IT Support Blog for Small Business Owners

What is an IT audit and when do you need one?

Posted by Michael Silverman on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

IT Audit

There are many forces that may drive a business to conduct an IT audit. Compliance agencies, prospects, or even software developers may require one. Or you, as a business owner, may be proactively seeking ways to improve or better leverage your existing IT investments. Let’s expand on each of these briefly:

● Compliance agencies:  A growing number of sources—including HIPAA (healthcare), PCI (payment card/transaction), Sarbanes-Oxley (internal financial controls), and state privacy acts—have generated an increase in audits by accounting firms and related agencies.

● Prospects:  Increasingly, customers or prospects will request documented confirmation of the quality of your infrastructure, policies, and procedures, especially if you are doing business with larger corporations and leveraging EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

●Software developers: Small businesses aren’t usually targeted, but it is not uncommon for a disgruntled employee to raise a flag triggering a software licensing audit, whether warranted or not.

● You, the business owner: IT can be something of an unknown entity. A proper IT audit will answer questions such as: Do I need to expand? Or, conversely, have I invested in unnecessary, inefficient, or outdated IT resources? Might outsourcing my IT be a better solution?  

What’s in an IT audit? 

All IT audits are focused on identifying risks of one type or another.  An IT audit could be strictly financial, more broadly focused on policies and procedures, or narrowly targeted toward the physical IT infrastructure itself. 

Financially-oriented IT audits are usually internally driven.  Management may be questioning the ROI (Return on Investment) of existing labor investments.  Are IT staff workloads increasing, while total employee headcount or sales remain static?  Are equipment upgrades being requested that budgets can’t support?  Are you experiencing project budget overruns, or have past projects not met expectations?  The IT audit process can answer these financially-oriented questions.

IT audits related to privacy policy may originate from either the Human Resources department or the IT department itself.  Issues of privacy are in the news almost daily.  Do you have a written privacy policy detailing how you manage and maintain employee and client data?  What controls are you leveraging to manage and mitigate a potential breach of your systems and potential loss of data considered private?  Do you have both a written policy and the necessary associated controls to manage your employees’ use of email and the internet? An IT audit can be used to review and update, or to create these policies.

Change management is not just an IT or Human Resources process, but a company management process. As employees come and go, is your IT department aware of all staff changes?  Are procedures in place to insure that terminated employees or interns no longer have access to your technology?  Do active employees have access only to the data and systems needed to perform their jobs?  What is your process for upgrading your primary line of business applications?  Is it as controlled as it should be?  Do you have an adequate “fall back” position in the event the upgrade goes south? An IT audit can be used to tighten up these change management procedures.     

Technical IT audits evaluate physical infrastructures: security systems; infrastructure design and configuration; equipment age and supportability; licensing compliance… The list can go on and on. Even if the physical components of your IT infrastructure make the grade, auditors will also want to understand your IT processes and procedures.  The absence of processes and procedures, or inconsistency in executing them, will draw the attention of auditors, but even more importantly, will increase your risk of business system outages.  At its core, an IT audit, however granular it may become, should be focused on understanding security vulnerabilities, capacity and end-of-life equipment risk, and disaster recovery / business continuity metrics.   

Should you be considering an IT audit?

If you’ve found that you yourself, your internal IT team, or your outsourced provider are unable to answer many of the above questions, or if you’re just not satisfied with the answers you receive, now is the time to begin planning an IT audit or Network Assessment of your systems, processes, and procedures.  The insights you will gain from this effort, whether you perform it yourself, or outsource it, will empower you to act from a position of greater strength.  The net result will be a clear picture of your operations, with discrete action items that will improve your business.

Request A Free Network Assessment

Topics: Business IT, IT Outsourcing, IT Audit

Advantages of Proactive IT Support vs. Reactive Break/Fix Service

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Sat, Oct 12, 2013

Reactive vs. Proactive IT SupportMaintaining a well-performing, predictably available IT infrastructure for your company is obviously important.  Access to your business applications, customer data, and your financial information are critical for the success of your business.  If the computers and other IT hardware that deliver access to that information for you, your employees, and your customers fail, it will negatively impact your business.  Customers and employees become frustrated, and your bottom line suffers anytime you have IT problems or outages.

The truth is that avoiding IT issues is only possible if you are proactively monitoring your IT hardware.  Staying ahead of potential problems, and correcting issues before they ultimately result in outages, is the key to maintaining availability and performance.  The concept here is truly no different than engaging in regular, proactive, and disciplined checkups…just like we do with other items in our lives.

We go to the doctor for regular checkups with the hope that if a symptom of a medical problem is detected, something can be prescribed to remedy the situation before a major medical issue occurs.  We bring our car in for regular maintenance, changing the oil, checking engine fluids, and checking performance of the vehicle with the hope of avoiding a major breakdown on the road, or a major mechanical problem. 

In both of these cases, a lack of scheduled checkups or maintenance, “reactive management” if you will, could lead to serious problems: a heart attack can result from undetected high-blood pressure, or a clogged artery that could have been easily detected and rectified ahead of time; low oil levels, or dirty transmission fluid which could lead to a vehicle breakdown, could have been easily addressed ahead of time.  And the resulting “cost” of addressing these issues without taking the disciplined proactive steps, could be astronomical: a major heart attack or a blown engine is nothing anyone wants to experience...and though these “real costs may be difficult to quantify, we all know they are significant”.

The same theory applies to IT.  There are “technical” things that can be done, “proactively” in the background, which will identify potential problems….much like regular scheduled checkups or maintenance.  Those technical things can in many instances correct the problem, or at the very least, tell you what needs to be done in order to rectify the issue and avoid an outage.  Things like disk drives that are performing poorly, and if not addressed, will fail.  

Viruses that are detected, can be removed; new viruses that have been identified in the market place, that your infrastructure can be protected from ahead of time so they never become an issue.  Conditions in back-up routines that indicate a future failed back-up; computer processors that are being overburdened or are aging, that will ultimately fail.  Events like these, and many others, can be proactively managed and addressed by an IT support provider, so an end-user or customer has a much higher likelihood of not facing a “hard down” outage.

The difference with IT, however, is that this can only be done effectively if the infrastructure is being monitored and managed twenty-four hours a day.  IT hardware is susceptible and vulnerable around the clock…conditions are just that dynamic.  Someone, or more specifically something, like IT management tools, should be looking at your IT hardware all the time to give you the best opportunity to avoid any downtime for your business.  IT outages are much less likely, and much less painful from a business perspective, if potential problems are addressed ahead of time, rather than when a complete failure occurs. 

We all know that when an outage occurs, it’s too late.  That’s when the fire drill begins, and there is panic to get a vendor out immediately to fix something…often times something you are not even sure what it is…and what if a replacement part is required, and it’s not immediately available.  Employees are aggravated with their inability to do their job.  And most importantly, customers may be impacted negatively…orders may be lost, and your reputation may be put at risk in your specific market place.

Needless to say, when there is an IT outage, the pain is an acute…a heart attack or a blown engine if you will…and though these “real costs may be difficult to quantify, we all know they are significant”.  Taking a proactive approach to your IT support is far less costly than a reactive wait and see approach to IT support.  A first step to becoming proactive with your IT is requesting a free network assessment, its like a health fitness exam for your IT infrastructure.

 Request A Network Assessment

 

Topics: IT Support, Business IT, Break Fix, IT Outsourcing, Time & Materials

Is Your Computer Support Guy Treating You Like A “Bad Date?”

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Wed, Oct 02, 2013

IT Support NerdIs your computer support guy treating you like a bad date?

  • Not returning your calls fast enough…
  • Constantly missing deadlines…
  • Not fixing things right the first time…
  • Never following up on your requests?
  • Promises made and not kept?

It just amazes me how unreliable and arrogant some IT services companies are…

When you call them for help, you end up talking to their voice mail. When you finally get them on the phone, they make you wait hours – even days – before they actually get your problem resolved. Sometimes it never seems to get fixed and it’s easier to find a work-around or simply fix it yourself than to call your IT provider!

Even then, a lot of them take longer than they promised, nickel and dime you over everything and, as a final insult, they act like they’re doing YOU the favor! Every time you call your IT service company you are guaranteed an invoice, but not necessarily a resolution.  They often use their techno speak to confuse you, and respond when they feel like it, its never about your requirements and more about their schedule. 

You don’t need a computer nerd to act like a bad date; what you need is a new approach to your IT support.  The old Time & Materials approach is no longer effective for your growing small business. I spend most of my time speaking with our clients and prospects; the vast majority of business owners I speak to already have an IT service provider relationship in place, however, the business owner is exasperated with how poorly their IT provider is treating them.  You need IT support but you don’t need an unresponsive Time & Materials provider, there is a better way, a new way. 

There Is A Better Way to Receive IT Support for your Business

By changing your IT support approach from reactive (where you are waiting for a problem and then reactively calling your IT support guy to solve an issue) to proactive (where you rely upon a new IT support company to proactively manage your IT computer systems and software.  This new proactive approach can actually reduce the frustrating breakdowns and bring your network back to a reliable and highly available network you once had.

Better yet, the proactive approach can be purchased as a monthly fixed fee that you can budget for and rely upon to solve all of your network issues.  As the owner you no longer have to balance the cost of a potential T & M service call vs. accepting the IT frustration of a lingering IT problem.

With this new IT Support approach your IT Support provider is financially incented to get your network running so well that he never has to stop everything and be interrupted by an unexpected problem in your network.  Imagine an IT relationship with your new IT solutions partner where you both are working together for a mutual goal; a 100% percent available network, no downtime, no problems, happy and productive employees.

This new approach is called IT Outsourcing, or perhaps you have heard it called a Managed Service; the IT solutions company is called a Managed Service Provider (MSP.)  You can outsource your workstations and servers, or your Wide Area Network and your Local Area Network, your disaster recovery systems and even your phone system.

There is no longer a reason to feel like your IT support is a bad date that never ends, you can find an IT Managed Service provider that will treat you like you felt on your first date with your significant other: goose bumps! There is a new way and a better way to purchase your companies IT Support.

Want To Learn More: You can sign up for a one-hour webinar and learn how Managed Services might help your company lower your IT costs, improve your network and application availability and make your employees more productive! Learn how IT Managed Services can improve your business!

What a Business Owner should know about the Cloud

Not Ready To Watch a Webinar yet?

If not, I’d at least like to give you a copy of my new free report, “6 Essential IT Outsourcing Strategies For Your Business.” Even if you aren’t ready to watch a webinar right now; this report will give you some important strategies for you to consider regarding your IT.

 6 Essential IT Outsourcing Strategies

Topics: IT Support, Business IT, IT Outsourcing, IT Solutions, Managed Service Provider, Disaster Recovery

Should you consider IT Outsourcing for your small business?

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Wed, Sep 04, 2013

IT SupportIf you’re like most small businesses, you rely on your workstations, laptops, servers and technology to keep your business running. Unfortunately, that means when your IT stops working, you and your business stop working. Anything from computer problems, network glitches, viruses, or software issues can bring your work to a halt very quickly and cost you money to fix. Even a relatively ‘simple’ problem or question could involve many hours of troubleshooting, resulting in unplanned downtime and expenses.

To keep your employees productive, you need to keep your PCs, printers, routers, servers, network, firewall and applications and other systems running like clockwork. Managing your IT technology may not be the business you’re in, but it is important for your success as a whole. Not only do you need a way to minimize the frequent tech issues that drag down productivity and drive up costs, you also need to maximize the tools and technologies that increase productivity and help your business grow.

So where do you turn if you don’t have the time to manage it on your own or the money to keep a dedicated tech team on staff? You look to an IT services provider – a partner that can give you access to your own IT team.  Also known as a Managed Services Provider (MSP), an outside MSP can take over the day-to-day management of your IT needs. A good provider can offer set-up, maintenance and proactive IT management, as well as solutions for simple, but important questions or fast-breaking problems whenever they arise.  Put simply, an MSP can give you a better way to manage your technology and support your business. If you feel outside IT support makes sense for you, here are a few key questions to ask when choosing an MSP.

1. Do they understand your business?

You want a provider who already works with businesses like yours – who knows the technology, software, and hardware you use within your industry.  An association or a non-profit has entirely different IT needs than a manufacturer.  When speaking with an MSP, be specific about your set-up, applications and your concerns. Ask directly, do they understand and already support a business like yours? Are they familiar with the software applications you work with day in, day out? Can they work with PCs, with Macs, with servers? What about mobile devices or combinations of different printers, scanners, and routers and firewalls?

2. Can they support you remotely or On-site? How fast can they respond?

While it may seem comforting to have a technician come to your office with tools in hand, the convenience and speed of remote service and support is invaluable. Remote support is faster, and more efficient.  For example, if you’re experiencing a problem, you call your provider, who walks you through some diagnostics, resets, or other procedures on the spot. This can often resolve many issues without an in-person visit. Remotely delivered support is remarkably fast. In other cases, a provider can access your systems and networks remotely (with your permission, of course). They can reset routers, change network settings, scan systems for viruses and malware, or reinstall software and handle many other problems in far less time. Why wait for a truck to arrive if you can do it now?

Just ask: What are your remote capabilities?

With that said, there will be times when you need on-site support. Such as when you’re setting up new equipment, resolving physical issues with networks, moving equipment around the office, or when problems can’t be handled remotely. You need a provider who can deploy on-site technicians promptly, wherever you happen to be.

3. Do they work nights and weekends 24 hours a day 365 days a year?

When do you most need service and help? If you are in retail, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, or any other business where 9-to-5 doesn’t apply, you need a provider who is 24/7.  Or maybe the only time you can stop for service is outside of your working hours.  A provider who is daylight-only may provide only limited services, or slower response after regular business hours. Who has time for that? Look for a provider who keeps hours for your convenience. And who doesn’t have a slower response time or charge more just because it’s dark out.

4. Do they offer Proactive Support?

It’s always best to have a relationship with an MSP before something happens. When your network crashes or your computers go dark, that is not the time to start hunting for help. You want a resource you know, and who knows your IT environment before there is a problem.  Ask the MSP what preventative services they provide, to help spot potential problems before something breaks. This can involve scanning your computers for rogue code, troubleshooting your network, testing your network for performance issues. All to prevent problems before they happen. Can the MSP show you that over time through their proactive processes that you will have fewer issues? Ask their references if the MSP has been able to lower their IT issues over time, after all isn’t that what you are trying to accomplish?

5. Do they offer an unlimited amount of Support Desk incidents?

Beware the MSP who tells you how much support time you require in hours or in incidents and then charges additional for anything you use over their allowance.  This can lead to unforeseen monthly charges, and end up costing your business much more than you originally thought you were going to pay.  Ask the MSP if they offer an unlimited support option; ideally, if the MSP is doing their job well, there will not be a lot of support incidents.  Ask the MSP if they have outsourced their support desk. Is the support provided from a call center overseas? Do they offer 24 X 7 support? Can they demonstrate that reactive support desk issues go down over time? 

6. Has the MSP’s policies and practices been audited? Do they have SSAE16 Type II accreditation?

You wouldn’t use an accountant who was not certified, nor would you go to a doctor who was not certified, so why outsource your IT services to someone who is not certified? The SSAE16 Type II accreditation insures that an independent IT expert, against a stringent set of policies and best practices, has audited your MSP.  Ask to see their SSAE16 opinion letter; it should be issued without any contingencies or exceptions.  Don’t rely on the MSP saying hey have been in business for X amount of years, without an audit, there is no way of you to determine if they are actually operating their clients in a best practice manner. 

7. How do they charge? What do they provide?

While it may seem prudent to arrange for support on an a la carte basis, only when something breaks, that practice can be unpredictable and costly.

That’s especially irritating when the problem could have been prevented. Or a simple question could have been answered in no time. A better option, more and more common, is an all-inclusive monthly subscription fee – priced either per device or for the entire business.

Depending on the provider, this monthly fee can include whatever immediate services may be required, along with some combination of proactive and reactive services that can include performance tests, scanning for viruses and malware, along with data back-up, hosting or other ancillary services. The advantage is that the costs are more predictable, and usually nominal, no matter what issues may occur during the month (even if there’s a major problem requiring on- site service, or you need equipment replacements). What’s more, proactive and preventive maintenance can help address potential problems long before they can cause downtime or customer inconvenience.

In addition, the costs of adding more users, and additional computers are easy to predict. As a business owner, you may decide you only want added support for yourself and the select employees who manage your most critical business data. As your business grows and you bring more critical roles into your company, you need a solution that can scale with you. With a monthly subscription model, there is little uncertainty.

Is it time for you to consider outsourcing your IT services?

 7 Signs That Its Time To Call For Computer Support

Topics: IT Support, Business IT, IT Outsourcing, Managed Service Provider

Using Time & Materials IT Support? Are You Happy With The Results?

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

IT Services,IT Outsourcing,IT supportYou probably don’t realize this—but even though you are not an IT expert you can evaluate the best IT support for your business, and avoid those IT companies that are never going to give you great support, no matter how much money you pay them.

This means you can choose between an IT company that truly wants you to succeed in IT rather than spend endless amounts of money fixing never ending IT issues with an IT company that simply isn’t motivated by your IT success.

Let me show you what I mean:

There are two types of IT support companies; the old business model is a Time & Materials company; here’s how it works: When you have an IT issue, you call them, they send out a technician and they fix your problem, they send you an invoice for a few hours’ work and they wait until something else in your company breaks and you call them in again, and again, and again.  You have probably been doing this for years with your IT guy; so what’s so bad with the Break/Fix model?

Honestly, as a business owner, I like the idea of paying as little as I can for IT support, I would certainly avoid hiring a full-time IT geek for as long as I could.  It seems like the Break/Fix Time & Materials approach to an IT problem helps a business owner avoid hiring their own IT employee; you get IT services on demand when you need them and you only pay for what you use in support time. Isn’t that an ideal way to keep your IT costs as low as possible?

Well maybe not; as we all know things aren’t always the way they seem.

Imagine for a moment you are the owner of the IT provider instead of the consumer of the IT service.  How do you grow your IT business and make more money? Well we already discussed that you have to wait until a client calls with a problem, then you send out your best technician so that you can solve the issue in the shortest amount of time so that the client gets the smallest T&M bill possible.  Hmmm do you really think that’s how old style IT companies approach it?

Or more likely, do they send out the least qualified technician that can solve the pain in the slowest timeframe possible so they can maximize the T&M invoice while clearing up the customers’ issue? Herein is the rub, the IT provider is not financially motivated to work as quickly as possible by deploying the highest skilled worker and searching for the underlying issue that will resolve the problem forever.  After all, for the Time & Materials approach to be viable the IT provider needs you to keep calling them--so they never search for the underlying issues that could reduce your need for T&M support! 

So what does this mean to you as a business owner?

With a closer look, you and your business are really at cross-purpose with your T&M IT provider, you each have diametrically opposed agendas:

  • The IT provider wants to maximize the time billed; you want it completed as quickly as possible. 
  • The IT provider isn’t really motivated in solving underlying causes of issues; you want the problem to never return by solving the root issue. 
  • The IT provider is motivated to send the least capable engineer and you want the most talented engineer in the company working on your network. 
  • The IT provider reactively waits until there is a problem to exploit the pain you are feeling with the IT issue, while you really need a proactive approach to IT issues, where things are solved before they become IT impacting.

It turns out; there is another IT approach that will serve you and your company much better than T&M and I will explain what you need to know to choose the best provider for your business!  Download our Free Report on the Seven Signs that its Time to Call for Computer Support.

7 Signs Its Time Computer Support

 

Topics: IT Support, IT Outsourcing, Time & Materials, IT Services

Providing IT Support To Your Small Business Is A Team Sport

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Mon, Jul 15, 2013

IT SupportAs a small business grows, owners hire an IT person to support the increasing complexity of their IT infrastructure and growing employee base; typically an owner hires one IT employee.

They hire that person with the expectation that the new hire will be able to provide all the IT support the company will need; my 30 year experience in providing IT services shows me that is an incorrect assumption!

I just returned from a two week Boy Scout backpacking trip in northern New Mexico that I attended with my 17 year old son and ten other Boy Scouts from his troop.  I knew I had to be physically prepared to carry a 45-50 pound back pack and hike 10-15 rugged wilderness miles every day in the blazing desert sun.

I spent 6 months in preparing for the trip; getting the right gear, learning how to use it, hundreds of boring hours on a treadmill and dieting. I was absolutely certain this trip would be a success based upon being 100 percent personally prepared. 

I quickly found out on the trail that hiking with a group is a team sport, no matter how well I had prepared, I was still largely at the mercy of the slowest hiker. Plus, in a Crew of 12 people, everyone has another role; we have a cook, a water gatherer, a bear safety person and so on.  Everyone on the Crew is dependent upon each person performing their role in a timely and effective manner.  

The total effectiveness of the Crew requires many skills delivered by a group of people.  If one person fails to cook diner on time, the whole Crew suffers. 

I believe providing IT support to a company is much the same as hiking with a Crew.  At first blush, we think that IT support can be delivered by one person, so we hire what we feel is an all-around IT generalist.  Once that person is hired, your employees begin to receive a level of support they had never experienced before and the business Owner receives positive feedback (reinforcing that single IT hire approach.)

After making the IT hiring decision,  is everything IT really all right?, I mean after all, as the Owner, do you have the time or the knowledge to evaluate if everything related to the company’s IT systems are correctly set up and optimized?

Back in the day, a small business IT support employee needed to know about Windows Operating Systems, Windows Servers and they could support 95% of the IT environment.  Today technology has crept in and with that has come additional IT complexity.  Today you need to be able to support the servers and desktops, but also Firewalls, VPN’s, VoIP telephones, Wide Area Networks, Local Area Networks, Wireless, VMware, and Storage Area Networks, to name a few…. Advanced Network Products has 11 engineers who each specialize in each narrow technology subset.  There is simply too much to know about Firewalls or any other IT specialization to expect an $80,000 a year IT generalist to know and understand.

IT has certainly become a team sport, with so many new technologies to understand and support; it’s become extremely specialized.  Imagine breaking your hand and going to your primary care physician and asking him to set your hand in a cast.  The doctor would first send you to a radiologist to interrupt the x-ray that was taken by an X-ray technician, then to an orthopedic doctor to read the x-ray and cast your hand.  The same is now true in IT, there are so many diverse and complicated technologies, you need a stable of IT specialists.

Before you take the plunge into hiring your first or even your second IT employee, consider IT outsourcing; you get access to a much larger pool of IT talent, all focused on specific areas, and typically at a much lower cost than hiring your own team.  Plus the outsourced team comes at a fixed monthly fee, they never ask for a vacation or a raise and they never call in sick.  IT has certainly become a team sport, how is your IT team?

6 Essential IT Outsourcing Strategies

Advanced Network Products - Delivering IT Peace of Mind


Topics: IT Support, IT Outsourcing, IT Services, IT Staffing, Teamwork

IT Support Graduates From The Traditional Time and Materials Approach

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Fri, Jun 21, 2013

Time and Materials Contract for ITThere's new way for CEOs and business owners to purchase IT support that's faster, better and less expensive than the old time and materials approach.

It’s called Selective IT Outsourcing, or sometimes referred to as managed services, where you negotiate a fixed fee per month based upon the number of workstations, servers and printers that you have in your company.  For this fixed fee you get a specific set of written IT recurring deliverables that insures your IT infrastructure becomes reliable. 

Instead of the reactive time and materials approach, now your IT service provider proactively works on everything in your IT network to ensure nothing ever breaks! 

Imagine an IT company where you never have to tell them to fix anything, they just go and do it, and they do it faster than trying to do it yourself. Your employees are happier (and more productive) and you never have to deal with the financial and technical uncertainty from the time and materials approach.

If we look at this from the business owner or CEO's perspective Selective IT Outsourcing allows you and your IT provider to both be working on the same team. Now the support your IT services firm provides becomes so proactive that neither you never have to worry about any service issues or any increases in expenses related to supporting your business.

Both you as the owner and the IT outsourcer are working together in tandem for the same result: your company has an excellent IT infrastructure that requires virtually no unplanned support. Your employees are happy and they are highly productive because all of your IT assets are working. Best of all you are enjoying a fixed fee engagement that is far less than hiring and doing IT yourself! 

While we know you only care about the business owner's perspective, it might be interesting to see how this fixed fee approach benefits firms like ANP and how in the end, that benefit actually comes back to helping you and your business.  

So let’s look at this new approach of Selective IT Outsourcing from the IT company's perspective: There is no longer wild revenue variation every month because all of their billing is fixed fee and recurring. 

Now they hire the most talented and expensive engineers they can find—why? Because they are incented on a fixed fee basis to get your IT infrastructure to run at its absolute best and that only happens with the best engineers working on it.

As a business owner, CEO or decision maker you want to look for IT services firms who offer this fixed fee model not because they hire the best people, but because by hiring the best people you get the best level of service for your business.

As a way to compare the old and the new model, let me pull back the curtain and show the inner workings of an IT services firm. In the old Break/Fix IT model your IT support vendor was actually incented to ONLY deal with the surface issues. If they went deeper the expenses could become significant from a time and materials perspective, so most of the time, support teams simple made the problem go away, instead of fixing it for good.

In the new model, your IT team is incented to keep all your laptops, networks, systems software and hardware running at peak performance! Since you don't incur additional costs if issues crop up, its in their best interest to proactively keep issues to a minimum. The IT provider is more profitable if they are able to keep your network running so well they don’t have to invest in additional unforeseen labor.

While most IT providers probably don't want you to know or even understand the behind the scenes at their firms. ANP is different. Our goals are your goals. To have your business run smoothly and for us to working, every day, to ensure your network, equipment and software are constantly running predictably and smoothly.

7 Signs Its Time Computer Support

Advanced Network Products - Delivering IT Peace of Mind

Topics: IT Support, Break Fix, IT Outsourcing, IT Services, Outsourced IT, Managed Services, Managed IT

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