Why You Need Comprehensive IT Management

It’s a simple fact that, in today’s business, your organization is only as strong as its IT. 

Need to keep track of your inventory? That’s IT. Want to attract new customers? IT again. Deliver purchases? Communicate internally? Manage expenses? Keep your existing customers happy? IT, IT, IT and, obviously, IT.

Basically, everything your business needs to keep functioning can be traced to the technology you use. And yet, for many small and mid-sized businesses, IT management is often handled in a patchwork fashion. 

Security is reactive, rather than proactive. Computers and other hardware are purchased as needed, without a roadmap for growth. Backups and recovery tools aren’t employed on a rigid, regular schedule.

This is, to be frank, a recipe for disaster. Your IT should never reach the point where you’re forced to constantly put out fires. It needs to be in a place where fires don’t happen, but if they do, they can be put out as quickly as possible.

In other words, your business doesn’t just need IT management, it needs comprehensive IT management.

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A holistic approach to IT

Comprehensive IT management is really an umbrella term for nine different areas of your IT that need managing. These areas are:

  1. IT infrastructure, such as servers, storage, networking equipment, and cloud resources.

  2. Networking, including design, implementation, and maintenance to ensure security and reliable connectivity.

  3. Cyber security measures like firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection, and regular security audit to protect your data and IT systems.

  4. Data collection and storage; database management, backup, and recovery; and security compliance.

  5. Software deployment, maintenance, and updating.

  6. Support operations, such as help desk services for troubleshooting and fixes when IT-related issues are encountered by employees or customers.

  7. IT strategy and consulting to identify areas of improvement, assess current IT capabilities, and develop a roadmap for future technology investments.

  8. Cloud services, from adoption and migration to the ongoing optimization of environments.

  9. Compliance and risk management so you are always meeting industry regulations, conducting regular audits, and developing risk management strategies as threats evolve.

Finding the right fit

Unless your business is massive or you have a lot of cash to burn for some reason, the first two options are not really an option at all. This leaves finding a right partner as the best path forward.

The question is, how do you find the right partner? 

Not all managed IT services providers are the same, after all, and for comprehensive IT management to be truly comprehensive, you need whomever you partner with to have the ability to take tech completely off your plate.

That means finding a provider that understands the big picture as much as the nitty-gritty. A provider that offers insights and a strategic vision along with technical expertise. And when you find such a partner, here’s what you’ll get:

An entire team: Hiring a single IT person is inefficient for most business needs. You’ll find yourself profoundly under supported when a crisis hits. Managed services providers offer access to a trusted team that can scale up and down with your needs.

True experts in each role: Rather than asking a single generalist to be good at everything, partnering with an IT management company gives you specialists in every area. That means you have professionals in place to handle every scenario — from security to data recovery to communications systems and beyond.

A guide through compliance requirements: Many companies have strong compliance needs like HIPAA and PCI. IT security professionals are equipped to help you meet compliance standards at every step.

Stronger security: When you’re working with sensitive legal, financial, or medical information, you can’t afford to leave anything to chance. IT management services providers ensure that you’ve got the security protocols in place to keep you covered.

A commitment to near-zero downtime: Providers should be proactively monitoring critical IT assets to stay ahead of potential problems, so disruption doesn’t become a distraction for your business.

What to look for

As for how you can find a provider capable of providing you with everything above, the main thing you need to do beyond assessing their track record is to pay close attention to their process.

At minimum, a managed IT services provider that really offers comprehensive IT management should have a process that consists of these three basic stages:

  1. Assessment. This is where they learn your business. They conduct a full review of your existing IT systems, software, and security. In this process, they connect with your executive team and gain insight into your unique business objectives and values to ensure that your IT systems align with your strategic ends.

  2. Strategy. Managed services providers should start with a plan. With your organizational objectives in mind, they make sure that your IT systems, software, and security facilitate productivity and profitability at every step.

  3. Execution. While you move your business forward, providers proactively take care of your IT assets, staying ahead of issues, helping you scale for the future, and planning budgets that align with your business goals.

Most of all, the managed IT services provider you choose should be proactive. Preventing downtime and keeping your IT humming requires more than a check-in every now and then. You need a partner that is able to provide you with round-the-clock monitoring, as well as modern backup solutions for your data that includes:

  • Image-based backups. Image-based backups take snapshots of your system one or more times per day. Those images can be used to restore the entire system or an individual file in the case of loss or a disaster.
  • Local data. Local backups allow you to retrieve and restore your data quickly in the event of an IT system hack or a catastrophic outage.
  • Offsite cloud-based storage. Cloud-based backups protect your business from physical disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes.
  • Cloud-to-cloud backup. Cloud-to-cloud backups protect your Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 data in the event of hacking and/or accidental deletion.

Avoid half-measures with your IT

Your IT systems should be a strategic asset in your operations arsenal, and you need professionals who you can trust to keep them sharp.

An experienced managed IT services provider gives you comprehensive technology support customized to your business. From budgeting to upgrades to backup and recovery, an IT services partner can help you minimize downtime, maximize technology investments, and empower your teams to focus on what they do best.

This post was originally published in 2023 and has recently been updated.

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Kevin is the Founder and CEO of Dynamic Computing. He’s both a visionary leader and an expert hands on practitioner with years of experience in all things IT. Dynamic Computing makes technology work for top-performing small to mid-sized organizations in the Seattle area. We offer managed IT services, IT consulting and transformations for companies from a few to a few hundred employees. Kevin founded Dynamic Computing in the year 2000 while in attending the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. As a fourth generation small business owner and entrepreneur, Kevin knew that small to mid-sized companies needed a better solution to help guide and support their use of technology. So he set out to build a company that would look closer to truly understand our clients' businesses and partner with them to guide and support them on their path. Over the past few years, we've focused our energy on growth, change and improvement, scaling our operations and improving our processes with every step. We've managed to triple the size of our team and revenues while consistently ranking among the best in class for industry performance. Kevin was recognized as a 40 under 40 honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2018 and as Washington State's Mr. Future Business Leader by FBLA in 1998. So what’s next? Well, we're building the premier managed IT services company in the Pacific Northwest and we won’t stop until we get there. We hope you’ll join us on our journey.