Nowadays we are very much aware that Information Technology is vital to business. Without it, the modern economy as we know it would grind to a standstill.
In fact, information technology is so prevalent that it’s easy to take it for granted and that, by itself, might pose a challenge.
Managed IT Services makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to have a robust IT team with diverse expertise and a fraction of the cost to employ these key personnel.
What Is Information Technology?
Definitions for information technology abound. Roughly speaking, information technology means storing, retrieving and/or manipulating data, usually with a computer system, and often for a business purpose.
It’s worth mentioning that information has a technical meaning here. Information and data are basically interchangeable in everyday language, but they relate differently from an information technology perspective. Here, information means organized or contextualized data.
A World Without IT
As a demonstration of the importance of Information Technology, imagine you woke up tomorrow and your company didn’t have any computers. What would that look like?
The first thing you might notice is the sheer volume of paper that has appeared to replace the data storage on the computers. This is assuming you still have the data at all. Likely the paper wouldn’t fit in your office and you’d need to rent more space just to hold it all.
Next is the task of digging up relevant data when needed. If a customer calls — assuming the phones still work — asking about their account, someone would need to enter the labyrinth of filing cabinets and dig out their record. The customer could be waiting on hold for a long time.
And then to the next customer and repeat the process.
Now let’s imagine your company sells widgets. If a customer on the phone says they’d like to buy a widget and have it shipped to them, you wouldn’t be able to take payment by credit card. Instead, you’d need to ask them to mail in a check.
If your company sells digital goods or has an online presence, there’s nothing to talk about.
And finally, we made it to the end of the week. You’d find that you need to issue paper checks to your employees and providers. You’d need to write them by hand or more likely hire even more new employees to do just that.
What Does Information Technology Do for Businesses?
Information technology vastly decreases the friction of information flows: automation.
While it used to require a letter in an envelope to transfer information, now it’s as simple as clicking a button and the transfer is nearly as fast as the speed of light.
The technology that makes this work is far from simple, but that technology is hidden. From the user’s perspective, it’s a very simple process.
A point-of-sale system is one important application of the fast information flow made possible by IT. A point-of-sale system not only generates a receipt with little effort from the employee, but also immediately sends purchase data to a company database. This lets the company respond quickly to changes in the store.
For example, consider that a customer enamored with the color of the sky may come in and buy up all the blue shirts in a clothing store. Before the customer has even left the store, the company’s database has the information that this location is out of blue shirts. The computer system can then add blue shirts to the next supply order for that location.
Information technology can also track things like payments to be made or payments received. That data can then be analyzed by a computer to show monthly income and spending by the company.
DATA is the keyword.
Things become even more profound when you accept that money can be represented by information. Then all the aspects of information technology that make it easier to move data around also make it easier to move money around.
Thus, there are systems that automatically transfer money from company accounts into employee accounts at the end of a pay period. In one sense, only information has moved. In a more important, symbolic sense, money has changed hands.
Business Role of Managed IT Services
At this point it has become evident why Managed IT Services are so crucial in ensuring your data remains secure, business operations are properly stored and distributed and your workforce is connected and working in tandem.
We haven’t even talked about what came afterwards: cyber crime – a whole booming industry on it’s own.
The role of a Managed Services company is quite simple: ensure your team and your company data is and remains secure at all times by coordinating all needed hardware and software to get this job done.
There is also the detail of training, troubleshooting when things happen and other things we can categorize as Tech Support which, of course, your Managed Services Provider can and should be doing.
It is a dream to believe a network infrastructure is invulnerable.
Fundamentally, it comes down to knowledge of what can happen to your network, your equipment, and training up the staff.
Having a highly-skilled team with the know-how to perform the IT actions required on a daily basis comes with a high price tag to many companies – not the case when you have the correct Managed Services Provider protecting your data and reducing your IT costs by 25% to 30%.
Reach out to us today to get started with an assessment. We stand ready to help.
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