For many companies, their IT costs are out of control. Some months, they’re low, and other months, due to unexpected tech issues, the costs are much higher. The reason for these out-of-control costs is simple: out-of-control technology.
Technology is not something that can be installed and forgotten – it is interwoven into the business itself, and thus needs to be managed just as the business itself is managed. In addition, technology must also play a role in the business strategic planning.
Technology should not be a cost center
Handled properly, technology is not a cost center – it’s a cost controller. Technology can enable your staff to easily communicate, gather data, process orders, analyze business trends, plan marketing, manage the supply chain, and handle accounting. With something this important, why wouldn’t any business seek to actively manage this set of tools?
The roots of the problem go back to the days when technology was applied piecemeal, to solve specific problems. One person needed a better typewriter, so they got a PC. Everyone with a PC wanted to share a printer, so that was set up. The accounting person needed accounting software, so it was installed.
Often, little or no strategic thought went into these implementations. Each one existed separate from the other, and each implementation was considered an end in itself.
The problem is, as networks grow in complexity, with an uncontrolled mix of various technologies of various ages, things start to fail, and those failures have a ripple effect. When systems fail, emergency efforts are brought to bear (and emergencies are always expensive!), with solutions intended to address just the immediate symptoms. And that cycle can go on and on, draining money and energy from the company.
Align Business and Technology
The modern office aligns technology and business. The Information Technology (IT) infrastructure is seen as a part of the business process. Expenditures and implementations are made with this in mind. Any changes, implementations or improvements are made with an eye on the big picture.
For day-to-day operations, the infrastructure is monitored and proactively managed. These practices ensure, on an ongoing basis, that the network is up-to-date, and trouble spots are often identified before they impact productivity.
This type of involvement pays huge dividends, because network downtime is expensive – over $10K per hour, according so some studies. Therefore, if bringing technology and business into alignment can reduce network downtime by just a few hours, the technology truly contributes to the company’s bottom line.
When IT service companies take on the network management for a business, it is called Managed Services. The emergence of Managed IT Services in the past decade or so has revolutionized how businesses use technology to control costs and boost profits.
Clare Computer Solutions has been providing Managed Services through their NetCentral service for well over a decade. At first, communicating the value of this service was difficult – companies were too accustomed to the “break-fix” support paradigm. Managed Services also translates well to the hybrid onsite/cloud IT infrastructure model. Contact us today, and find out how your business can benefit from NetCentral.
The post To Control IT Costs, Control Your Technology appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.
In the pantheon of devices that make up a company’s IT infrastructure, the lowly PC seems to be of little concern. They’ve come down in price considerably over the years, so despite the fact that the PC is often the primary connection between workers and the network, the desktop doesn’t get a huge amount of respect.
Until one dies, that is.
A failed PC doesn’t warrant the same response (or prevention) as a server or router. And yet, it is disruptive, and often the disruption radiates outward as the workers with whom the user of the broken PC interacts find they can’t do THEIR jobs as easily, either.
So, what’s the course of action when a PC dies, or becomes too malware-laden to be useful? This is where the low cost of the device actually works against it. Any “repair” that takes more than a few hours is likely to end up costing more than a new machine. But even a new machine will have to have all the productivity software installed and be configured for the end user’s role in the company.
Ideally, nothing of value should be stored on a user’s PC. The network should be configured to that the disk drives that store the user’s working information should be mapped network drives.
But old habits are hard to break – invariably, something important is always stored on a user’s machine.
Desktop Backup and Imaging Pays for Itself
By installing technology to back up the data for each desktop along with an image, recovery time is greatly reduced.
If a PC becomes unusable due to a virus, the machine can be “wiped clean” and the backed up image and data restored in about an hour.
Similarly, if a PC flat out dies, a new one can be purchased, and the backed up image and data applied to the new machine, and productivity restored very quickly.
If you need to use the image and data backup even two or three times in a year, it will save more money than the solution costs. Don’t let problems with a desktop machine affect your users’ productivity!
The post Desktop Backup and Imaging Can Be Invaluable appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.
No one likes to deal with the unexpected, when it comes to your company’s technology. If any part of your company’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure has a problem, it has a ripple affect across the enterprise. Production slows or stops, and everyone has to scramble to get the problem resolved, and emergency help is always expensive.
What if there was a way to see problems before they happen? Why can’t the company network have gauges and lights to indicate its health on an ongoing basis, just like an automobile?
The fact is, the technology exists to not only know the current health of your IT infrastructure, but the same tools can gather data over time to spot slower developing trends that can enable planning for problems on the horizon, before they adversely affect your business.
Measure to Manage
The company network cannot be managed if it appears as an opaque monolith. Just as with your vehicle, it’s important to know what’s going on inside, and be notified if something is amiss.
There are technology tools that can assess certain processes in key elements of the network, and thresholds can be set that will cause alerts to be sent if those thresholds are exceeded.
But live alerts, while helpful, are still creating reactive action, rather than proactive preventive action. For that, trending data over time is needed.
Getting the Big Picture
The same mechanisms that can send alerts for trouble conditions being detected can store the day-by-day data, and that data, when viewed in a month-to-month context, can provide valuable insights into the future of the IT infrastructure.
Common examples would be CPU usage, or disk storage. A trend towards increasing CPU usage or disk storage can indicate when a server should be replaced, or upgraded, often months in advance. This has hugely positive implications. A server that crashes due to being pushed beyond its capacity is disruptive and expensive. Moreover, the resulting expense is unexpected and affects cash flow.
With IT trend analysis, it can be possible to anticipate future needs and budget for them. The result is an IT infrastructure that’s more reliable, and under control.
Clare Computer Solutions’ NetCentral enables your company’s technology to provide the operational feedback to stay ahead of most problems. We can help interpret the resulting data to leverage that knowledge to ensure your network is reliable, and running at optimum levels. Once NetCentral is implemented, you will wonder how you ever got along without it!
The post IT Trend Analysis is Like a Crystal Ball for Your Business appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.
© United Data Voice • 510.545.TALK (8255)