Given today’s cutthroat competition, many businesses will have a hard time getting ahead without the use of technology. Even small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rely on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices as well as various software for their daily operations. That’s why most SMBs hire IT staff to oversee and manage their IT needs.
But with the rapid changes in technology, it’s almost impossible to expect a small in-house IT team to stay on top of everything. Is your SMB experiencing the following?
- Your system experiences longer and more frequent downtimes.
- Everyone, from your staff to your customers, notices that your system is too slow or unreliable.
- Your system has recurring tech issues that last for days or even weeks.
- Your IT staff always says they lack time to finish projects and work on IT issues at the same time.
- IT takes a long time to implement their projects, even priority ones.
- Your IT staff is not able to contribute strategic inputs to your business plans.
- Your competitors are leaving you far behind, and you have a hard time catching up.
- A recurring request from your IT staff is “We need more IT people!”
Related article: Outsourcing IT services makes more sense for SMBs
If most or all of the above are familiar to you, then your SMB is most likely in need of additional manpower to keep up with your IT requirements.
But hiring more people increases your overhead expenses. And in times of slow growth or belt-tightening, it becomes harder to justify such costs. Plus, it’s time-consuming. So what can you do?
Smart managers will first look at alternatives involving existing employees and resources before hiring new ones. Some of the following tips require a more efficient use of existing resources, requiring no additional expenses. Others will require a bit of necessary spending. Remember, cost cutting does not mean a total stop to spending; rather, it’s knowing how to spend wisely.
#1 Temporarily increase the number of hours
- Explain to your staff that the company is going through a “tight period,” but emphasize that this period is temporary.
- Give your existing IT staff incentives to do overtime work by offering additional pay.
- Open up options to work during weekends or holidays.
- Limit the number of allowed paid leaves during this period.
#2 Take advantage of the cloud and automation
- Simplify your IT systems and lower your hardware expenses by moving your infrastructure and applications to the cloud. The cloud also helps your IT staff manage your systems more efficiently while keeping them protected from cyberthreats.
- Use remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools to automate tasks that your IT staff usually performs manually.
Related article: Level up your business with a managed service provider
#3 Encourage increased productivity
- Increase your existing employees’ skills and efficiency with retraining, or train them with additional skills, especially in managing RMM and other productivity tools.
- Challenge your staff to suggest ways on how to increase productivity, and reward those who give doable ones.
- Provide your workforce with metrics so they can see the high and low areas of productivity.
- Consider changing the composition of your teams or moving staff around to increase efficiencies.
#4 Outsource for help
- Your IT staff spends a lot of time with daily troubleshooting. By outsourcing the IT help desk, you allow your IT team to focus on taking care of your core business functions.
- Hire IT consultants on a per-project basis. Your in-house IT focuses on your daily core business operations, while the consultants work on implementing new technologies, reviewing current ones, and managing particular IT projects.
- Augment your current staff by partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) like Online Computers.
Related article: 6 signs it’s time to consider managed IT services
Online Computers: Innovative IT support and amazing customer service
Are you an SMB located in or around Hanover, Morristown, or Madison? If yes, and you’re in need of IT solutions or managed services, then we’re the MSP for you. Our experts provide intelligent, customized IT solutions and responsive, professional service. Contact us today, so you can focus on your business and leave the technology to us.
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