When it comes to technology, small businesses face many headaches. From choosing the right solutions to dealing with multiple vendors for elusive issues, making technology work well is a challenge. And, more importantly, ensuring the security and backup that is in place is enough to protect the business can be a big worry. Some business owners do not have an affinity or background in IT (Information Technology ), which makes managing the complexity of IT even harder. There seems to be a million solutions online, but no straight answer about the right path forward.
Your IT Options as a Small Business
There are several ways small businesses fulfil their IT and computing needs.
Do-it-Yourself: The do-it-yourself route is the most common scenario for small businesses of one to twenty employees. Sometimes you enlist the help of the most tech savvy partner or staff member in the office. Maybe you have a relative or rely on someone that does IT who can help you out. But it’s up to you to decide what laptops or desktops to buy, figure out if you need a server or should go to the cloud, determine what software solutions you need, confirm everything is properly configured and secured, make sure it all gets backed up properly ,and then hope that it all keeps working. And, with the ever-escalating cyber attacks on small business, without a high level of security skill do-it-yourself can mean doom-it-yourself.
Cost? More than just the cost of hardware, software and connectivity tools, how do you factor in the value of your time? Beyond the initial setup, you are responsible to keep it running and secure. If you get hacked or something breaks, you have no one to immediately support you and it could take days to get back up and running. While you are doing that you are not making money. The costs are difficult to track in this model, especially the value of your time. The do-it-yourself method, which seems like the most inexpensive route going in, is often the costliest in the end.
Hiring an IT Company: Often referred to as a VAR (Value-Added Reseller) or IT consultant, some small businesses with no internal technical knowledge or a family member or friend to turn to use this option as an alternative to DIY. The challenge is that most VARs that will service a business this small are often very small operations themselves. While some are very good, they have broad general knowledge for the main areas of IT but may lack skill in some critical areas like data security or compliance, often required to meet professional-level standards. In this model each client solution is a custom configuration from the ground up, which leaves a lot of opportunity for security weaknesses, and higher costs.
Cost? Some VARs are beginning to employ MSP (Managed Service Provider) methods to bring costs down, which is essentially an IT company that will remotely provide monitoring and support services on a per device or per user basis. This helps with increasing security and lowering costs, but, ultimately, these are still largely custom configurations with room for security weakness, and costs for the client add up quickly as they still need to invest up front for the systems and software required, as well as pay the ongoing monitoring and support fees. Once you calculate the cost of the laptops, desktops, software, accessories, set-up fees, etc., and then have monthly subscription fees on top, overall costs can be burdensome for the small business.
The right VAR or consultant will often do excellent work for clients, but for the small business, it can be pricey. Also, finding the “needle in the haystack”, the good ones vs the not so good ones, is difficult for the small business to achieve if the owner is not tech savvy. A mistake here in choice of supplier is costly.
The Next Evolution of IT for the Small Business Professional
Office of the Future: What if one call to a professional who works with similar small businesses every day could quickly assess your needs, recommend the best solutions from a selection of devices and services designed just for the small business professional, arrange to have fast, new, enterprise-grade laptops or desktops that are setup and ready to run with military-grade security, built-in automatic backup, sophisticated anti-malware protection, Microsoft Office 365, all ready to go? And every piece of it, hardware to software, always in warranty, always in support, and insured for cyber attack or data loss? All for one low monthly fee per device?
Designed specifically with the professional organization in mind, NPC’s “as-a-service” model provides secure managed computers and Microsoft Office 365, featuring a high-level of IT support, technology and security services, on a packaged basis for one monthly fee.
A first call with your new integrated services centre helps you move everything from your old system over, from favorites to files. You register your fingerprint on the device and are ready to go. From then on your computer is remotely managed and monitored for everything from performance to cyber attacks, to ensuring the latest patches for all the supplied software and computer operating system are current and properly applied.
This model that eliminates custom, patch-work designs achieves such a high level of security that NPC provides $5,000,000 of privacy and data breach remediation insurance on every system. One less thing for the small business owner to pay for or worry about.
Cost? Starting at just $139.95 per month for a full suite of support and security services, including a top-of-the-line business-class computer, NPC has made high-level computing performance, productivity and security affordable for anyone in business. And it is simple, easy, predictable monthly pricing that will be a bonus to your cash flow. No need here to put out thousands up front for new hardware and software when it’s time for new computers. It’s all included in the monthly fee.
Add $29.95 per month for a premium level of Microsoft Office 365 and you can eliminate the need for a local server. You will have a lean, secure, well supported computing environment for even the smallest companies. It creates a powerful, secure, “work from anywhere” model that helps you deal with all of the disruption and change we have experienced. Welcome to Office of the Future.
A Completely Different IT Ownership and Operating Model
NPC DataGuard has created a new way to buy and manage secure computer systems with an ownership model that completely changes the status quo. In this advanced supply model everything is done for you. No more trying to figure out what type of computer to buy. No more sweating decisions about how to ensure you are secure. No more trying to configure laptops for your employees. No more sitting on hold with suppliers when things go wrong to find out you are talking to the wrong supplier. No more worrying about what happens, especially with your clients or a regulator, if your computer is lost, stolen, or hacked.
A New Way to Look at Your Technology Needs
NPC requires you to think differently about how you’ve bought technology in the past. It means experiencing a better computing solution that starts with eliminating patchwork set-ups, a mix of old and new technology. NPC’s exclusive performance guarantee means hardware will be fixed or replaced as required —so everything will always be in top shape and at peak performance. As well, combining NPC secure managed computers with Microsoft Office 365 creates a seamless security and IT infrastructure that has incredible efficiency and cost savings, without the need for an expensive, risky, local server.
NPC’s as-as-service model offers performance, cost predictability and control. This kind of whole office IT solution brings a new level of productivity and trouble-free computing, with secure mobile access from anywhere.
Book a call today with an NPC small business computing professional and find out what NPC DataGuard can do you.