Whether they be big or small, IT choices impact a business’ internal operation costs, employee time management, productivity, and, maybe most importantly, tarnish or improve the customer’s perception of your value. Choices you make every day around how you leverage IT impacts money, time, and reputation.
How do poor technology choices impact time, money, and reputation?
A story might offer the best insight. Below are three different real customers who came to Blue Fox Group after making IT decisions that did not work well for them. Perhaps you can relate to one or more of these accounts.
Story 1: Less expensive back-up ends up costing 10x more than the original spend.
- Everyone wants to save money, especially when it comes to IT. The IT staff managing 55 locations purchased an inexpensive back-up solution, rather than working with a local IT service provider who would monitor, manage, and create image back-ups, initially saving $7,000.
- A month after putting in their back-up solution, everything went down.
- When the network and data were recovered, almost everything came up- except the database. Unbeknownst to the IT guy, the database was not getting backed-up.
The End Result: The company lost an entire month of work and data. It costs the company 10x more than the original price to replace the old back-up system with the system recommended by the IT service partner.
Story 2: A security breach gets an IT team member fired, and customers leave the firm.
- This company works with remote vendors who needed regular access to their database.
- Instead of setting up security policies, this organization decided to leave the firewall port open, which allowed hackers to come onto the network.
- Customer credit card data was stolen, and a crypto lock was placed on the network.
- The company was forced to pay the hacker's demands to prevent the data from being sold on the internet.
- Compliance laws required letters to be sent to customers informing them that their data had been hacked.
The End Result: Consequently, the IT person was let go for not preventing the cyber-attack. A security policy was then created, and this company lost several clients as a result.
Story 3: This national CPA firm reduces complexity, time & costs.
- Financial firms have for a long time been governed by compliance regulations.
- Often businesses with sensitive customer data like credit card or social security numbers have tried to manage their data in-house, using physical servers and back-up to satisfy compliance regulations.
- Onsite management of your data comes with a lengthy set of compliance rules, such as logging in every person who enters a building.
- Most firms do not have the personnel or ability to meet these requirements.
- This CPA firm moved their server, data, and back-up to the cloud, transferring regulation responsibility to a professional IT service provider, like Blue Fox Group who has the protocols to meet regulatory requirements and guarantee accurate data back-up.
The End Result: They cut costs by 37% and reduced the daily complexity of verifying back-up, giving the team back 18 hours in time each month!
[Bonus Story] The Blue Fox Story During COVID-19
When the Coronavirus hit, many of the Blue Fox Group team members were required to quarantine and work from home. Like many other businesses, we were required to send nearly our entire team home. Like other businesses, we were challenged with using technology to create high-performing teams’ environments that could work remotely, maintain secure connections, and fast online speeds to power many of the cloud applications that would now be accessed from home. Equally important, we had to ensure our customer data remained secure and that our team could field and answer customer requests and emergencies from any location.
Here’s how Blue Fox Group leveraged IT to create high-performing environments during COVID:
- We provided every employee with a virtual desktop that mirrored their office desktop experience.
- Each employee logged into our secure multi-authentication portal.
- All employee applications and customer data were available in the cloud.
- Employees attended a short, online stand-up meeting each morning to set priorities and discuss daily tasks.
The End Result:
- Our employees eliminated up to 2 hours from their daily commute.
- Our employees gained up to 2-3 extra hours a week in productivity from working in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
- Our employees now have the flexibility to build their own schedules and breaks.
- Everyone can enjoy a greater degree of work/life balance.
What Should You Expect When You Work with a Total Managed IT Consultant?
There are numerous Managed Service Providers in the market, and most of them provide similar services. To avoid loss and work toward a gain in any facet of IT, we suggest that you:
- Look for an IT Partner Who Listens to You
Any IT partner can provide IT services, but that should not be all that they do. Look for an IT partner who is open to your input, who will ask questions, and look for ways to provide value by helping you develop and leverage technology to drive business outcomes as a contributor to your business' success.
- Look for a Partner Who Combines IT Services Under ONE Umbrella
Many businesses expect their IT partner to "do it all" when in reality, many IT partners only manage select aspects of the network, making it very difficult to troubleshoot slow performance and full network recovery in emergency times. Work with a partner who can manage all aspects of your network with a clear understanding of how all network pieces fit together.
- Look for a Partner who Provides CIO Services, Quarterly Business Reviews, and Onsite Expertise
CIO's are an expensive resource to hire. IT partners should bring a CIO level of expertise and support that aligns IT with the business's strategic goals. Additionally, look for a partner that goes beyond CIO services and provides onsite check-ups and quarterly business reviews in person with your team to ensure your network is secure and performing at its best.
Who Can Help?
Managed IT partners like Blue Fox Group provide a vendor-agnostic, network holistic approach to helping any size business leverage technology to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and avoid surprises across the entire network.
At Blue Fox Group, we provide 3 specific advantages:
- Together, we reduce the amount of time you dedicate to buying and maintaining technology while helping you avoid technology pitfalls that consume your time.
- Save your organization money by purchasing only what you really need when you need it.
- Help you to avoid technology mishaps and blunders that erode customer confidence and tarnish your reputation.
Bottom line, Managed Service Providers reduce unpredictable costs, help you to leverage IT to a strategic level of planning, and provide the expertise of a dedicated IT team that solves ordinary and complex issues all day, every day.
Tell us how we can help you.
Blue Fox Group is dedicated to helping businesses tackle daily and difficult IT challenges. Connect with us to start a discussion around how we might help you leverage technology positively to help you streamline operations, grow revenue, and simply do your job better.