A Guide to Managed IT Services for Small Businesses

A Guide to Managed IT Services for Small Businesses

When running a small business, there are always a lot of tasks to juggle. IT issues will often pop up at the most inconvenient times, acting as both a distraction and a possible setback. With 31.7 million small businesses in the US representing 47.1% of the total workforce, IT problems are common across many industries. Although they take up a significant part of the economy, their challenges are more impactful due to their size.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of small businesses make it through their first year. 50% are around after five years. And this progressively drops to a 20-year 15% survival rate. Several factors create those rates. There’s a globally high technology adoption rate, where 93% of adults use the internet, making more than just a storefront needed. Small businesses are expected to have an online presence too.

With the internet being essential, it’s also exposed small businesses to more threats than ever before. Alarmingly, 60% of hacked small businesses go out of business within six months. Whether attempting to steal credit card information or ransoming valuable data, they can damage companies and customers alike. That has created a demand for managed IT services for small businesses.

Table of Contents

What is a Small Business?

A small business is an independently owned and operated company with fewer employees and revenue than a standard-sized business. They often focus on a specific commercial industry or economic sector. This targeted approach allows them to compete with larger organizations and doesn’t require as much revenue to stay profitable.

What are Managed IT Services for Small Businesses?

Managed IT services offer third-party support with any IT-related issue or project, bringing broader expertise to small businesses. That removes the need for in-house IT staff. Since they work with multiple clients across many industries, they have insight into the latest issues and innovations. They can react to problems as they develop and proactively implement new hardware and solutions to help companies stay competitive.

What Types of Services Can They Provide?

MSPs can provide many types of IT services requested by small businesses. Consultations and assessments are also available for those unsure of what they need. These are catered to the company’s needs, goals, and future expectations. Through this process, they can prioritize areas of greater improvement while minimizing costs by not implementing unneeded solutions. Some of the services offered are:

  • Cybersecurity
  • IT consulting
  • Assessments
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Cloud storage
  • Data recovery
  • Software training
  • IT compliance
  • Hardware upgrades
  • Network overhauls
  • Helpdesk support

IT consultants can recommend services based on their needs, allowing small businesses to receive customized support. Every company has unique functions or products, which means IT can benefit them diversly. Managed IT services aim to match the solutions to those specialized needs.

Why not just use in-house IT?

Many small businesses have at least one person to rely on for basic IT needs. Whether they’re a trained IT engineer or simply the most experienced person in the room, there’s a limitation to the time, resources, and knowledge to handle major problems and provide routine support. That can be inefficient and can have severe consequences if something is outside the scope of what they can address.

Hiring internal IT staff can also be an expensive and risky approach. It requires upfront funding to get them trained and integrated. An IT specialist can cost an average of $54,495 a year, while the median for cybersecurity experts is $120,708 annually. That can go upward depending on location, demand, and experience. Since they’re on staff payroll, they’re also being paid for lull periods when there’s nothing to do.

Since the staff member is internally trained, all the risk and liability go to the small business. If they’re dismissed, it requires restarting the process anew. It can take anywhere from 8 to 26 weeks for a new worker to reach full productivity. IT professionals are on the higher end of that scale.

Besides those factors, they may also be missing the knowledge necessary to handle every problem. Their understanding centers on the company’s focus areas, preventing them from acquiring the broader experience of small business outsourced IT. As a result, in-house staff isn’t always equipped to handle every problem.

Top 7 Challenges Faced by Small Businesses

Small businesses face many challenges beyond what they can quickly solve as a self-run entity. These can come in many shapes and sizes. Some can be prepared for, while others may be unexpected and only happen in specific situations.

Cybersecurity

Most organizations store a lot of valuable information. There’s a variety of threats, like viruses, ransomware, and hackers whose goal is to exploit any weaknesses they can find. Whether it’s ransoming a database or collecting information to sell to third parties, the end goal of cybercriminals is to make money off the small business’s data.

Technology changes

Technology continues to change steadily, with innovations shifting the way businesses, customers, and clients interact. Online shopping is one example, with 74% of adults doing it in some form. Having an online presence and website-based retail has become important for those who don’t visit in person.

Money management

There are a lot of risks with starting up a company, and a lot of them revolve around money management. Most people don’t have the luxury of significant outside investments, meaning their success or failure relies on their ability to be profitable. Having the proper accounting and payroll tools can go a long way in tracking money and costs.

Overworking

Employees and owners alike may have to wear many hats within a small business. That means filling in multiple roles to keep things functional, leading to overworking and higher fatigue without proper workload management. In the long run, this can be damaging to a company as burned-out staff are less productive and may provide lower quality work.

Customer and client needs

Like with technology changes, customer and client needs can shift over time. They might expect new services while society’s needs continue to evolve. These might be completely different from state to state in countries like the US. Keeping up with these can be challenging, especially with IT, where mistakes can be costly.

Troubleshooting IT

A full-time worker spends 22 minutes a day, on average, troubleshooting IT problems. That translates to 95 hours a year, or almost 2 ½ weeks of lost productivity. Depending on the issue or job, it may take additional time to get back on task after a distraction.

Preparing for the future

Anticipating future changes in IT is not an easy task. Whether it’s a new security issue or a fresh digital innovation, two main factors are involved: reaction and preparation. Both parts can be complex, especially without specialists who can answer questions, anticipate problems, and support setting up new systems.

Top 7 Benefits of Using Managed IT Services for a Small Business

Competition with larger organizations means finding ways to get higher quality solutions at a fraction of the cost. With the help of managed IT services, small businesses can better use money through several benefits offered.

Better cybersecurity

MSPs use a variety of digital tools to help keep clients safe. That includes endpoint protection like antivirus, firewalls, DNS filters, and spam detection to counteract most threats to your devices and networks. By combining those with monitoring software, an IT specialist can quickly respond to anything that manages to bypass those layers of protection.

Improved productivity

With overworking being an ongoing concern, managed IT services can help reduce some workloads and improve employee efficiency through additional software tools and staff training. By reducing worker strain, there is less likely to be a drop in productivity that can accompany burn-out.

Scalable IT services

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the services that a small business needs. Customers and clients can be variable, products offered will differ, and the tools that employees use may change over time. With scalable IT services, it can be customized to individual needs and adapt to changes in operational scale.

Experienced IT staff

Managed IT services have access to a larger pool of employees due to their organization specializing in providing IT and managing multiple clients. Since all the staff is well trained and certified, they have expanded knowledge and ability compared to an in-house team. That allows them to help with common problems and have outside-the-box thinking with complex and unexpected issues.

Reduced costs

Training IT staff and providing the needed experience can be costly for any small business. Finding the right solution can also be the difference between improvement and years of spendy IT maintenance of a poorly designed system. Managed IT services remove the risk of in-house IT staff and directly implement the best and most cost-effective solutions.

On-demand support

Organizations never know when a problem will emerge, even with a strong IT foundation. Instead of wasting time troubleshooting IT issues, helpdesk services can provide on-demand support for issues of any size. Assistance can arrive even during off-hours, as many small business IT companies will provide 24/7 helpdesk services with an emergency contact line.

Maintaining IT compliance

Meeting IT compliance is essential for cybersecurity and meeting compliance requirements within many industries. Assessing infrastructure for compliance is a complicated role and requires someone with specialized experience. Managed IT services can do all the heavy lifting by ensuring compliance is up to par.

Learn How Managed IT Services Can Help

Running a small business can be an expensive and hard task. With everything from equipment costs and incorporation fees to office spaces and inventory management, upfront and monthly expenses can quickly grow. Cybercriminals are a constant threat too. As each day brings new situations and unexpected challenges, building a solid IT foundation helps financially and can boost productivity in many areas.

Whether a stable specialty store or a new start-up, operating costs are central to the function of any small business. Without revenue, there is no company. Outsourcing with managed IT services can help cut expenses while better utilizing available resources. Staff can focus on their business and worry less about their IT systems by letting third parties handle IT functions.

Running a small business isn’t easy. ITonDemand’s managed IT services offer an experienced team to take on any IT challenge. We provide fully outsourced IT or can partner with in-house staff to better utilize them. Our client-first approach will help you get the most out of your money while keeping your IT costs down with the right tools and software. Your technology should work with you, not against you. With help from ITonDemand, we can make that happen.

Contact Us for Managed IT Services

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How Predictive Analytics Will Improve Patient Care

How Predictive Analytics Will Improve Patient Care

In healthcare, meeting the needs of patients is an ongoing challenge. Doctors, nurses, IT staff, clerks, janitors, equipment providers, and more must work together to provide the best patient care possible. With technology being a core component, predictive analytics has been a fast-growing industry. Due to its broad uses, it’s expected to grow annually by over 20% across the next five years.

Throughout the day-to-day functions, healthcare providers generate massive datasets. For example, the MRI of a human head takes over 20,000 pictures. Due to technology improvements requiring increasingly more data, interpreting it can be a complex task. There can be interactions between very different types of information. That has created a demand for newer methods, like predictive analytics, to convert data into a more usable form. In doing so, healthcare IT companies can help facilities make more accurate decisions for their patients.

What Is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is a type of analysis that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help predict future events. It’s done with current and historical data, where it can support anyone from doctors to IT staff with healthcare-related decisions.

The datasets used are not limited to internal statistics either. Outside sources like local events, national holidays, weather changes, time of day, tourist traffic, etc., can have an impact too. These can predict many situations, like when extra staffing is needed or what types of health issues are more likely to happen.

Why It Can Improve Patient Care

The digital transformation of healthcare has created large amounts of valuable data. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are used by nearly 90% of office-based physicians and aren’t bound by the same limitations as paper records. With the help of AI-driven predictive analytics, that data can be looked at in new and innovative ways to improve the quality of patient care.

Increased diagnosis accuracy

One challenge for any doctor is a quick and accurate medical diagnosis. Patients will often have more than one underlying symptom, and it requires years of training and experience to judge. Predictive analytics doesn’t replace the doctor’s role but instead acts as a tool to support the process.

Proactive treatment

Medical providers try to decrease the chance of problems. Predictive software can detect patients that are at higher risk. Those risks can be observed through medical history and family genetics. By flagging people as being at increased risk for specific issues, lifestyle changes can be made earlier on.

Personalized care plans

Every person has unique lifestyle needs, dietary habits, chronic symptoms, and other factors that can impact their health. Data analytics can help develop personalized care plans, letting the doctor better identify areas of improvement while reducing the impact on other aspects of a patient’s life.

Reduced medical costs

More effective care means less wasted treatment and a reduced risk of an issue becoming more expensive. It can help in other ways too. Insurance plans can be developed with statistics from healthcare providers, creating ways to reduce overall costs by analyzing patient needs and trends.

Shorter wait times

It’s hard to anticipate surges, long appointments, or surgical complications. Walk-in clinics and ERs are especially vulnerable to a lack of schedule. That can leave patients waiting longer for treatment. Better predicting these factors can lead to shorter wait times through more accurate staffing.

Other Healthcare Uses

In addition to EMRs, many other data types are tracked and stored. That includes accounting, health insurance, cybersecurity, and other statistics like patient lifetime value. That allows predictive analytics to be useful for more than just patient care. It can also help with other healthcare-related areas.

Improved patient retention

Identifying areas and methods that patients are more responsive can improve care. Even if two people have similar health issues, they may be more responsive to different strategies. This not only enhances the quality of care but also decreases the chance of readmissions for the same problem.

Resource prioritization

Providers have a limited budget, staff, time, and medical supplies to meet patient needs. That can make it difficult to judge where best to put extra resources and where to trim down. Predictive analytics in healthcare will not only look at historical and current needs to better utilize resources but can help project future ones too.

Managing large data pools

When looking at a mixture of data pools, ranging from medical records to admission peaks, interpreting how they correlate can take a lot of time. AI-driven analytics can look at those interactions and more quickly present the information in a usable form. This makes it easier for healthcare staff to act upon it.

Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals are a constant threat to healthcare. They often target medical records which hold valuable patient data. When ransomware is used, those records are locked by a hacker, forcing the target to pay a fee to unlock the files. Data breaches can cost over $400 per patient record that’s stolen.

Threat monitoring

Using a combination of predictive analytics and standard security methods makes it easier to monitor for unknown threats. This is done by detecting unusual patterns in real-time and alerting IT staff. Even with cybersecurity built to handle the top IT problems, monitoring is vital to maintaining it.

Closing

From top to bottom, the healthcare industry uses data in various ways. It’s crucial for everything from medical records and treatment plans to admissions and cyber threat detection. This information can be better interpreted and used to support staff at all levels by using predictive analytics. Not only does it improve the quality of patient care, but it also helps providers get the most out of their budget and available resources.

As practical as it is, many offices aren’t prepared for the changes needed. That’s in part due to overhauls being a long and expensive process. It can include updating computers, software, networks, security, and training. Predictive analytics software must also be compatible with current systems, such as patient health records. With expert help, that process can go much more smoothly. Third-party healthcare IT companies like ITonDemand can assist by providing comprehensive and affordable services to meet your growing needs.

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Is IT Help Desk Outsourcing Worth It?

Is IT Help Desk Outsourcing Worth It?

Technology is a great tool, allowing people to work, collaborate, communicate, and adapt to day-to-day challenges. However, as device and software capabilities have continued to improve, it’s created more complex problems that people aren’t always equipped to handle. As a result, employees spend an average of 8 hours every week searching for knowledge to fix problems.

Roughly 39% of the time is put towards role-specific tasks. The rest is spent searching and gathering information, communicating, collaborating, and reading and responding to emails. This creates a large chunk of time that is lower efficiency and further burdened by IT questions and issues. With the tech industry taking up 35% of the world market, these demands will only continue to grow. That is where IT help desk outsourcing comes in.

What Does an IT Help Desk Do?

An IT help desk is a point of contact for any IT-related problems. They assist with end-user questions and obstacles as they pop up, acting as a source of information and providing technical solutions. That can include bug fixes, feature requests, network systems, login issues, device compatibility, and other IT needs. Other tools may be included, such as FAQs to answer routine questions and ticket systems to support non-urgent requests.

They also have the flexibility to coordinate with in-house or outsourced IT teams, letting them assist with larger-scale tasks based on their priority. Help desk services are designed to minimize downtime and reduce inconvenience to employees, allowing them to focus on their assigned jobs better.

How Does Help Desk Outsourcing Work?

IT problems can come in many shapes and sizes. Some can be hard to diagnose but can be fixable in minutes. Others might require an entire team for half the day. An outsourced IT help desk acts as the first point of contact for unexpected obstacles and offers many benefits throughout the process.

10 Benefits of IT Help Desk Outsourcing

IT problems can come in many shapes and sizes. Some can be hard to diagnose but can be fixable in minutes. Others might require a full team half the day to assist with. Outsourced IT help desk act as a first point of contact for unexpected obstacles and offer a variety of benefits throughout the process.

Scaling services

Outsourced help desk services can be adjusted to meet individual needs and priorities. Scalable services can match their pace, whether it’s a small start-up company, a mid-sized business, or a large-scale corporation.

Reduced cost

IT help desk outsourcing can reduce costs in several ways. This is done through better usage of resources, experienced IT staff, and building a support plan based on an organization’s needs. That allows them to provide more support and a lower cost than in-house teams.

Larger IT staff

Not only does outsourcing reduce costs, but it gives access to a larger pool of help desk support specialists. Since they’re available on an as-needed basis, there are always experienced staff on call to respond when a significant issue arises.

Trained specialists

Hiring and training internal helpdesk staff can be complex with some cost-related risks. Outsourcing to a third-party company allows them to take on the risk and handle the teaching, letting organizations get better service for their money.

Industry experience

Outsourced services have hands-on experience with a diverse range of industries, giving them above-average knowledge to apply to each situation. Solutions that are created for one client can often help others too.

Centralized IT requests

For employees and management alike, knowing who to ask about a specific IT problem or question can take more time and thought than is practical. With help desk outsourcing, all the requests are centralized in one area, letting them handle contacting the right specialists.

24/7 monitoring

Another advantage to a more extensive staff is broader coverage to monitor IT and cybersecurity issues. That allows obstacles to be addressed during off-hours, helping minimize downtime of critical functions.

Quick response time

Time is critical when reacting to many IT challenges. With multiple IT specialists and the option for 24/7 monitoring, problems can be responded to and solved much more quickly due to on-call availability.

Less wasted resources

Time and productivity are valuable resources for every industry. Employees wasting time on solving minor IT issues is time not spent doing their regular work. Outsourced help desks can answer any questions and fix those routine issues.

Software recommendations

Help desk staff can see what is or is not working when troubleshooting. With that insight, they can make software recommendations that not only reduce the chance of incidents but may also help with worker productivity.

Closing

Technology demands have continued to increase, making minor IT problems common among most industries. With artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and quantum computing on the horizon, it’s become increasingly difficult to anticipate new IT issues that collide unexpectedly. New technology isn’t the only challenge, either. Old hardware and software compatibility issues can be disruptive, being a trigger in 34% of IT purchases.

Since IT challenges can come from any direction, it’s increased the need for third-party services to help adapt and navigate. They can lower IT costs and provide many perks, making them more sustainable and efficient than in-house IT. Help desk outsourcing companies like ITonDemand can custom fit their services to fit the organization. Is IT help desk outsourcing worth it then? If the needs and benefits outweigh what can be done internally, then yes, it is.

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A Guide to Managed IT for Healthcare, Medical & Dental

A Guide to Managed IT for Healthcare, Medical & Dental

The healthcare industry has continually adapted to the patient, staff, and regulatory needs. Information technology (IT) has been a key component of healthcare globally to support those demands. It’s allowed medical and dental practices to modernize their workflow and improve patient engagement, allowing for a higher quality of care.

As part of those changes, there’s been a steady demand for home care through telemedicine. Not only is it convenient, but 86% of patients were satisfied with the service provided. Other innovations include predictive analytics for patient care, using AI to automate tasks, virtual collaboration tools, and expanding services offered by local providers. With technology integrated throughout the process, IT is essential for maintaining those systems.

Managed services have been critical in handling IT challenges due to the high adoption rate of healthcare technology and a growing need for experienced staff. This guide will discuss what managed IT services are, the top 7 challenges, the top 7 benefits, and how these services can help your clinic.

Table of Contents

What are Managed IT Services for Healthcare?

Healthcare-managed IT services outsource their technology needs to a third-party organization. That helps with HIPAA compliance, cloud services, cybersecurity, data backup, software, and more. They can coordinate with in-house support teams or completely handle services from top-to-bottom.

A managed IT provider specializing in healthcare focuses its efforts on crucial areas of the industry. Medical and dental practices are patient-driven, making the technology experience for both the patient and the provider a priority for improving the quality of care. Electronic health record (EHR) systems need to be responsive, accurate, and easy to use. Website information and patient user accounts should be simple to navigate.

Even with a well-designed IT infrastructure, cybercriminals are a constant threat. 83% of physicians reported experiencing some form of cyberattack. This causes cybersecurity, data recovery, and monitoring to be invaluable services to prevent and react to hazards. With so many interacting layers of technology, this creates many complications that are best solved by managed IT services.

Top 7 IT Challenges Face by Medical & Dental Practices

There are a lot of IT challenges faced by medical and dental practices throughout the world. With changes in patient needs, threats of data breaches, and rising maintenance costs, keeping pace with the IT industry has become difficult. That has led to smaller in-house IT teams losing value and effectiveness, as they don’t have resources or experience overhauling larger-scale systems.

Telemedicine

Between ongoing health concerns and added convenience, telemedicine has been an essential element for many medical and dental practices to stay in business. These systems require cross-communication between various systems, like user accounts, medical records, and video chat software. Setting these up can be a lengthy and convoluted process, especially if a complete overhaul is required.

Data management

Medical and dental practices process and maintain a vast amount of patient data. That includes medical records, insurance information, payment processing, and other private material. Processing and accessing all this information can be a challenge since it must be stored in a usable manner. EHR backups must also be maintained. Emergencies are rarely anticipated, and reacquiring lost data can be difficult and damage patient trust.

Cybersecurity

The healthcare industry has been an increasingly attractive target for criminals. Selling private health information from patients and ransoming high-value networks can have catastrophic consequences for medical and dental practices. Outdated cybersecurity methods are now more easily bypassed, making way for the need for stricter and more effective measures.

Mobile applications

Many healthcare clinics are now using mobile applications as part of their patient experience. This makes it easier for them to schedule appointments, check medical records, and ask questions directly to their providers. Designing and maintaining these applications requires ongoing IT support. They need security updates, bug fixes, feature changes, and more based on their utilization.

HIPAA compliance

Managing data is crucial, but meeting industry standards for IT compliance is also necessary. Due to the sensitivity of the acquired information, there are additional guidelines for storage and cybersecurity. Assessing whether a practice meets these regulations requires an experienced staff familiar with HIPAA compliance, can spot areas that come up short, and can implement fixes promptly.

Staff Training

As more healthcare offices integrate technology changes, staff may be hesitant to embrace and try out changes they don’t understand. Training them to understand and trust these updates isn’t always easy, especially if a practice uses outdated and inefficient methods like paper charts. Having a reliable and trustworthy IT team makes it easier to train staff and integrate new changes in a way that’s beneficial for everyone.

Financial limitations

Even with good intentions and proper planning, financial limitations are an ongoing obstacle for IT. Serving patients is the core of healthcare, and the role technology plays in that process is often understated. That leads to underbudgeted IT departments asking to do more than they have the staff or resources for, creating a gap in services.

Top 7 Benefits of Using Managed IT for Healthcare

Medical and dental practices have many IT needs that can be difficult to navigate. Not only can managed IT services help with industry challenges, but they also provide additional services that proactively improve IT capabilities. Whether using co-managed or fully outsourced IT services, there are many benefits to using managed IT services for healthcare.

IT staff recruitment

Recruiting and onboarding new IT employees can take a lot of time and money, with no guarantee that they will be successful. The average cost-per-hire is $4,425 and takes over a month to fill, which can scale upward depending on the specialization. Managed IT services internally train and onboard their staff, bringing them up to speed with their solutions and services. As a result, the cost and risks of hiring new IT staff are completely outsourced.

Cost savings

Besides bypassing expenses from staff recruitment, there are several ways managed IT services for healthcare can create cost savings. Inefficient and outdated IT infrastructure can generate a lot of wasted time. This diverts staff away from patients as they deal with hardware and software bumps that slow them down. Managed services can also provide solutions to those issues at a lower cost because IT staff is already specialized in doing so.

Scalability

Managed IT services can scale based on current needs, anticipated growth, and long-term goals. That helps better utilize budget and IT resources by reducing wastage on projects that are low priority, ineffective, or poorly designed. By not paying for unnecessary services and implementing long-lasting solutions, healthcare clinics can save up to 40% on their IT costs by switching to managed services.

Customized Solutions

Every healthcare provider has a unique set of challenges, needs, and goals with their continuous functions. There’s no single best solution for every situation; some may be more effective than others. Managed IT services for medical practices can develop customized solutions that factor in those situations. This allows for higher effectiveness while minimizing costs.

24/7 monitoring

Monitoring IT infrastructure can be a daunting task, especially for smaller IT teams with limited time and resources. By using managed IT services, 24/7 monitoring can be completely outsourced, which shifts the workload to a third party that is better suited to handle the task. Their staff will conduct monitoring and disaster response, allowing them to respond better to any issue than most in-house teams.

Helpdesk Support

Not every issue is going to be a calamity. Managed IT services have staff able to help on an as-needed basis too. An outsourced helpdesk can assist with matters of any size, including answering end-user questions and providing guidance on new system functions. Availability covers standard business hours and often includes 24/7 support options depending on the needs of the healthcare clinic.

Increased productivity

By using managed IT services, employee productivity can be improved in various ways. Well-built IT infrastructure is easy to access, use, learn, and understand. Software changes and computer upgrades are made more quickly based on evolving needs, rather than leaving employees struggling with inefficiencies long-term. With on-demand helpdesk support and monitoring, unexpected issues are quickly reacted to and fixed.

How Can Managed IT Help Your Medical Practice?

With increasingly complex and expensive EHR systems needed to manage vital data, serving the needs of both staff and patients has outgrown the capabilities of many smaller in-house IT teams. Every medical practice has its own workflow and obligations, making specialized solutions a more effective way to use a clinic’s limited IT resources.

Managed IT services can provide larger-scale support on everything from hardware and software to mobile apps and HIPAA compliant cybersecurity. Outsourcing IT challenges to a third-party team shifts the extra burden, risks, and cost externally. At the same time, the additional expertise, resources, and monitoring make for reliable support and more effective solutions. Better services, lower costs, and fewer risks make outsourcing a practical choice.

ITonDemand’s healthcare IT services offer an experienced team to take on any IT challenge. We’ll help you solve inefficiencies and cost inflation with enhancements that save time and money. In addition, our team will prepare your infrastructure for changes in staffing, logistics, and patient needs. Your technology should work with you, not against you. With help from ITonDemand, we can make that happen.

Contact Us for Managed IT Services

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Everything You Need to Know About IT Consulting

Everything You Need to Know About IT Consulting

Information Technology (IT) is an integral part of any business, making IT consulting a valuable tool to support it. As more companies embrace technological innovations, Global IT spending is expected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2022. Not only is the industry growing, but new software, applications, and devices are reaching the market ongoing. With this trend expected to continue, IT consultants have become essential to keep pace with these changes.

Administering an in-house IT staff is both expensive and time-consuming. With an increasing reliance on outsourcing, consultants provide added flexibility. They’re used as needed for many tasks, such as overhauls or to offer a second opinion. Once hired, an IT consultant can provide many types of services to their clients.

This guide will go over everything you need to know about IT consulting. That includes what an IT consultant is, what they do, what types there are, industries that use it, and how it can help your company.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to IT Consulting

IT consulting is a $500 billion industry that many consider a standard for any business with technology needs. They cater to unique circumstances with on-demand services. This removes the need for companies to fill and maintain the role full-time. Whether it’s a small business looking to expand, or an established corporation looking to rework its infrastructure, an IT consultant can support those changes.

The biggest hurdle for the IT industry is not the lack of need but rather a shortage of skilled talent. Due to this, IT consultants are often involved with the implementation process too. For those wondering how to get into IT consulting, having hands-on IT experience goes a long way.

What do IT consultants do?

IT consultants tell clients how to best use technology based on their needs and goals. This can include assessing security, networks, hardware, software, applications, workflow, and staff training. Through this process, they can provide IT solutions consulting tailored to areas that need improvement. It also involves coordinating with in-house or outsourced IT staff on implementing the desired changes.

They can also provide support with the latest IT trends. Once-specialized technology, like artificial intelligence, is becoming more mainstream. For example, automated chatbots can provide basic FAQ answers or redirect users to a live agent. Behind the scenes, AI can track data, automate tasks, and increase efficiency. The future of IT consulting involves adapting to these shifts.

The main undertone of a consultant’s work is trimming IT costs while finding ways to improve productivity and uptime. Impactful changes are prioritized over minor shifts with minimal effect. Doing so creates a better return on investment and increases the value of hiring a consultant.

How much do IT consultants make?

An IT consultant with less than a year of experience starts at an average of $51,000-$65,000 annually. This translates to an hourly rate of around $25 to $31. The base salary can vary depending on the types of IT consulting services and whether the position is commission-based or not.

With more years of experience, the IT consulting rates scale up. It may also include tips, bonuses, overtime, and profit-sharing. With 1-4 years of experience, an IT consultant’s salary is 72K on average. At 5-9 years, they make 88K. And at 10+ years, they’re paid 102K-115K. Rates vary higher or lower depending on the industry, market area, and clientele. 80% of positions also include medical benefits, 71% have dental, 65% offer vision, and 19% have no employee benefits.

IT consultant vs. software engineer: what’s the difference?

An IT consultant will look at the broad picture by finding issues, giving guidance, and helping with high-level decisions. This applies to both hardware and software-related challenges. In contrast, a software engineer will take that information and focus on software systems to resolve or improve the noted areas.

While they often work in tandem, a consultant is also involved with more sides of the process. Doing so gives them a broader view of the situation, allowing them to discern the best course of action. Software engineers may be less efficient without a consultant’s guidance toward higher-impact improvements.

What is the difference between IT services and IT consulting?

IT services can install and manage most types of solutions based on the needs of an organization. These services can vary, such as cloud, security, data monitoring, software, and remote services. IT consultants will help the business pick and choose from those services.

Teams can better plan and implement services with recommendations from an IT solution consultant. That will improve staff efficiency by focusing on projects that are higher priority. It also helps avoid resource wastage on changes with little to no benefit.

What Is an IT Consulting Company & What Do They Do?

An IT consulting company focuses on providing guidance, solutions, and training to any industry that uses technology. They’re well-versed in all aspects of IT. This includes managed services, security, cloud, digital transformation, hardware upgrades, and software development.

Due to the range of experience, IT consulting companies can serve many industries. They help develop personalized fixes aligned with individual or company-wide needs and goals. Consultants can also partner with in-house IT staff to help adapt and improve existing infrastructure.

Types of IT Consulting

There are many types of IT consulting services. Some offer broader insight and direction for a variety of functions. Others are specialized by focusing on specific areas for ease of implementing solutions. The consulting needed depends on the organization, the scale of what they want, and anticipated future growth or changes.

IT infrastructure consulting

IT infrastructure consulting providers give advice and solutions for hardware, software, and network challenges. The goal is to improve productivity, reduce costs, and strengthen security. This is done through comprehensive changes in an organization’s IT framework.

IT security consulting

IT security consultants analyze hardware, software, and networks to check for security vulnerabilities. They help develop and install solutions to protect organizations against high risks areas. Consultants also provide tactics and training for unexpected threats.

Software development IT consulting

Software development IT consultants provide recommendations and solutions for software-based issues. This can be developing a direct strategy or offering a different perspective on a client-developed plan. IT consulting solutions can range from third-party software to custom-modified programs.

Cloud IT consulting

Cloud IT consultants focus on cloud computing challenges by helping define the needs. This factors in cost management and future growth to get the best value that scales based on cloud usage. From there, they select the appropriate cloud service to match. They can also help with data migration to help ensure a smoother transition.

Enterprise IT consulting

Enterprise IT consulting targets larger organizations across many industries. It involves analyzing the greater picture and providing cost-effective but impactful changes. These align with both short-term and long-term goals. Solutions can comprise many kinds of related IT services and the framework to manage them.

Digital transformation consulting

The goal of digital transformation is to add value to organizations through shifts in technology. This type of consultant will often fundamentally change how a company operates for employees and customers alike. The process is very collaborative and more hands-on due to the effect of these changes.

IT compliance consulting

With IT compliance, consultants will evaluate what systems are currently in place. Next, they help organizations understand current regulations and how to update their framework. Meeting compliance requirements protects the business and the customers. It may also give incentive eligibility.

8 Industries That Benefit from IT Consulting Services

Most modern businesses have technology integrated into multiple ways. It includes everyday factors like processing payments, data storage, email, and voice services. Not only is maintaining these systems necessary, but proper IT compliance and security habits are vital to protecting both the organization and the customer. There are a variety of industries that benefit from IT consulting services.

Healthcare IT consulting

The healthcare industry has a unique set of demands as they manage a steady flow of medical, financial, and other private data of their staff and patients. Data security, HIPPA compliance, and disaster recovery are at the forefront. Secondary improvements may focus on productivity and trimming costs. Broader strategies can enhance data management, cloud migration, server virtualization, and network services.

Hospitality IT consulting

IT consulting for hospitality is driven by customer satisfaction and efficiency. There are many moving parts, including hardware, software, website interactivity, and payment processing. Fast and stable Wi-Fi will let guests stay connected online, while network security will help keep that traffic safe. Having up-to-date PCI and SOC-2 compliance safeguards from fraud or database breaches.

Financial services IT consulting 

With financial services, cost efficiency and return on investments are high priorities. IT goes together with profitability since it involves most facets of a modern business. That includes end-user experiences, such as software and web design, which increase opportunity conversions. It also looks at the operational side, like compliance, cybersecurity, optimization, and upkeep.

Small business IT consulting 

Small businesses often have limited budgets, resources, and time. This makes IT consulting services invaluable, as they find high-value areas of improvement. Recommendations can be scaled down, individualized, and focused on essentials. That can include accounting software, documentation, email systems, cybersecurity, and cloud storage.

Nonprofit IT consulting

Nonprofit organizations require different IT strategies than a standard company. There’s an increased emphasis on minimizing costs to best use available funds. An IT consultant can discover areas of improvement that match those needs. It includes web development, form building, fundraising tools, donation processing, and automation.

Retail IT consulting

Retail is a quick-changing environment, requiring adaptable and complex IT infrastructure. A retail IT consultant will do an in-depth examination to learn the logistical flow. They’ll develop flexible and secure systems to handle suppliers, retailers, and customers. Training is also provided for key staff members.

Automotive IT consulting

The automotive industry leans on software as there are a lot of interconnected pieces. Supply chain, acquisition, bookkeeping, manufacturing, aftermarket servicing, and more all play a part. An automotive IT consultant can centralize data, improve coordination, strengthen data security, and reduce risks.

Construction IT consulting

Due to its dynamic nature, the construction industry has some unusual challenges. There are temporary job sites, communication needs, shifting user numbers, remote duties, and material logistics. A construction IT consultant will assess those layers and how they interact. Solutions are flexible based on current and anticipated needs.

Learn How IT Consulting Can Help Your Company

Technology is crucial to productivity. Day-to-day operations require its usage from top to bottom, making system management and improvements challenging. With the continued growth of the remote workforce since 2018, many companies have been unprepared to take advantage of these changes. As industry demands have continued to shift, the value of IT consulting outsourcing has continued to increase steadily.

Having the appropriate software, network, and hardware infrastructure is essential. Data security, backup services, and training staff to have good habits are needed too. IT consultants can assess which services and training are required based on scale, need, and budget. Whether you’re a startup business or have a growing enterprise, they can provide valuable insight.

With ITonDemand’s IT consulting services, you can comfortably take on any IT challenge. We’ll help you address inefficiencies and cost bloat with improvements that save time and money. Our team will also prepare your infrastructure for staff, logistics, and productivity changes. Your technology should work with you, not against you. With ITonDemand, we can make that happen.

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