Let’s face it. In New York, creating and operating a successful small business is tough.
Really, really tough.
That’s because small businesses (considered to be 500 employees or fewer) make up 99.8% of all New York business. In 2015, they employed 4.0 million people or 50.2% of the private workforce.
As business evolves and grows, so too does the technology that powers it. Though this technology is critical for attaining success, it’s not always easy to keep up with. Many of these small businesses turn to managed IT service providers to help them handle their technology while making sure that they’re using it in the most effective way possible.
In other words, New York (and the world) has moved way past just finding “IT support”. To find a managed IT service provider that fits your specific technology and business needs, you’re going to need to do a little digging.
Hopefully, that’s what brought you to this guide.
We’ll help you understand what kind of qualities you should look for in a managed IT partner. We’ll also look at why you’ll need those services in the first place. Let’s start by asking some common questions from small businesses.
- How do I get started with building an IT budget?
- How can I find the right kind of small business IT support?
- When does my business need IT consulting?
- Do I need a managed service partner for data backup solutions?
- How can my business embrace new technology?
- Can an IT service provider help me plan for disaster?
How do I get started with building an IT budget?
Great question. We’re happy to answer it.
First, let’s talk about the importance of setting an IT budget. You don’t need an online article to tell you that IT spending can quickly get out of control. According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.2 percent from expected spending of $3.7 trillion in 2018.
Why are the costs so high? Well, that’s because technology is usually pretty expensive.
SMBs need to find the perfect mix of technology that’s cost-efficient, scalable, low-maintenance, and user-friendly. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what your options are when you don’t know every solution out there.
Worse still, having an undefined budget is a slippery slope to overspending in one area and underperforming in others.
The best IT service providers in NYC will start by helping you define and build your IT budget. Once you’ve worked together to customize your budget to fit your needs, they’ll use their industry expertise to find IT solutions that best fit your needs.
IT budgets should also actively change from year to year. The top IT service providers will review your budget regularly to make sure that it makes sense for your current business strategy.
How can I find the right kind of small business IT support?
Another great question. You’re asking all the right questions today.
Let’s start by defining what exactly we mean by the “right kind” of support. If you’re a small startup looking to evolve your business with technology, you probably don’t want to seek out enterprise-level IT services and support. Some niche businesses might, but most don’t need it.
In other words, you could be wasting money on what amounts to technology overkill.
On the other hand, if you’re growing quickly and have a multi-site firm with an internal IT department, you’re probably not going to benefit from the limited IT support of Joe Schmoe’s computer repair shop. Sometimes, you can even fix the little issues without any professional support at all.
So what actually makes for the best IT service providers in NYC?
Here’s a telling sign: they’ll offer scalable services that support both kinds of organizations. They can provide you with support for day-to-day issues while also providing you with bigger IT project services (such as cloud migrations, office relocations, next-gen data backup, etc).
Four ways managed services transform small and medium-sized businesses: Improved operational performance, reduced operational risk, cost avoidance and accelerated innovation.
Beyond just the actual services, you’ll want to make sure that the company is a good fit for you. When comparing potential IT partners, be sure to ask lots of questions, including:
- How long have they been in business? What’s their track record like?
- Do they have testimonials? Are their clients happy with them?
- Do they offer other services that you might eventually need?
- Do they have a qualified team of IT experts?
When does my business need IT consulting?
There are a few key indicators that tell you it’s time to seek the expertise of an IT consultant. For example, one of them is when you find yourself Googling “IT consulting services”.
Other signs include not knowing how your IT infrastructure works, or if you can’t keep track of your IT needs and expenses. The biggest sign, however, is when you start to doubt if your technology is actually helping or hindering your business operations.
Your business technology should ALWAYS serve a strategic purpose.
Your IT infrastructure should be a propellant that helps you achieve your business goals. That’s the main difference between organizations that use technology successfully and those that just have it… just to have it.
The best IT service providers in New York will sit down with you and discuss your overall business plans. Yes, business – the IT consultants that go above and beyond will strategically tie your technology strategy to your short-term and long-term business objectives.
Of course, they can do that in multiple different ways. And if you really think about it, IT consultants do much more than just consulting on your technology. That’s exactly why many organizations have begun to bundle IT consulting in with their virtual CIO offerings.
A VCIO gives you more visibility into your company by offering technology-focused reviews and meetings. These should cover your strategic business planning, road mapping, IT budgeting, and more.
Do I need a managed service partner for data backup solutions?
The answer is likely yes unless you’re already an expert in creating and managing business-grade backup solutions. Based on the statistics, it’s not really a good idea to risk any potential data backup slip-ups. Small Business Trends reports that:
- 140,000 hard drives fail in the United States each week
- 58% of SMBs are not prepared for data loss
- 60% of SMBs that lose their data will shut down within 6 months
- By 2020, 78% of SMBs will back their data up to the cloud
Given those numbers, it’s safe to say that small business needs better data backups protecting them. That’s why turning to the best IT service providers is often necessary for success.
It’s important to remember that the best data backups for businesses aren’t based on just software or hardware. Instead, businesses need a complete data backup strategy if they intend to run their organizations efficiently. That’s really where managed IT providers shine.
The best IT service providers will offer a complete data backup management service that takes care of every aspect of the backup for you. That includes setting up the backups, using innovative and scalable cloud backup technologies, and even testing them for data integrity.
In other words, the best data backup systems aren’t based on the tools. They’re the disciplined team behind the tools.
How can my business embrace new technology?
It’s one of the most common questions we get.
New technology means different things to different businesses. Generally speaking, businesses want new technology to maintain a competitive edge in their respective marketplaces. That might mean using more scalable applications, deploying more capable hardware, or even just sprucing up the ol’ conference room with new gadgets.
Let’s take the cloud as an example.
Many organizations push their IT services to be the end-all be-all just because they use the “mystical” cloud. But the truth is that sometimes, using the cloud may not even benefit your business very much. It all depends on many different factors.
In the end, the best IT service providers never push new solutions to improve their margins. No, the best IT service providers go above and beyond for their clients to help them embrace new technology that strategically improves their business operations.
Here’s a brief overview of some emerging technologies that your organization should keep an eye on.
Simply put, big data refers to the application of massive sets of data that were previously unreadable. They were once out of scope for traditional data-processing software. Now, modern computers can decipher this data to offer predictive analytics that can show businesses trends and behaviors that can guide them towards measurable success.
Blockchain offers a way for people to share a globally distributed ledger which relies on resources in a peer-to-peer network. Blockchain is the basis of the popular cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. It can get a bit complex, but there are plenty of guides out there to help you understand it better.
By 2030, 30% of the global customer base will be made up of things that use blockchain as a foundational technology to conduct commercial activity.
According to Red Hat, virtualization is technology that lets you create useful IT services using resources that are traditionally bound to hardware. It allows you to use a physical machine’s full capacity by distributing its capabilities among many users or environments. With it, small businesses can gain access to more powerful computing resources that can put them in direct competition with bigger organizations – essentially leveling the playing field by giving them access to equally potent technology platforms.
How managed IT service providers help small businesses
These technologies are all becoming very important. Small businesses depend on knowledgeable managed IT services providers to help them deploy and manage these assets to succeed in business.
Can an IT service provider help me plan for disaster?
A good one should be able to with zero issues.
Disaster recovery planning, business continuity, and data backups are all three very distinctly different areas that the best IT service providers in NYC must offer your business. After all, the importance of keeping your business operational 24/7 can’t be understated.
You can get guidance from an IT service provider on how to write a perfect disaster recovery plan. And, keep in mind that you actually can write this plan yourself, too. While your IT partner helps you write one, they can also help you modify/perfect one you’ve already got.
Plus, if you can avoid starting from scratch with a disaster recovery plan, you’ll save some time.
Here are some other things to keep in mind when crafting a disaster recovery plan:
- Take critical systems into account. Not everything has the same priority when it comes to disaster recovery. Be sure to identify and prioritize mission-critical systems to ensure your downtime is as short as possible.
- Be sure your data backups work. Remember to secure and test your data backups before disaster strikes. You’ll want a functional source from which you can restore your data, or you’ll be left to scramble for an expensive reactive recovery solution.
- Test, test, test. Be sure to test your plan in multiple different ways. That includes both on paper and in practice, with multiple different teams for the perfect level of redundancy.
The best IT service providers in New York will ensure that you’re following all the disaster recovery best practices available. They’ll keep you on-task and ready for anything when the time comes.
The best IT service provider in NYC
Now, get out there and find your perfect IT service provider. Here’s the big secret to finding the best of the best:
Make sure that they can help you with your business goals. Make sure that they’re qualified, and that they can help you grow and scale by using the right technology.
KJ Technology (hey, that’s us!) has been helping out businesses for over 20 years. We’ve got the experience. We’ve got the trained, friendly experts. We even have the evolving services that always fit your needs. And, unlike other IT service providers, we pledge to always go above and beyond for our clients.
Are we the perfect IT service provider in New York? Maybe. That’s up to you to decide.