical knowledge or the real-world experience required to secure your business resources could be a costly mistake. On average, a cyberattack against a small business costs nearly $54,000. A successful breach of a larger organization carries a much higher cost.
Finding Much Needed Help
Many organizations don’t have the ability to go out and hire an IT team that has all of the required knowledge and experience. Fewer have the ability to acquire a company just for its IT talent. Companies that experience these problems decide to turn to a trusted managed services provider to help their IT teams manage their technology workload. Finding the right partner allows a company to have a team of seasoned professionals at the ready to help with technology initiatives such as implementation of new technologies, integration of current solutions, security of data and network, and evaluation of new applications or systems.
With these additions to your current staff, your team can free up time to focus on projects for your specific business needs. The rest of the work and management is offloaded to the provider, who specializes in those areas.