Information technology (IT) has become so important in today’s business world that even small startups cannot do without it, but the expense of hiring a dedicated, in-house IT staff is beyond the budgets of most small businesses. Some small business owners have solved this problem by designating one or two tech-savvy employees as part-time IT personnel, but this tactic may present new problems that are not so easily solved. A low-cost solution that can completely solve the issue of how to deal with a computer system and network infrastructure is to outsource IT tasks to a professional IT management company or virtual private data centre.
What Is IT Management?
IT personnel are responsible for a wide range of tasks within a small business, but the exact responsibilities depend on the specific needs of the client company. Common tasks performed by IT personnel include the following:
• Upgrading and installing software
• Installing hardware
• Fixing broken equipment
• Maintaining communications networks
• Backing up data
• Implementing and maintaining data security
While most small businesses have some sort of information technology infrastructure that must be maintained, very few have the budget to keep a full-time IT staff on the payroll. When this gap is a real problem for a business, IT management services can be outsourced to a virtual private data centre, which primarily provides offsite webhosting and networking solutions.
In addition to these services, a virtual private data centre may also offer offsite IT management services by knowledgeable, qualified professionals for a monthly fee.
Choosing an IT Management Provider
With so many choices for outsourced IT management available, choosing a company that works best for a particular business can be a challenge. Many business owners believe that going to the big telecommunications conglomerates is the best choice, but smaller companies focused on particular IT services are often more suitable. However, choosing a provider that is too small and too focused may result in decreased flexibility in service.
The first factor to consider when choosing an IT management company is the type of services being offered. Some companies may only offer web server management or email server management while others offer a full spectrum of services, including voice communicationmanagement.
Another important factor to consider is the operational capabilities of the company. IT services should be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week in case of emergencies, and support staff should be easy to contact. In addition, the IT professionals should hold degrees, certificates and other proof of their qualifications.
An IT management company that is confident in its capabilities will provide service level agreements that guarantee the performance of its equipment and staff. Having a written guarantee on network uptime, support response time and client satisfaction provides reassurance and an avenue for redress when standards are not met.
In the center of the IT Management world stands Alan Fox. Alan is a retired IT Management solutions consultant. He recommends looking to http://www.midrange.ca