How Integrated IT Solutions Can Help Your Business

How Integrated IT Solutions Can Help Your Business

With technology usage shifting, some business owners are struggling to keep up with all the changes. 74% of small to midsize businesses think effective use of technology is vital to growth. However, using technology effectively is not always that simple. IT problems can unexpectedly appear, and it can be challenging to judge the right strategy, prioritization, or solution to fix them.

Some companies still lean on physical documentation to avoid IT issues and trim digital expenses. Yet, this comes with its own cost: time. In an average week, employees in paper-based office settings spend 6 hours weekly searching for documents. They’ll then spend an extra 8 hours compiling reports from them. Hybrid work environments that utilize both digital and physical record-keeping can also be affected.

With time and money being valuable assets to any organization, finding a strategy that caters to both needs can be an ongoing process. As a result, many companies are adopting integrated IT solutions to handle both factors at once. Streamlining a business’s approach to technology can help reduce IT issues and increase productivity through workplace optimization.

Table of Contents

What Are Integrated IT Solutions?

Integrated IT solutions are a combination of software components that integrate with two or more technology functions of an organization. They’re also known as platform, stack, or operational solutions. This type of solution is designed to target multiple needs and processes. By providing an impactful software combination, users can better interact with each element. These also offer more complete datasets since direct interactions are observable, making it easier to analyze and understand data trends.

How Do They Compare to Point Solutions?

Point solutions are often used to fix a single issue or serve one purpose without considering other issues or needs. The advantage of this is a quicker response time because the solution doesn’t have to be integrated elsewhere. That makes it helpful in making focused adjustments. A common example of a point solution is any single-purpose software that doesn’t interact with anything else. While they can be developed in-house, many businesses opt for off-the-shelf solutions to save time and money.

While there are appealing short-term benefits, there are several downsides too. Each point solution must be used and maintained separately. Whether using an in-house team or managed IT services, it can create a greater burden on the IT staff and the users. It can be difficult to make broader changes to workflow or anticipate how new systems may impact the function or necessity of others. Training can also be more expensive. Getting employees caught up on each function takes time and can be hard to communicate in an easy-to-learn manner.

What Are the Main Benefits of Integrated It Solutions?

When developing an organization’s infrastructure, there are a lot of variables to look at. That includes software functions, staff needs, budgetary constraints, data analytics, and overall goals. With integrated IT solutions, benefits come in a variety of forms and can have an impact on multiple areas.

Connectivity between software

One of the primary benefits of integrated IT solutions is the connectivity between software. Microsoft 365 is a common stack solution with tools like Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Teams. All of them are cross-compatible and can fully interact with each other. While some standalone software can be effective, cross-compatibility and ease of use have made integration more valuable.

Less software to maintain

Using and maintaining separate software tools can quickly snowball into a time-consuming task. Every program has different requirements, guidelines, changelogs, and functions within a work environment. If a new need comes up, it may require yet another piece of independent software. That can create new issues or redundancies that are difficult to anticipate. Integrated solutions get around this by using a combined technology stack. That ensures cross-compatibility, better efficiency, and easier maintenance.

Centralized cybersecurity

Managing separate software makes tracking and preventing cybersecurity threats more challenging. With 91% of small to midsize businesses having no cyber liability insurance and 54% having no plan to deal with cyber-attacks, taking a proactive approach is especially important. By using an integrated solution, it narrows down both the strengths and weaknesses into a single technology stack. That makes it easier to watch for, prevent, and counter cyber threats.

Simplified user interface

Standalone software is often designed with only its internal user interface in mind. Even if it’s intuitive for its independent usage, this becomes a problem because every software has a different UI and workflow. This requires staff to understand information and interact with each software differently. Frequently shifting between too many unconnected applications can cause a decrease in productivity. With integrated solutions, everything is built with a single ecosystem in mind. That makes the knowledge from one area helpful for navigating everything else.

Quicker and cheaper training

The speed and cost of staff training often coincide. The longer it takes to train a new employee, the more expensive it becomes and the longer it’ll take them to reach full productivity. In 2021, the average cost to train a new employee was $1,071. For small businesses though, this number is much higher at $1,433. That suggests differences in process and efficiency based on the scale and resources of an organization. Since integrated solutions streamline the workflow, learning is more accessible, even for small businesses.

Lower long-term costs

When considering a larger purchase, not all companies look at the total cost of ownership (TCO), which is the lifetime cost. Overhauling IT infrastructure can be expensive, especially when transitioning from multiple point solutions to a single integrated solution. However, most of the expense is frontloaded. Maintaining these systems can be much cheaper, factoring in the solution’s lifetime. Point solutions can be more affordable upfront but cost a company much more throughout its lifetime due to inefficiency.

Good scalability

Businesses are rarely static in size or function. There can be periods of growth or times when cutbacks are needed. With integrated solutions, scalability is an often-understated strength. Having an all-in-one IT infrastructure allows organizational changes to be handled much easier and faster through less intensive adjustments. That removes the need for major overhauls or shifts in company processes, which may be required when reliant on point solutions.

When Should a Business Use an Integrated IT Solution?

This is best determined by an IT assessment, which can help diagnose the problem and offer input into the options available to solve it. There is a multitude of factors that go into the assessment process. Some of those are:

  • The size of the issue.
  • Short-term vs. long-term value.
  • What the available budget is.
  • The speed at which a solution is needed.
  • What the company functions are.
  • Anticipated future IT needs.
  • The staff workflow.
  • Training time available.
  • Current IT infrastructure.

An IT specialist will analyze the business and IT structure to better understand what will be most effective and affordable. A smaller company with minor IT needs may benefit more from point solutions since the downsides are less impactful when using simpler architecture. On the flip side, organizations with heavier software usage are more likely to benefit from integrated solutions. Assessments can help determine which approach to use.

Closing

While point solutions are a solid strategy for smaller businesses with lower technology needs, Integrated IT solutions act as an efficient approach for layering multiple types of software. With 85% of American citizens owning a smartphone, cross-compatibility between hardware and devices has become increasingly important too. The more employees a business has, the more critical it is for connectivity between communication, software, devices, and databases.

Every organization is unique and can benefit from a custom mix of software tools and solution types. That is best done through a multi-step process to analyze your infrastructure, discuss your needs, and develop a catered strategy to ensure you get the right fit. Regardless of the type of solution chosen, service providers like ITonDemand can assist you through every step of the way to ensure everything is set up correctly and runs smoothly.

Contact Us for Integrated IT Solutions

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Top 15 Benefits of Managed IT Services

Top 15 Benefits of Managed IT Services

When running a business, information technology (IT) can be complex, time-consuming, and essential. However finding, hiring, and training qualified IT staff members has become more difficult than ever. With long hiring periods due to the specialization of the role, 41% of companies cite a talent shortage as the biggest obstacle to adopting new digital workplace technologies. Globally this skill gap is expected to grow, and by 2030, it may cause around $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.

With the shortage having no end in sight, organizations attempting to wait it out may have to continue to do so indefinitely. While having a full-time IT specialist on the payroll can be appealing, it’s also expensive to maintain them. A single IT specialist is paid $57,000 annually on average, which can scale up depending on years of experience. As a result, cost justification becomes a factor, as they’ll continue to be paid even on days when everything is going smoothly.

To fill the gap between talent shortage, lengthy hiring periods, and cost justification, managed IT services have become a key component for many companies globally. They provide access to a group of IT specialists who can help on-demand and fill several different roles. Not only can small businesses benefit from using IT service management, but they support organizations of any size across most industries. Here are 15 of the top benefits.

1. All-in-one source for IT

Not knowing who to talk to when you have questions or issues can waste time and cause staff delays as they wait for a response. By using a managed service provider (MSP), companies will have an all-in-one source for their IT needs, questions, and troubleshooting. Streamlining into a single point of contact allows problems to be responded to and acted upon more efficiently.

2. Improved cybersecurity

Online functions are a core part of modern organizations, making cybersecurity vital to the safety of employees and customers alike. Digital threats will continue to grow, with DDoS attacks expected to reach 15.4 million annually by 2023. Outsourced network management will help protect you through active encryption and threat detection. MSPs can also implement proactive measures to help prevent hackers from gaining a foothold in the first place. 

3. High return on investment

Most organizations handle a mixture of different expenses. Since funds are limited, it’s important to prioritize areas that provide the most return on investment (ROI). Maintaining a full spectrum of IT staff can be costly, especially during slow periods when they may be left idle. By using managed IT services, businesses can maximize their ROI by outsourcing both the work and the extra expenses to a third party. As a result, you’re only paying for what you need.

4. IT compliance

Meeting and maintaining IT compliance standards takes a lot of technical know-how. Every industry has a unique set of needs, expectations, and requirements to ensure companies and customers alike are kept safe. That covers an array of regulatory standards, such as NIST-800, CMMC, SOC-2, HIPAA, and PCI. These can help keep everything from medical records to credit card information secure.

5. 24/7 IT support

IT problems and security threats are rarely expected, making quick responsiveness pivotal to maintaining business functions. By having access to a help desk support line and a group of specialists with 24/7 availability, IT issues can be tackled quickly and effectively. Whether it’s a routine question or requires more in-depth attention, the faster the response speed, the sooner the problem can be solved.

6. Data backup protection

Data is essential to the function of most businesses globally, making the security and reliability of that information an ongoing concern. Since data management is also subject to IT compliance regulations, it is expensive and difficult to back up and maintain databases. With outsourced IT services, organization data backups are managed and updated with the latest compliance standards.

7. Improved business focus

IT problems and poorly designed infrastructure can be a liability, as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task after being sidetracked. That can make it difficult to focus on day-to-day functions, lowering the overall quality of products, services, and customer experience. All IT matters can be redirected to a third party with managed IT services. This, in turn, frees up the time and resources to focus on what matters most: your business.

8. Cost-cutting strategies

The cost of information technology can get bloated as unnecessary expenses and inefficient software functions are added over time. An MSP can help centralize your software tools, focusing on the essential components that keep your business running. Other cost-cutting strategies can also modify other aspects of the workflow, reducing the number of unneeded software licenses paid for and maintained.

9. Reliable solutions

It can be challenging to know which solutions are most effective for each circumstance since every solution may have different pros and cons connected with them. Managed service providers have experience across many industries. That lets them know what’s practical and the techniques needed to implement new software or hardware properly. Using proven solutions means less risk and shorter downtimes as systems are overhauled.

10. Productivity boost

Maintaining a productive environment helps keep businesses running with a more predictable output. However, software issues, outdated hardware, and inefficient processes can cause that output to drop. MSPs can boost productivity by fixing those software issues, upgrading hardware, and increasing the efficiency of the workflow using modernized solutions.

11. Reduced staff errors

Even tiny interruptions can be detrimental to staff performance. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, a 3-second distraction can double the number of workplace errors. And a 4 1/2 second distraction can triple them. By reducing the number of minor IT issues, staff will have less frequent interruptions and, in turn, have a higher quality of work output.

12. Flexible services

Every business has a unique set of needs, goals, and obstacles in how they function. The importance of IT service management comes from the flexibility to match that, ensuring they can get the services that’ll best support them. Additionally, many providers will have additional offerings such as IT consulting, IT assessments, and project services.

13. Predictable expenses

IT problems can create costs that will spiral out of control, which may require additional IT staff, resources, and troubleshooting. Sudden expenses can damage any business, especially when operating with a tight margin that may not offer the needed leeway. With outsourced managed IT services, the monthly rate isn’t impacted by unexpected events, and they already have the staff on hand to handle issues of any size.

14. Knowledgeable staff

With experience across a variety of industries, managed service providers have experience and insight that spans well beyond the reach of any individual business. Combined with a larger staff size, MSPs have specialists on board who have seen and handled nearly every type of problem. That gives them an advantage over in-house IT staff, who commonly have a limited scope of knowledge and understanding.

15. Scaling IT services

No two companies are perfect copies of each other. They have differences in clientele, employees, work environment, software flow, growth rate, and other factors. With this, every IT situation is different and is continually changing at different speeds. With a larger pool of staff and knowledge to draw from, managed IT services can scale with the size and costs of a business. Whether a small start-up company or an established corporation, MSPs can match different needs and circumstances.

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Should You Hire an Enterprise IT Architect?

Should You Hire an Enterprise IT Architect?

Information technology (IT) is a crucial component of any enterprise, as it touches every digital aspect of a company ranging from computer systems to payment processing. Various software tools and know-how are needed to keep IT architecture operational, whether using in-house staff or outsourced managed IT services. However, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is not only expensive to integrate but often has monthly per-user fees attached to them. That can cause expenses to escalate.

Trimming IT costs by just 1-2% can translate to high annual savings. On average, businesses spend around 4-6% of their revenue on IT. The smaller the company, the higher the yearly costs are compared to its revenue. That is further varied by industry, as retail can be as low as 1.2%, while financial services can reach over 11.4%.

With many long-standing businesses having more mature IT architecture, it’s made it challenging to reduce IT costs. Part of that difficulty is finding ways to streamline the workflow and reduce unnecessary monthly-paid services. That has created a need for more experienced specialists, like enterprise IT architects, to provide input into improving established systems and reducing spending wastage.

What Is an Enterprise IT Architect?

An enterprise IT architect supports and guides a business’s most difficult technology systems. They take a high-level view, looking at how everything from hardware to software interacts with each other and the employees using them. Enterprises often have more complicated infrastructure than a standard business structure, requiring a deeper understanding of IT and business strategy. Due to the higher needs and expectations, enterprise architects are more skilled and experienced than typical IT specialists.

What Does an Enterprise IT Architect Do?

An enterprise is built around the products or services they offer, making its IT similarly focused on enhancing its business flow. Enterprise IT architects look at the technical and business elements, allowing them to have a broader insight into the most beneficial changes. That guidance is centered on the needs and goals of the company.

Technology is constantly changing, making IT systems that were once competitive become outdated and burdensome if not properly maintained. Outdated technology alone can cost employers almost $4,000 per year for each full-time employee. Extra productivity can be lost in other areas, too, like poorly implemented or inefficient systems.

An enterprise architect will stay informed about the latest trends and understand what adjustments can benefit each business individually. Since ERP software can be involved with many processes, they also must know how it’s used and what impact any changes might have.

Due to their involvement with the business and IT functions, enterprise architects also participate in technical discussions and IT staff usage. Even when outsourcing, they’re expected to take a leading role on assigned projects. That means understanding the solutions, the implementation, the problems being solved, and clearly communicating that information to anyone who needs it.

How Much Do They Cost to Hire?

The cost can vary depending on various factors, though they’re paid more than most IT specialists due to the higher level of guidance they provide. Below are some of the factors to consider before reaching out to one for a quote.

  • Region or city size
  • Type of industry
  • IT complexity
  • Years of experience
  • Staff required
  • Length of the project
  • Impact on revenue
  • Staff training

With that in mind, the smaller and more manageable the task, the cheaper it will be. With large-scale IT overhauls, they’ll be more expensive and involve more staff, but they can also have more of a positive impact. Higher cost of living areas can also influence the baseline pricing. An experienced IT architect may also charge a higher rate, but they’ll bring a greater level of services and knowledge.

When Is One Worth Using?

Hiring an enterprise IT architect depends primarily on three factors: the size of the business, the industry they’re in, and the status of the IT infrastructure. Hiring a consultant or having an assessment done can help with those determinations. Some IT architects will provide those services as part of the price quoting process.

Different industries rely on IT in varying amounts, with the tech industry itself being the second largest contributor to the US economy at 10.5% of the total GDP. Some enterprises may not have as much flexibility if they have strict internal guidelines, minimal technology usage, or plan to maintain outdated systems. Other industries may get a higher return on investment (ROI) by prioritizing their IT before shifting to other aspects.

The main reason to hire one is when the improvement is greater than the time and cost. A common area of change is cloud services. As recently as 2019, non-cloud & dedicated infrastructure held over 50% of the market share. By 2025 it’s expected to drop to 33.9%, with cloud & dedicated and cloud & shared systems projected to overtake it.

Benefits from changes can come in many forms, whether it’s increasing productivity, reducing costs, overhauling systems, or indirectly supporting other business areas. While most infrastructure can be improved no matter how well established it is, whether the ROI is worth it varies case by case.

How Can You Get the Most Out of Hiring One?

Be prepared before contacting them. It can be helpful to prepare a quick overview of the software installed, staff usage statistics, what issues they run into, areas they would like to see improvement in, and other related topics. Having information gathered ahead of time will save time for both the company and the IT architect, allowing them to move to the next phase quicker and reduce the overall cost of service.

Closing

With matured IT systems and complex interactions, enterprises have demanding IT needs. An enterprise IT architect can guide companies through most challenges, giving a level of support and leadership not always offered by other IT specialists. They can improve established infrastructure, overhaul old systems, and provide new solutions. That is done with industry experience, knowledge of the latest trends, and client partnerships.

Even with all the benefits of hiring an enterprise IT architect, finding the right person and business to partner with can take time. The longer a business waits to fix its IT issues, the more revenue and productivity can be lost over time. Third-party companies like ITonDemand have specialists who can provide high-level IT guidance, along with the staff and resources to install proven solutions. For enterprises who want to improve their IT from top to bottom, hiring an enterprise IT architect is well worth the cost.

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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.

Contact Us for Managed IT Services

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