Once upon a time in the late 80s and early 90s, “IT” was about fixing very expensive computers, mainframes and servers. It was a repair service very similar to an auto mechanic. Software was of course a component of this as well, but the concept of ongoing IT Management was relegated to large enterprises and government institutions for the most part. This was the “break / fix” era of technology.
As we entered the 21st Century, “Managed IT” became more common – the idea behind that you would have an IT guy – either on staff or external to manage your infrastructure and proactively keep things updated. This would often include things like managed backups, antivirus and perhaps a monthly bank of labor hours. Although there was some theoretically proactivity, there was no real engagement on the strategic priorities of the business and no real management of Cyber Security. Many small to medium sized businesses have stagnated at this stage due to the stickiness of the relationships and a lack of effort from IT providers to move things to the next level.
The modern era of IT needs to feature something more than a “task executor” IT Company. The world has changed in 3 major ways and any company that doesn’t adapt to it will be left behind.
Major Change #1: Cyber Security
There was an 11x increase in Cyber Security attacks just between June 2020 and June 2021 – this predates the Russia conflict, which sent attacks through the roof. 50% of small and mid-sized businesses have experienced at leastone (1) cyber attack in the last year
Small and mid-sized businesses spend an average of $955,429 to restore normal business in the wake of successful attacks. CISA – The Government’s Cyber Security Infrastructure and Security Agency has published an extensive set of guidelines that every small business should be following, which includes have a comprehensive Cyber Security Management Plan.
Despite these alarming statistics and stringent guidelines, many companies are still not aware of them, let alone implementing them. This leaves them as vulnerable as sitting ducks.
Major Change #2: Automate or Die”
- The number of automated jobs increases by 14% every year with junior workers the most affected by the trend
- At the same time, automation may force between 40 million and 160 million women to transition between jobs. About 55% of jobs that do not require college degrees are at risk of being automated.
Any company that is not working to optimize and automate their business process will eventually be left behind. This means everything from sales workflows, marketing and administrative work to full blown industrial automation.
Aligning your business processes and strategic goals with your technology solutions is a pre-requisite step to implementing any automation or process optimization and it’s nearly impossible to do this effectively without having a resource that can help you map out your business process, identify pain points and then help build and implement the appropriate solutions to solve the problem.
Once we work with your administrative team to nail down your process, we will start to identify the pain points and bottlenecks in your operational processes and work with you to prescribe solutions to the problems and inefficiencies that we find.
From there we can start to select the correct technology solutions to solve your problems – whether that’s guiding you through ERP selection, finding a new Line of Business application, updating your technology infrastructure to support easier sharing of data or even implementing a full blown robotic industrial automation solution that integrates with your software to reduce labor costs and deliver useful key performance indicators.
Major Change #3: Drinking from a Firehose – The Pace of Change”
The third major change has to do the changing landscape of IT Maintenance. At one point, software was updated a few times a year, or maybe even once a year. On premise ERP systems and Line of business applications would offer occasional paid upgrade packages, at which point any relevant security issues were addressed – maybe.
Nowadays, there are so many frequent updates to everything from the Zoom application that you use for conferences, to your accounting software to your PDF reader application that it’s not uncommon to receive 30 updates a week for various applications, many of which contain zero day exploits that need immediate patching with serious consequences if it’s not done right away.
Accompanying this myriad of applications, vulnerabilities and updates is an absolute deluge of event logs, many of which produce unnecessary information and some of which contain important security and troubleshooting information.
In order to sift through this data, we need to implement solutions that parse through it and actively analyze it, providing us with the visibility to effectively patch and maintain your systems.