Better IT solutions to meet real needs of SME’s

IT Departments Holding SME’s Hostage!

As I sit in another Koru lounge at the end of a business day, I take a tally how many people are carrying more than one cell phone – typically the i-phone and the corporate issue device.

A classic case of a hostage situation in progress!

Some where in the drive for efficiency and cost effectiveness the purpose to service the business got lost.

Last week I meet an employee of an organisation in a sales- account management role, she was walking around with a hand bag full of gadgets. Because of antiquated IT policies she has separate devices for home, work and in frustration she admits most of the time it gets to hard so she leaves them all at home.

The conversation goes like this …

“I know I could have a mobile office on my i-phone… but our IT Department will not support it”  “I am out of the office and I cannot access my email or calendar”

CEO’s take stock of your internal departments, structures and processes and work out who is being best served, and do you “actually” have good value for money.  Times are tough, platforms have changed it could be time to do a review of the service providers and products you are using.

Both traditional business server and in cloud solutions have gone through a radical price shift in recent years.  The obvious options to review are Microsoft’s in house small business server (we did one of these implementations’ for less than $7000 2 years ago), Google apps, or other hosted in cloud solutions that easily work offering remote desktop and smart phone (i-phone) interfaces.

Hosted in cloud solutions are the trend and offer great savings. As an example this week a fellow exhibitor at Bizzone www.officeeverywhere.co.nz is offering a full IT service Exchange Server in cloud, file storage with SharePoint, VOIP desktop phone service including help desk support for $65 per month per user.  

The key is to challenge everything that appears a pain to you as a user. IT teams have evolved into this beast that will always offer the highest possible secure and dependable option. The issue is all of these come with ease of use and price point trade-offs. Be sure and check that you have a solution that fits your needs and price point. Eg do we really need password changes every other week, do we really need that level of firewall –security protection.

Likewise  re-assess the shared use (home /work) policies and work out whether there is an easy compromise.

The lost productivity and frustration of your current systems may be causing irreparable damage to your best employees.  Hey you will more than likely also end up saving money to boot.

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