The simplest way to measure the value of any investment is to look at the kind of return you get from said investment. When it comes to your business technology, evaluating that return isn’t simple at all. There are so many different components to your technology that impact different parts of your operations and figuring out if you’re getting your money’s worth at a glance is all but impossible.
Determining whether you’re getting value out of your IT support starts with understanding what that value actually looks like. In our experience, determining that value comes down to how well your IT provider helps you succeed through the services they provide.
We promise to do these three things for you and your business:
1) Save your business money. That means we offer solutions that make you more efficient, reliable, and have a predictable outcome. Simply put, we deliver a service that is more efficient than what you can do yourself, along with peace of mind knowing that it’s done right and with your best interest in mind. Another way of thinking about this is that we give your Friday nights and your weekends back to you because you’re not dealing with failed technology.
2) Help you and your business make more money by aligning business, IT, and cyber priorities. Saving money is one half of the profit equation. Making more money is the other half. Which is why we find and support the solutions that help to do just that. It goes beyond the necessary “keep the lights on” sort of stuff and looks to the question of how to create an opportunity to build real business value.
3) Reduce your business’ exposure to risk. In finance, risk is equated to volatility. However, for small and mid-sized businesses, it’s mostly the unseen risk/volatility that matters to the bottom line of your business. We aim to mitigate that risk and your exposure to it.
The vast majority of technology providers think they add value with firewalls, backup and recovery services, and some sort password management. In reality, this is just covering the basics and doesn’t go far enough in today’s fast-paced and competitive world.
Most small and mid-sized businesses don’t know a whole lot about cybersecurity and likely don’t know all of the risks factors that need to be considered. Unfortunately, this means most businesses today aren’t equipped to mitigate these risks, given the rapid pace of change and the inability to step back and look at the bigger picture simply because you don’t know what that picture is supposed to look like.
There is probably no faster way to add value to your business than to unscramble the cyber-security issues, ensure compliance requirements are being addressed (yes, we all have some sort of compliance requirements to deal with, though some more than others), and the need to mitigate as many of the other risk factors in your business as possible.
The Where To Start team does our homework; part of the value we offer is making sure your business keeps up with its needs and we do this in two primary ways.
First, we stay in tune with the current trends, concerns, and topics within the industry. For example, security is a big part of the conversation right now, regardless of how much you might know about it.
You know the importance of it, so we’re staying ahead of the game and ensuring that we’re providing our clients with the necessary level of protection. We do this while also educating you on the risks at the same time – a win-win.
Second, we stay connected with our clients, whether that’s through our Technology Business Reviews (TBRs) process or catching up during regular checks-ins. We take the extra time to understand how information moves throughout your business (the who, what, when, and where information is used). As a result, we can offer better ideas and solutions to help with the decision-making process. You’ll have quality information to make an informed decision that is best for your business.
Because we stay current with the trends, the value we provide is greater. And at the same time, your exposure to risk is minimized and your costs are lowered.
With that said, the days of there being an “IT Guy” for a business is rapidly disappearing. Technology is getting easier to install and configure; today’s business doesn’t need an “IT Guy” crawling under desks plugging in cables and setting up new software as much as they once did. Businesses need to have their IT provider focus their efforts around business process improvement (of which, implementing and maintaining technology is a part of) and getting all of the various pieces talking with each other so the real change can happen. It’s not a one-man job anymore, it’s a team effort.
While you can always get some schmuck off the street to handle your technology on the cheap, and while we cost a little bit more than the schmuck, we deliver a lot more for your money. Thus, we are a better value for your business, and you can rest assured we will be there when you need us.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our Value Conversation series.