IT (pronounced Eye Tee) is Information Technology. It’s hard to imagine a business today that doesn’t use IT, partly because the term covers much more than computers and networks. IT includes voice, text and video telecommunications. It includes data storage, backup and security. It includes hardware, software, mobile applications and anything related to the Internet. Most people don’t use the term “IT” to refer to home computers, but if your family has a desktop, a laptop, a couple of tablets and a few smart phones, welcome the world of IT. And if your refrigerator’s Bluetooth can tell you you’re out of milk…well, you are deep inside the realm of IT.
But does your company need IT support? If your business has a computer network that stores important information, if your customers and staff communicate electronically and if you use a suite of software programs, you already know you need IT support. But what if you run your whole business with a tablet and a smartphone? Do you really need an IT department? To find out, ask yourself these questions:
- Who do I call if my computer dies, and I can’t revive it?
- Have I created a budget for IT repairs?
- What will IT failures cost me in lost business?
- What will IT failures cost in other lost resources—especially time.
- How am I protecting myself from IT failures?
- What kind of backup do I have if I do lose data or software?
- How do I assure customers their data is safe?
- How do I protect my systems from viruses?
- What do I do if one of my computers gets one?
- Do I have a system for keeping important software up to date?
- If “the Blue Screen of Death” tells me I have a KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR, who will I call and how quickly will they come?
If you’ve thought carefully about these questions, most likely they’ve led to other questions. For example, how much does IT support cost? Are there different kinds of IT support? Can a very small business afford professional IT support? Your next step is to find answers to those questions. [A link here to the next article?]