Blue Fox Group talks to businesses every day who express their frustration with having to work with so many disparate IT and phone vendors. To tackle this problem, Blue Fox Group decided to reorganize their product/service offerings to more clearly reflect the 4 different phases that all SMBs progress through when it comes to their IT infrastructure and communication. Blue Fox Group will explain what these different phases are, and how SMBs progress through these different levels as their organization grows. By understanding what level of IT infrastructure is appropriate for which stage of development, business owners can note where they’re at in this progression as well as understand exactly which type of IT capabilities they may need to have in the very near future, in order to take their organizations to the next level.
The first and most basic level of IT infrastructure that’s needed for an SMB to flourish is an ability to communicate securely and intelligently with its customers and employees through some form of cloud phone or CloudTalk for Business. For businesses that have 10 or more phones, it’s important to collect and improve performance by utilizing all of that data that the company is generating through customer interactions. By harnessing the power of cloud phones, businesses can establish a baseline of connection with their team and view dashboards with key metrics and data that management can use to inform strategic decisions. This is especially true of large customer service departments who can benefit dramatically from call recording technology and the training capabilities availed.
The second level of IT infrastructure that every SMB progresses through is called IT Complete Cloud. This is the phase where an organization moves its traditional in-house hardware and software to the cloud. When a business reaches this level, daily operations need to adapt to the remote environment and need to include various file sharing apps, real-time collaboration tools, security updates and an array of other cloud services that power the backend of any organization. Obviously, this all needs to be done securely and most businesses hit this point when they realize that services like Google Drive can’t grow with them and properly address their security concerns.
The third phase of IT development is where an SMB adds a support element to their IT infrastructure to get only the “right” amount of support needed to select aspects of their IT network. We call this program, IT Essentials. Typically, if a business has suffered a breach or knows someone who has been affected by a breach or outage, this is when they proactively invest in some form of protection for their IT infrastructure. It’s very common for SMBs at this stage to simply hire an IT person to manage all aspects of their IT infrastructure, however, as the business grows it can be challenging to understand how to get the most out of the products/services they’ve purchased previously and to ensure that they’re monitoring whatever products/services they’ve already invested in. Perhaps the company has already worked with a managed services provider in the past and the alert feature isn’t working properly and the company needs to be notified of it not working properly, as well as they need a tiny bit of support to rectify the issue. This is the stage where businesses receive lots of reports, metrics and the bare essentials of support.
The fourth phase of IT development is a complete approach to IT. This means management, monitoring, strategy, purchasing and expertise at every level that far exceeds the capability of even the most highly skilled single IT person, and this is called IT Complete. This is typically for enterprises with 50-250 employees and they want to have all aspects of their IT managed under one umbrella. Some of the best MTSPs offer a vCIO (virtual Chief Information Officer) service at this level, where they meet with you regularly and help with strategic planning and envisioning the future of the company and how the IT will need to shift in order to meet those challenges.
As cyber-attacks continue to become more and more common, most business owners have taken ownership of their responsibility to secure their IT infrastructure, which has led to heavy investment in cybersecurity. According to IBM, Sixty-two percent of all cyber-attacks, about 4,000 a day, hit small to mid-sized businesses. The reason that cybercriminals target small businesses is because they are considered easier targets. While cyber-attacks have never been more prevalent— business owners can effectively combat these attacks by understanding where their organization is at in the aforementioned phases of IT development. With that awareness, business owners can take the simple, yet necessary actions to proactively address security concerns before they become larger issues. By doing so, SMBs can handle their IT infrastructure concerns, eliminate it as a distraction and get back to focusing on their ultimate strategic objective, growing their business to new heights.
If you are interested in working with a locally based IT and phone partner who can tie all aspects of your technology and communications needs together while supporting and guaranteeing everything they offer at a reasonable price, Blue Fox Group is your best next partner to consider.
When you partner with Blue Fox, we’ll help you meet your business’s technological demands when we architect an effective network and manage your IT remotely. We offer both an Essentials IT and Complete IT support package to meet the needs of any organization. We won’t nickel and dime or over-sell you on services you don’t need.