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Small to midsize businesses face hundreds of IT decisions

Small to midsize business owners know technology is important but other than some computers, phones and maybe a printer, most do not know where to go from there. The following overview can help as you consider your businesses technology needs.

Network

You’ll need a reliable and secure network that is fast and responsive. Anything else puts your business at risk, kills productivity and loses revenue. Things to consider include how many employees will be accessing the network, will employees need VPN access and how much data will go over the network.

Phone System

Phone systems remain important even with widespread usage of email, text messaging, social media and other forms of communication. Customers, prospects and partners need a dependable way to contact your business and speak to a real person. Consider items like how many lines you need, if you need extensions, what features are important (online voicemail, on-hold options, etc) and if you need conference room phones.

Software

Each business is unique so software requirements will vary by business and industry, but businesses need several software applications to carry out basic office work, accounting and payroll, marketing, inventory management, billing, ERP, graphic design, project management, security and more. Software considerations include the number of users, cloud based or SaaS, operating systems (Windows, Macintosh, both) and licenses.

Email

Essential for a business today. Factors to consider include how many accounts are needed, size and storage requirements, security, management and instant messaging capabilities.

Website

This is your store front in today’s world. Your website should be professional, easy to navigate and feature clear communication for customers and prospects. Items to consider include who will host your website, what data will it capture and where will it be stored, is there ecommerce/selling capabilities, what type of web server do you need and what security do you need.

Hardware

Given the capital expenditure with hardware, this is a critical decision and requires proper planning and budgeting. Further complicating hardware are current supply chain issues. In addition to computers, hardware may also include mobile technology like laptops, projectors, smartboards, printers, fax

machines, scanners, servers and more. Consulting with an IT professional is beneficial to get this right for your business.

Security

With employees more remote than ever before and cyber attacks, ransomware, phishing, data breaches and malware becoming more and more common, security is crucial. It can mean the difference between your business surviving or falling victim to an attack and being forced to close.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

With cyber attacks and natural disasters happening more frequently, it is crucial you have a backup plan in place. You must address questions like what sore of backup system do you need, how often and when will you backup and who’s managing the backup process.

IT Services, Support and Maintenance

Having the proper hardware, software and systems in place does not mean you’re good to go. There is ongoing maintenance and monitoring. You need to stay on top of upgrades, patches, security and more. Planning for upgrades and new hardware is an effective way to manage capital and budgeting. Reviewing contracts and licenses periodically can save lots of money. If employees need IT support, a help desk system needs to be in place to get them back up and running.

How Insight BTR can help

This was just an overview. Within each of these areas are hundreds more decisions and factors to consider.

An IT service provider like Insight BTR features a team of IT professionals who are up-to-date, experienced and offer knowledge and skills in a variety of IT and business areas. Insight BTR will learn your business and customize a plan that is right.

To discuss your business IT, call Insight BTR at 608-661-0750 or email info@insightbtr.com.

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