You trust your IT department. They implement new technology for you, they fix things when they break, and they advise you on what tech you need as you expand your business. But there are many IT support services that a typical internal IT department isn't set up to do on their own, or doesn't always do well—and these services matter. Here are four must-have IT services that are best left to a specialized contractor:
Virtualization refers to the use of "virtual machines," which is when a single server is configured to run as if it were several smaller servers. That allows it to smoothly and efficiently dedicate its processing power and memory to a variety of separate tasks or programs. In effect, it acts as several independent machines at once. This is one of the most basic IT support services, as it saves money over purchasing separate servers for each system, and eliminates the security concerns and slowdown that come with dividing a normal server's attention.
Business continuance is also known as disaster recovery. The objective with business continuance is to prepare secure, redundant backups not only of data, but of whole systems so that your operation can recover rapidly if you suffer damage to key servers, data loss, or a large-scale disaster such as a fire or hurricane. In some industries, business continuance is a must in order to meet regulations and security standards. But in every industry, regardless of regulations, it's a smart investment.
Data Lifecycle Management
This process is also known as data storage architecture, referring to the design and usage of the systems that store your business's data. Businesses today use vast amounts of data and must securely and carefully back everything up. This can mean huge costs for data storage, as well as the perennial problem of needing to acquire more and more machines for the purpose. Data lifecycle management involves making the best use of your existing storage space and designing new storage intelligently, so that you get the longest possible lifespan out of your investment.
Information security is essential in every industry today, but many companies are woefully behind the times. There are several elements to information security:
- Protection against external threats – Hackers and viruses are what keep many CEOs awake at night. There is a shadow industry devoted to hacking corporate data in search of trade secrets and sensitive information. Keeping your systems secure is a must.
- Protection against data loss – System failure and human error can cause loss of data. A smart backup system with easy, fast recovery options eliminates the risk.
- Policies for how data is handled internally – Hackers are not to blame for the majority of data breaches—carelessness is. Professional IT support services can review your information policies and implement new procedures to make sure that the staff treats data with the care it deserves.
Have you ever turned to an outside IT provider? What did they do for you?