Hey there all you laddies and lasses! St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner, so we have decided that in celebration of this holiday, we are going to let you in on a few secrets that will help your company have the luckiest IT services. So, take off your leprechaun top hat, put down the green beer, and pay close attention.
1. Educate Yourself
The IT industry is complex. Especially now, when the changes are happening at such a rapid rate it is sometimes difficult to keep up, even for those in the industry. We recognize the fact that business people like yourself are stretched thin as it is. You barely have time to get all of your other responsibilities taken care of, let alone add more to the pile. That said, keeping yourself informed about the IT industry and your network specifically needs to be one of those responsibilities.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should know every single little detail about your network. If you were the IT expert, there would be no reason for you to get IT support! But, you need to make sure you have at least a basic understanding of how everything works.
Think about it this way- if you go to the doctor and they tell you that you have high blood pressure, they are going to tell you their recommendation on how to bring it down. So what is the first thing many of us do when we get home? We Google it. We do research. We spend some time getting a basic understanding and then we call our doctor up with a whole list of questions.
2. Trust your experts
Yes, this may seem contradictory to the point above, but in fact, it fits perfectly. Allow me to explain.
Let’s go back to the doctor example. After you Google all that information, spend some time on WebMD, you go back to your doctor with questions and ideas on how to bring your blood pressure down. And (hopefully) your doctor will take the time to go through everything with you, explaining what is or is not a good idea. And at the end of the day, even if you go and get a second opinion, the advice that is going to carry the most weight will come from a doctor. Why? It’s pretty simple- they trained for this. They went to school, they passed the tests, and they deal with problems like these on a daily basis. They have the foundation, knowledge, and experience that make them the trusted expert.
Your IT system is no different. Should you blindly follow the advice of your IT support? No. But their advice should carry the most weight.
You have to be able to trust the people you hired as your IT support. They are dealing with a critical piece of your business. These days, you literally couldn’t run a business without technology. So if you find yourself doubting the intentions of your IT support, it might be time to start looking elsewhere. You need to trust your IT support just as much as you would trust your doctor.
3. Budget it in
If you don’t already have at least one line item in your organization’s budget that it for IT, you need to change that immediately. Technology doesn’t just help your business here and there, it runs your business. Without technology, the vast majority of the companies across the globe wouldn’t exist.
If you don’t yet realize how crucial technology is to your business, try going just 2 hours without using a single piece of technology. That means no computer, no phone, etc. Break out the dusty old paper and pencil and see how much work you are able to get done without technology. Here’s a hint- it won’t be much.
That’s why it’s so important to budget in any seen and unforseen IT costs into your budget every year. Work with your IT support to determine how much will be needed each year. Do you have any big projects (equipment replacements, system updgrades, etc.) that will need to be done? Does your IT support bill you hourly? If so, how many hours do you need to budget for? Do you have a budget set aside for unforseen issues? What if a server unexpectedly crashes?
When you plan your budget for the year, take the time to sit with your IT support and have an in-depth talk about the budget that is needed to keep your IT running as smoothly as possible for the whole year.
These might seem like big ideas, but you will be surprised how easy it will be to implement them into the organization. And, once you adopt the right attitude, you will be astonished at how quickly your IT system will seem to just fall into place. And when your IT is running smoothly, your entire business will run better.