Use an IT Professional!
There is something I want to get off of my chest. I am not writing this article out of anger or frustration. I am generally concerned about the local small business owner and their employees. Let me tell you why using a qualified IT Professional is crucial for your business.
As an IT Professional I am often called in to meet with potential clients when they decide that they can no longer manage their IT infrastructure by themselves or when they realize that their current IT company just isn’t working for them. When I receive a call from one of these clients I setup an onsite appointment in order to meet with them, analyze their current setup and offer my services. Sometimes this goes very well and I am impressed by what I find but more often than not I walk into a disaster waiting to happen.
I know… I’m a little bias. Considering that I own an IT company I definitely feel that the way people utilize technology can give them a considerable edge over their competition. I also feel like setting up policies, procedures and ensuring that your current system is secure should be a primary focus of any business owner. With that being said I can tell you that this is rarely the case.
Many small business owners don’t see the value in hiring an IT Professional to support their computers or networks on a continuing basis. Some companies may have an employee with a little bit of computer experience that they rely on. This is not only an inefficient use of that employees time but it’s also dangerous way to attempt to save money. Another common scenario I find is that the owner of a small business may have a relative that does computer work on the side and they will rely on them for advice or service. I have seen first hand the aftermath of these situations and it’s not pretty.
When I walk into a company that has been operating like this the first thing I look for is how they are backing up their data. In most instances they aren’t even though they think that it’s being taken care of by their employee or family member. In my profession there isn’t much worse than telling someone that their valuable data is lost forever because it wasn’t being backed up properly.
The second thing I look for is the way that the company is current setup. Many times I spot incorrect configurations, out dated systems and huge security risks. This can lead to virus infections, legal issues and other serious problems.
The truth is that unless you are a trained professional that works in IT you aren’t qualified to design or maintain a company’s computer network. If you own a small business hire a qualified IT company to advise you and maintain your IT infrastructure. You’ll be glad that you did.