Manufacturers of IT equipment are keen to emphasise how easy it is to set up and use their devices. ‘Out of the box’ and ‘plug and play’ are the new norm, even though there is usually an extensive setup procedure to go through. This is undoubtedly true where the total ‘network’ consists of a single device or a small number of devices, probably with an equally small number of users. Over time the users or users become confident with this and assume that one or more additional devices can be easily added using the same ‘out of the box’ approach. If they are lucky everything works as it should, at least in the short term, and their IT setup does indeed appear to be working like a simple utility.
However it is extremely unwise to take this approach for the simple reason that, unlike a car or electric wiring in a house, an organisation is constantly changing its IT setup. Whilst IT equipment tends to be pretty tolerant to moderate demands on its flexibility, over time the constant creating, storing, sharing and re-storing of data files can easily cause the integrity of these files to be compromised. The all too common result is that the IT becomes prone to slowing down or just becoming unreliable. At this point productivity of the organisation begins to deteriorate, perhaps initially without management thinking of it in quite those terms. The false sense of confidence created by the experience of running a small network means that organisations tend to think they can go on patching things up as they go along.
The vast majority of IT users have little if any real idea as to how their systems work, rather as most drivers of modern cars have little idea as to how an internal combustion engine works and how it is dependent on '000s of lines of software code. They expect to be able to turn a key and drive off. As cars have become increasingly reliable so they have become rather like a utility, there to be used whenever needed with the sole requirement to have fuel in the tank and arrange a visit to garage every 12 months.
This basic lack of understanding means users tend not to consider the complexities being created by the constant changes to individual devices and/or connections within a network of devices. All organisations will have acquired IT hardware, systems and software over a period of many years. Not surprisingly this piecemeal acquisition process will have brought problems along the way relating to compatibility between the various applications and associated hardware. Generally solutions will be put in place, in the form of a temporary fix that papers over the cracks but often simply stores up more problems for the future.
Those organisations without an in house IT support function will rely on external advisers to fix the issue so they can get back to doing what they do as quickly as possible. Too often unfortunately they are likely to be confused as to what is actually being done by this (generally) invisible support team and wonder, when of course things are not going wrong, what they are paying for and is it good value for money?
This approach means the organisation never gets the chance to understand the real underlying issues - it just knows the email systems are 'down' or some database isn't synchronising properly with individual computers. In addition, the IT support team is perceived as a necessary cost, rather like the annual audit, and so they are never encouraged to really get to know the core issues to be addressed - apart from anything else, the clock is always ticking and this support tends to be expensive.
As more and more organisations worldwide migrate towards a relatively small number of core software applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, and hardware becomes increasingly generic, we believe that IT should be seen as a simple utility like water and electricity - Inherently reliable and always ON.
We also believe that all IT systems and solutions should be inherently flexible, so they can grow and be adapted as the organisation changes over time.
Not only this, but we believe in active intervention and rationalisation. Too many times we see clients with different versions of the same software, or running programs with known bugs. This needs to be stopped ASAP, and a path forward discussed during the onboarding process. Everyone needs to be brought up to the same level of IT. This standardisation procedure means we will eradicate some of the bugs in the process, and that future bugs are more readily fixable.
We believe the vast majority of problems relating to IT issues are a clear result of poor/incorrect setup from the beginning and a break-fix attitude towards inherent issues. As additional staff and software systems are added to an organisation the applications become increasingly unreliable as conflicts between them multiply - typically because different people are using different versions of an application such as Office 365 that become incompatible with other aspects of the overall operations.
The first step is to carry out an audit of current requirements and issues, to establish where the most important pain points lie. This needs to be followed closely by a clear setting out of the likely future requirements over the next 12-18 months. We achieve both of these aims through our comprehensive IT Strategy Review.
We then take the time to configure all machines and related devices so as to create a robust, scaleable framework within which the organisation can operate and grow with confidence. For customers wishing to have the comfort of continuing protection and support we offer our 24/7/365 monitoring service.
We believe that the creation of any long term solution lies in offering a set of core services - principally broadband, email, telephony, hardware supply, website maintenance and general IT Support - through a simple menu based approach.
This has the major advantage of being immediately understandable to all customers. It has the added advantage of allowing us to be flexible in providing the services only as and when they are required.
At Bongo IT, we know that technology is increasingly dominant and crucial to maintaining business performance and productivity.
Organisations should make sure they are making the right IT decisions for their current needs, whilst also planning for the future with flexible and scalable solutions.
As a special offer, we are offering a FREE one hour consultation to address your current IT setup and recommend an effective strategy for your future requirements.
Addressing issues such as computer hardware, broadband, data security, file sharing, compliance and more, we’ll help you build a plan and ensure you deploy the most cost-effective IT strategy for your company’s needs.