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Is Technology Sapping Your Productivity


Technology officers in growing businesses need to stay focused on critical operational issues such as the expanded use of information technology to improve security and internal controls and client service. At the same time, many CFOs are addressing the challenge of managing expenses in a tough economy.

One solution can help you not only think about IT support less frequently and unpredictably, it can also help you spend less and in a more predictable manner. Set-fee remote monitoring and IT remediation services are turning the model of outsourced IT support upside down. No longer do users have to live in a break/fix world. No longer do IT leaders need to wonder what is really happening in their environment – are there unknown risks or threats? Is there software running they have no knowledge of? No longer do IT costs have to fluctuate so wildly.

Consider this: think of the talent, time and resources you spend to help ensure the technology supporting your organization is safe and reliable. Yet on any given day, your technology department may be pulled from one emergency to the next – leaving little time to focus on anything else but the chaos a down server or virus creates.

Technology is quickly becoming viewed as another utility; one which is viewed as important as electricity and water. You need an appropriate and optimum solution – nothing more and nothing less – to keep your organization moving. Technology should not be something you have to think much about since it’s not core to what you do. Set-fee IT services are quickly becoming a cost effective method to help ensure the necessary levels of system availability, network monitoring and maintenance, as well as data protection and redundancy.

Yes, set-fee IT services can change the way you look at IT support. But the really beautiful thing is that the model changes the dynamics of how an IT provider profits. In the typical break-fix environment, IT providers make money when your environment “breaks.” In the set-fee remediation services model, the better the IT provider has your environment running, the more profitable their services are to them as well. Imagine an environment where everyone wins the same and everyone is moving in the same direction!

A comprehensive set-fee IT services solution allows you to put IT support on auto-pilot so you can focus on the critical issues your organization faces. Studies identify the following as top reasons to adopt a set-fee solution:

  • Proactive support
    Ninety-three percent of IT problems can be proactively addressed via remote services before they turn into performance problems, downtime, loss of data or security breaches.
  • Heightened productivity
    Businesses report average of over 50 hours of lost productivity per employee per year due to IT problems within their infrastructure.
  • Cost consistency
    IT costs can vary greatly from month to month, creating difficulties around proper budget adherence and planning.
  • Regulatory compliance assistance
    Increased regulation and reporting requirements, security and audit reporting needs, and data management cost companies almost 10 percent of their income per year.
  • Security awareness
    Cyber attacks on organizations via security loopholes and un-patched servers has increased 80 percent over the last two years as intruders look for industry or identity data theft.

Every business is unique and managing the information technology systems cannot be done with a cookie cutter approach. As an organization considers whether set-fee remote monitoring and remediation services is a right fit for their circumstance, it’s important to know what questions to ask:

  1. Capabilities: Does this firm offer the array of services you require? Do they have adequate staff to support your needs?
  2. Availability: Does the firm have available staff at the necessary levels to respond to issues, perform upgrades? On-site resources if necessary?
  3. Role: How does the firm position itself? Technical expertise, advisory role, vendor facilitator?
  4. Integrity: Does the firm have the reputation of trust and reliability?
  5. Progressive: Does the firm have processes procedures in place to continually improve its service offerings and deliverables?
  6. Stability: How long has the firm been in business?

With the evolving nature of technology and the economy, moving beyond the typical chaos and stress of break/fix IT management is imperative. If you are starting to re-evaluate your technology department, we recommend that you look to augment or supplement current staff so the IT department can focus on what they were hired to do. The right technology partner can provide your organization with predictable, business-focused services that optimize operations, manage risk and deliver a significantly increased value from technology.

Aaron Donaldson is a Director with RSM technology practice. He can be reached at aaron.donaldson@rsmus.com


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