IT_SupportJust how valuable is time? Time is a limited resource. There are just 24 hours in a day, and no way to buy more, store up extra, or bank hours. This limited time applies directly to work days as well. We can only work so many hours per day on a regular basis — usually 8 to 10 hours a day.

Technology is valuable only as it improves our organizations and makes us more effective. It actually leverages time by making us more efficient. Applying an active management strategy to technology in an organization increases this leverage. While we can’t add more hours to a day, by properly leveraging technology, we can get more done!

Consider the following contrasts between a managed & proactive IT program and reactive IT support.
The Old Reactive Approach:

Samantha in Accounting is a great team member. She knows her stuff, works hard, and never complains. Her days are stretching longer and longer as the company grows. It may be time to hire someone to work with her on a part time basis. Samantha’s getting tired, feeling the pressure to keep up, and working hard, but considering looking for a job elsewhere where things are more progressive and she feels more valued. She does not realize it because she is not a techie, but her PC and software is costing her 15 to 30 minutes per day in lost time and frustration.

The New Managed Approach:

Samantha is the same great team member. She is able to keep up with her work, and her level of frustration is lower. Each year her company reviews the technology of every team member, and actively replaces and upgrades equipment on a schedule. In addition, her PC is automatically optimized on a regular basis, by running tools at night while she is not working to cleanup and speed up her PC. Finally, during a regular strategy session, it was discovered that a simple software tool could shorten the time to send billing statements to customers and saved Samantha 4 hours per month. Samantha is happy with her job, and may even be able to take on a little more responsibility with company growth.

The Old Reactive Approach:

Bob is the second in command at a local small manufacturing firm of about 30 people. He is the Controller and has responsibility for IT. They use an outsourced IT company to help them when needed. Bob’s plate is full with the financial side of the business and with his responsibilities in leadership. He is fragmented. He is continually moving from one priority to the next. When someone has a technology issue, they usually ask the person next to them, and then bring it to Bob if it can’t be solved. Bob makes an attempt at fixing it and is pretty good at it. If he can’t fix it, he puts it on a list for the outsourced firm to work on, and calls them when the list is too long or too urgent. Bob also checks backups and swaps devices. He also keeps one eye on current technology trends, and orders PCs when they seem like they need replaced.

The New Managed Approach:

Bob is still in charge of IT, but his role is advisory. Each person in the company can get IT support from a group of experts without waiting for the next onsite visit. They simply create a support ticket, and their outsourced IT partner reaches out to them with a timely response and solves the problem remotely. Bob no longer keeps a list or has to put out fires when things go wrong. He can focus on his leadership role and on finance. Everything with technology is planned, scheduled, and budgeted. Backups are automatic, alerts are created when failures occur, and regular recovery testing is done to insure that the backup is good. There is a replacement schedule for all equipment. Bob simply advises his outsourced technology partner, when he is ready to execute different parts of the plan. Bob still moves fast, and has multiple hats, but he is spending time on the strategic, rather than trying to double as a technology guy. His stress level has been reduced, and he has been able to identify some strategic financial moves that will help his company get to the next level.

Being proactive about managing technology is all about time. We can’t buy time, but we can be more efficient with our time. Many companies don’t realize the distraction, stress, and huge loss of time that they are incurring by self-performing technology. What could key people in your organization do with an extra 5 hours per week? Land a big client, identify an important strategic move, do the job they were hired to do? Consider the value of time…

For the best Managed Technology Plan out there, please contact us about our Complete Care IT Support!

Reprint from our blog – September, 27, 2013

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