Your guide to technology, from the minds of a progressive IT consultant firm in Orange County

As experienced IT consultants in Orange County, we know that healthy, relevant, and strategic technology is the cornerstone of any modern, successful business. Keeping your workplace technology current and functioning efficiently will not only ensure employee productivity but give your business an important edge in today’s competitive market.

Achieving this edge, however, can seem out of reach if you don’t know what technology will work best for your business or how to keep it functioning properly. Ensuring employees are trained and empowered to use that technology is also important.

And sometimes, you need the help of an IT consultant to develop the right strategy for your company.

Leveraging our extensive experience as an IT consultant firm, we’ve created a simple guide to technology. In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • IT consulting, tech trends, and major brands
  • Break-fix IT support versus Managed IT Services
  • IT education, training, and empowerment

IT consultants, tech trends, and major brands

First and foremost, you need the right technology in the right places. Even if your technology is healthy and performing at its best, it won’t make any difference if it doesn’t compliment the way your business operates.

Finding and implementing the right technology isn’t always as simple as it sounds. With so many different technologies out there and just as many ways to leverage those technologies, it can be difficult for an SMB to make informed, strategic business decisions when it comes to their IT needs.

Tips to find and implement the right technology:

  • Pay attention to big brands.While certain technologies are complicated or difficult to access, most are not. There’s a reason big brands become big. To identify more streamlined or accessible technology, look to other companies for what brands they’re buying and how they’re implementing them. Then make strides to integrate similar technology and strategies into your own business.
  • Remain up-to-date on trends. You’ll also need a big-picture view of what’s going on with business technology to make informed decisions. Appoint someone internally to watch over tech trends or partner with an IT consultant who is already knowledgeable about what is new or developing in the world of tech.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes, the best technology strategy isn’t always the most uniform. Creative technology applications and integrations can allow your business to make a big impact fast. Take a cue from companies like Etsy, Uber, and even Tinder. Find innovative ways to use technology and your business will become more memorable and successful.

Relevant & Interesting: Five technology trends shaping the future of business

Break-fix IT support versus Managed IT Services

Once you have the right technology in place, you need to make sure it remains healthy. After all, if your perfectly matched technology doesn’t work, what good will it be?

So, how do would an IT consultant proceed?

There are two main levels of IT support: break-fix IT support or Managed IT Services. Break-fix IT support basically means wait until it breaks, then get it fixed. Managed IT Services refer to more comprehensive service options that not only fix what’s broken but perform updates and maintenance to keep things from breaking in the first place.

Here are some key points to considering which option is best for your business:

  1. Partnering with a tech support company, and having them on standby until something happens, is one option. However, while it’s good to have a resource on standby, there are downfalls to employing the “Break-fix” method, where resources are only applied to fixing the problem instead of preventing it. If something breaks or malfunctions, there will undoubtedly be some degree of downtime. You may lose data, experience revenue loss, or even a data breach. Outages and downtime don’t come cheap and can also affect employee productivity and morale. Luckily, there’s an alternative to break-fix tech support.
  2. You could partner with a Managed Services Provider. Here at Animodus, we offer a Managed IT Services solution that provides proactive IT support. The idea behind this offering is to deliver ongoing IT services that prevent issues from occurring. For a flat, monthly rate, you can avoid the cost of downtime, expenses, and reputation damage.

Most IT consultants will recommend a proactive approach over a break/fix approach.

Relevant & Insightful: 6 key advantages to using Managed IT Services

IT education, training, and empowerment

Now that you have the right technology in place, and you’re doing what is needed to keep that technology working consistently, let’s talk knowledge. Any IT consultant worth their weight will address this important topic.

The key to unleashing the power of technology in your workplace is to make sure your employees know what technology is available to them and understand how to use it. Ensuring your employees feel empowered to use new technology is also important. If they feel unsure or intimidated by new technology, they may revert back to older, less efficient programs or equipment.

Here are a few suggestions to keep your employees relevant on new technology:

  • Create solid IT policies. These policies should cover everything from email best practices and mobile devices to password generation and internet rules. If these policies are detailed and well communicated, your team is more likely to use technology successfully and efficiently.
  • Exchange office-wide emails. Designate a Communicator for your office who will send office-wide emails whenever they come across helpful tech tips. Podcasts, blogs, and newsletters are great sources for valuable content on topics like how to use Windows more efficiently, how to better organize your email, or how to unlock hidden Excel features.
  • Organize new technology workshops. Whenever a new technology is implemented within your organization, you must take it seriously from the very beginning. Don’t allow people to pick up bad habits (or retreat to old ones) and don’t allow confusion to set in. Instead, organize workshops before, during, and after a new technology is introduced. You can use these workshops to explain why this tech is important and how to use it appropriately.
  • Conduct quarterly training sessions. Don’t just train employees once and assume they’ll remember everything. Consider meeting quarterly to review newly implemented technologies, go over IT policies and best practices, and keep employees educated on new security threats. Make sure employees have the chance to ask questions and turn it into a team-bonding experience by providing lunch.

Relevant & Helpful: How to train employees on new technology

Final thoughts

If you want to grow your business and obtain new heights of success in the process, technology is one of the best ways to go about it. But technology can be unwieldy. You may want the help of an IT consultant to ensure you’re leveraging your technology in ways that make sense.

Technology gives your team the opportunity to work smarter, to be more efficient, and to expand capabilities.

Don’t stop with this guide. Keep learning about technology and how it can positively impact your business. If you’re looking for more reading material, check out our brochure.