Is there a bigger pain than computer support?

Computers are complicated, at times stubborn, pedantic and unpredictable but most of the time they are just a pain in the bottom.  Managing computers in a business environment is even worse.   Not only do you have to worry about the computers but you have the added stress of keeping your staff and users happy as well.

Is there a better way of keeping those pesky computers in line?

You really have only two alternatives when it comes to managing computers in a business.

You can do it internally, hire a qualified computer expert and have them on staff.   You can create your own internal help desk where all of your staff can call if they have a problem, you can spend large amounts of money setting up a monitoring and management system so that you can keep track of all of your business systems.   Further more you can use more money to invest in a security and access system for your data and then you can get the onsite technical person to train your users in everything that they need to know to protect your data.

You have spent a lot of money initially, to get your technical person on site, you have covered their normal business requirements, salary ( not cheap), super, maybe car and the rest of their package.   You will also have to outlay money and time for training and on top of that what happens when they go on leave, if they ever get to go on leave.

The second alternative is to talk to and engage a managed services computer company (MSP) What’s that you say?

By getting an MSP to look after your business computers, data and staff you get the following for your business:

  • Flat fee network management – a single monthly fee that is all encompassing and is designed to keep your computers and systems running, keep them updated and make sure that they are running to the best of their ability.
  • You get a help desk that anyone on staff can call at any time, normally only in working hours but can be 24/7.   This help desk will resolve your staffs problems either remotely or by dispatching a technical person to your office at no additional cost.
  • You get 365 day monitoring of all of the critical business components and a monthly management report that shows what is happening with all of your expensive computer equipment.
  •  You may get an MSP who will look after all of your technical suppliers, that printer that is always breaking, the ISP who seem to have continual problems with your internet connection or how about just getting a technical person to talk to a supplier at their level.

What else do you get?

  • A good MSP will have a contract or service level agreement SLA that defines both parties expectations and clarifies all expected requirements.
  • You also get high level technical information, want to know about the newest “thing” then your MSP probably knows how it would fit into your business and if it will improve your business processes or are you just wasting money.
  • A good MSP will help your business with Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity and Business Resilience Plans.
  • It will help you lock down your business compliance issues and give you a platform to move forward to government compliance certification requirements.
  • You also get qualified and trained technical people working on your systems.

With the right SLA in place you can get an MSP who is genuinely interested in your business, will help with everything to do with the technical and compliance side of your business and it will be for a set and manageable monthly fee.   This allows your business to budget for your ICT requirements as well as positioning you to know how much you will,spend for the year in regards to the business technical components.

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.