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Resources: IT Consultancy

Use Technology For Onboarding and Offboarding

Technology plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of your business, regardless of the industry you are in. Even the most old-fashioned business owners have accepted that they need to utilize technological innovations to keep up with the competition and deliver the best service to their clients.

Indeed, technology contributes to almost all aspects of operating a business. However, to this day, many companies are still not maximizing the benefits that automation can give, particularly in the onboarding and offboarding process.

How Technology Helps with Recruitment and Offboarding

It is common for employees to come and go in any job position. A smooth offboarding process makes it possible to part ways amicably. In addition, you must have a quick onboarding process for new hires. This process ensures continued productivity and minimizes disruption of the overall workflow. Technology can do wonders to expedite both of these processes and make the adjustments easier.

The Onboarding Process

Before starting their new job, new hires typically spend a lot of time filling out HR documents, getting to know their coworkers, and training for their new role. These are all essential parts of the onboarding process. Technology makes these processes much more efficient.

Paperless Forms

Many companies today still require new hires to come in before their official first day of work to fill out piles of HR forms, many of which are highly repetitive. This antiquated step is quite surprising when you think of how easy it can be to put these forms online and have the new hires fill them out at their convenience. They can do it on their computers or mobile devices, and the auto-fill feature will also let them finish much faster.

Digital Introductions

In between starting a new job and adjusting to a new work environment, a new employee already has more than enough to handle for the first day at work. Introductions are part of the process, but you can’t expect a new hire to remember all the names and faces of their co-workers in just one go. Most companies now prefer digital introductions.

Instead of everyone accosting a new employee by saying hi and introducing themselves personally, they can record a short video introduction instead. The new employee can watch these videos before their first day to get an idea of who they will be working with.

Online Technology Training

Online training has many advantages over traditional classroom training for new employees and employers. Each trainee has a unique learning curve, so putting them all together in one group won’t give them the most out of the training. While some may want to move more quickly, others may choose to review the previous topics before moving on.

Online training allows everyone to learn at their own pace and style. This choice is why it is recommended that employers use technology to their advantage. To give new hires the best experience of this part of the onboarding process.

The Offboarding Process

In order to prevent any disruptions to the business or workflow, it is necessary to adhere strictly to established protocols. When an employee leaves their position due to death, resignation, or other cause.

Manual Offboarding

Many companies handle offboarding manually, like by sending emails and making phone calls. But in some cases, this can be risky if the organization is not very strict in implementing policies. Many people who feel they were unfairly terminated might still have access to company accounts or confidential information for criminal purposes.

Offboarding Checklist

The only way to circumvent all these problems is by being extremely thorough in your procedure. There is a long list of things to take care of when an employee leaves, and you must check your list carefully. All of the company’s property, such as laptops and cell phones must be returned. The former employee should no longer receive wages after their last day at work!

Automated Offboarding

Manual offboarding jobs can be overlooked. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that if you opt for a fully automated offboarding process. Automating the process will ensure accuracy and consistency. It will also help with compliance and all the legal requirements you must meet.

Enjoy Fully Automated Onboarding and Offboarding with the Right IT Service Provider also known as Managed Service Providers.

For those who want to reap the benefits of an automated onboarding and offboarding process. Your Managed Service Provider can take care of it.

On the other hand, if you already have an IT team handling the process. But you are not sure if they are doing a good enough job, you can recommend these 7 questions for audit. Find out once and for all if you are getting what you are paying for. Or if you are getting nickel and dimed. If you need to change your IT Provider, let us know! We will efficiently handle your onboarding and offboarding, as well as any other business process you need!

How To Interview An IT Provider

Companies rely on technology for different aspects of their business. From sales and marketing to purchasing and payroll, just about everything is done with online systems. If any of these systems fails, the business flow is disrupted, leading to a loss of customers and profits. This issue is why you must have a reliable IT service provider to fix and prevent such mishaps. Interview and hire the right team.

Awareness of the Red Flags in the IT Industry

Before you start looking for an IT managed service provider, you must learn about the red flags in the IT industry so that you will know which IT companies to avoid. For instance, some companies will nickel and dime you for every little thing or charge you unnecessarily for services you don’t need. Look out for those who communicate poorly or can’t assist you with cybersecurity insurance. You can read more about all these red flags in our Top 5 Red Flags in the IT Industry blog.

Employing an Internal IT Guy vs. using the Break-Fix Method vs. Hiring an MSP

These are the three common ways a business might hire tech support. Each method has its pros and cons, as we’ve discussed in our Your IT Guy vs Managed Provider blog, and you should weigh these pros and cons carefully to figure out the best approach for your business. However, in most cases, hiring an MSP proves to be the most cost-effective and practical way to get high-quality IT support.

Possible Reasons for Firing Your IT Guy

There is a noticeably high rate of premature termination of tech support specialists these days. It’s not necessarily because of lack of skill or competence, but mostly an attitude or lack of professionalism that leaves companies with no choice but to fire their IT guys. Some are not transparent with their fees, and the client will be surprised to see unexpected charges come due at billing time. Some will communicate with a condescending tone when discussing technical matters, and some will give you poor customer service. In our 5 Reasons Why Companies Fire IT Guys, we talk about these possible reasons and how they can affect your business in a very negative way.

Important Questions to Ask During the Interview

Now that you know the potential problems that can arise with hiring the wrong IT specialist, it is even more important that you find the most suitable person for the job. A lot of it depends on the interview and the questions you ask. Depending on the answers, you should gauge whether the person is worthy of being hired or not.

Customer Service

It is important to know the quality of customer service they can provide if you hire them for your company. Are they easy to contact, and will they get back to you immediately if they are unavailable when you call? Do they offer guarantees of completing tasks on time and budget? Can they explain technical matters in simple language and enable the client to understand what is going on?

Network Upkeep

Find out what kind of service they will provide when it comes to the upkeep of your network. Will they do continuous monitoring of your system and provide regular status reports? Will they have exclusive access to your system, or can they provide your in-house staff access as well? Is their network support plan all-inclusive, or do certain services come with additional fees?

Disaster Recovery

In the event of a data disaster, will they be able to restore the system with minimal downtime? Do they perform regular tests on backup data to ensure that everything has been saved correctly? Do they offer a contingency plan that will allow your business to continue operating even while they restore your system following a disaster?

Providing Support

Do they have the expertise that matches your business needs? Do they provide 24/7 support, or do you need to wait for office hours before getting assistance? Is their support team based in the US, or do they use remote tech specialists in other countries?

Cybersecurity Insurance

Many tech companies do not offer adequate assistance with cybersecurity insurance applications. Ask right away what kind of help they can provide when you apply for cybersecurity insurance. Will they help you get approved, and will they help when you file claims? These might seem like a lot of questions to ask, but they are necessary if you want to find the best IT managed service provider for your business. In addition to answering your questions, a qualified IT provider must be able to give you a list of references when you ask for them. Once you interview and pick the right candidate, you can avoid stressful problems and focus more on the primary goals of your business when IT issues are off your plate.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!

5 Reasons Why Companies Fire IT Guys

The IT industry is brimming with so many IT guys and experts with various specialties these days. You would think it’s an easy task hiring one for your company. Finding an IT guy is not the problem. Finding a competent, reliable, and affordable IT professional can be challenging for many businesses. When you think you have found the right person, issues start to come up, and you have no choice but to fire them and start the search again. 

There are several possible reasons why companies end up firing their IT guys. Here are the Top Five issues most commonly cited by company owners and why these issues can be very detrimental to a business. 

Poor Response Time

A timely response is important in most aspects of a business. Particularly when it comes to the crucial areas where downtime can be costly or cause the operations to stop, and because of this reason, you should avoid working with IT specialists that are consistently late for scheduled tasks or who do not show up at all. 

Unexpected Charges

There are tech experts that are incredibly proficient and good at what they do. But when the bill arrives, it includes unexpected charges that were not in the initial quote. Aside from being highly unprofessional, such surprise invoices might also cause you to go over budget, which is certainly not good for your business.

Scope Creep

Sometimes also known as feature creep or requirement creep, scope creep is becoming more rampant in the IT industry. It is an extension or expansion of an IT task because the hired expert can’t resolve the issues immediately. Instead, the original problem branches out into several other issues, so the scope of the task keeps increasing. By the time everything is resolved, it will have taken up much more time and cost much more money than expected. 

Speaks in Very Technical Terms

Some IT professionals speak in very technical terms. This practice is a problem when talking to clients who are not tech-savvy. Perhaps they are so used to geek-speak that it has become part of their daily language, and they assume that everyone else understands what they are talking about, even when the client has no clue. 

Some IT guys intentionally speak in technical terms to show that they are the expert and know more than the client about technical matters. While this may be true, taking on a condescending tone will not help anyone. It is much better to hire an IT guy to educate the clients about the system instead of making them feel dumb.

Bad Customer Service

The IT industry is a service-intensive industry, so it can be perfectly natural to expect that you would get great, or at least decent, customer service from them. You are paying for the service, so you should not settle for anything less. At the first sign of bad customer service, many companies would not hesitate to fire the IT guy because so much time is wasted. 

Conclusion 

The best way to avoid hiring a bad IT guy would mean being more meticulous in your search. Don’t be afraid to be choosy when selecting from applicants. Read through their CVs very carefully and pick only those that seem reliable and professional. And always check references.

During the interviewing process, screen the applicants thoroughly by asking them the right questions. Based on their answers to these questions, you will be able to decide on whether they are the right person for the job or not. Considering hiring someone to manage your IT? Contact us today!

Your IT Guy vs. a Managed Service Provider

There is no question that reliable IT support is a necessity for all of us, including small businesses. The reason is that most transactions and business functions are completed online. Business owners need to decide on the type of IT support they need. Whether that be an internal IT department or a Managed Service Provider. Let’s take a look at some typical IT scenarios.

Internal IT Support

This protection means keeping an in-house IT person on your regular payroll. It’s straightforward, but this is a practice that is not frequently considered unless your business uses a lot of technology. For one thing, having someone on your payroll that you don’t need regularly is not the most economical approach. Also, you will be limited to the skills and expertise of the individuals in your team.

The Break-Fix Model

Small businesses favor the break-fix IT model because it is a simpler option. What this means is that you only hire an IT professional whenever your system fails or there is some tech-related problem. In other words, when something breaks, you hire someone to fix it. 

When working with the break-fix model, you don’t have a regular IT support team to keep things running. This setup sounds like a feasible and more economical plan if you are not expecting to encounter many system problems. But this approach is also idealistic because the truth is that things will break, and more often than you would like. That usually translates to unexpected costs and a runaway budget.

Managed Service Provider

Larger companies that have more complex online systems will hire a team of experts in the form of a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, that can offer complete and diverse IT solutions. Small businesses don’t follow this path because they focus on the monthly bill and not the benefits. The typical reasoning would go like this: What if nothing breaks this month? We would still have to pay the fee for nothing, and that would be a waste of money! 

But here’s the thing. When hiring an MSP, you get to choose the kind of services you pay for. It’s not a one size fits all offering. You can decide what kind of IT services or support your business needs, and the monthly flat-rate fee will be computed based on only the services you choose. 

And what if nothing breaks? Well, that’s the goal of a good MSP. Your Managed Service Provider will be proactive and keep your technology operating and not approach things reactively, like a break/fix service.

Advantages of MSPs over the Break-Fix Method and In-House Tech Support

If you are still on the fence about hiring an MSP for your business, take a look at some of the advantages MSPs have over other types of IT support.

Expertise

A Managed Service Provider consists of a team of highly skilled experts in practically all areas of business technology. If you hire an MSP, you will have access to this vast pool of professionals to help you with any tech issue you might encounter. This approach is in sharp contrast to having your own internal IT guy who may be very capable, but his skill set pales to a team of experts from different backgrounds. 

Convenience

With the break-fix method, you can hire top professionals for your issues, but the process of locating them and getting them on board takes time. With an MSP, all you have to do is call and tell them your problem, and they will immediately send someone over to fix whatever is wrong. 

Cost-Effectiveness

Most businesses that use the break-fix model do so with the assumption that this method will save them money, but as it happens, they usually end up spending a lot more than if they went for an MSP instead. MSPs will charge a monthly fee – that is true. But this is a flat rate. No matter how many services you ask them to perform or how arduous some of the tasks may be, you won’t have to pay a single cent more than the monthly rate. On the contrary, the break-fix model requires you to pay for each service separately, and the expenses can quickly pile up faster than you would have anticipated.

Many businesses perceive the monthly flat rate for IT support to be high. But when you take a close look at your total monthly expenses that go to IT-related services, you might be shocked at how much you are spending. 

Reduce Your Expenses by Switching to a Managed Service Provider 

Your flat-rate fee will vary depending on the extent of IT support you require. Contact us so we can calculate the monthly fee that fits your requirements. Chances are it’s lower than what you are spending now, which means that hiring an MSP could save you a considerable amount. Ready to find out?

The Top 5 Red Flags in the IT Industry

l businesses today rely heavily on IT support. Some have their own in-house IT experts, while many others choose to hire managed service providers, or MSPs, to perform specific IT functions for their company. These services are needed to oversee the office hardware and software and stay ahead of the competition. Like all industries, the IT industry has a few red flags that need to be addressed. 

With all the available services, you wouldn’t think that it would be that difficult to find reliable IT support for your business. We live in an almost entirely digital world, so tech services are available around every corner. The IT industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and so have the red flags in the industry. These issues make it harder to find reputable service providers that will give you the quality service you need. 

So what are these red flags, and as a business owner, what can you do about them? Read on to find out. 

Red Flag #1: Your business is getting nickel and dimed

Many business owners today do not have extensive knowledge or skill in IT. This technology gap is the primary reason they hire MSPs in the first place. Unfortunately, many providers are taking advantage of this. They will charge businesses for extra services that they do not need. In other words, they end up spending more on additional services even if they are not necessary for solving the problem at hand. 

The Solution

Make sure to do your research and find out exactly what IT services you require. Search for a provider that will deliver these services without trying to hoodwink you into paying for other services you don’t need.

Red Flag #2: Lack of communication

Clear and constant communication is essential in any business relationship. But for some reason, many IT service providers are failing in this department. Many of them will take your specs and get to work right away, probably because they are confident that they know what they are doing. More than likely, they are hoping to impress you with a fast turnaround. This approach can lead to more problems like wasted time and resources.

The Solution

Choose a provider that communicates well. The MSP should assign someone from their team to act as a point of contact to communicate and coordinate with you at any time.

Red Flag #3: No consistent business reviews

What previous clients say about a service provider is one of the best ways for you to gauge the quality of their performance. If the reviews are inconsistent, would you still want to risk hiring them for your business? The same is true for MSPs with very few business reviews because they are new. There might be a chance that they are good, but when it comes to your business, it is better to be safe, especially when hiring service providers for the fundamental processes of your business. 

The Solution

Look elsewhere. Finding a company with perfect feedback is quite impossible. The occasional irate client leaving a 1-star review is inevitable. But at least, you should search for a provider with a large number of consistently high ratings. 

Red Flag #4: Response time is too slow

Time is of the essence in any business, and quick results are highly preferable. There are a lot of service providers these days that provide excellent results but have a slow response time. These delays can be costly for your company and cause you to lose clients and eventually lag behind the competition. 

The Solution

Quality results are great, but not when they come too late. Choose an IT service provider that does not keep you waiting when you have concerns. And make sure they guarantee the fastest possible turnaround when you need them. 

Red Flag #5: They do not know how to help you with your cybersecurity insurance approval process

Cyber attacks are getting more rampant by the day. Because of this, every business with an online presence needs to have a reliable cybersecurity insurance policy to protect against the possible damages resulting from a data breach. And who should be in a better position to help you with the approval process than your MSP?

The Solution

Right from the start, you should ask the managed service provider if they have cyber insurance and can assist you in applying for your insurance policy. 

Steer Clear of Red Flags and Choose Your MSP Wisely 

Beware of these red flags and any possible implications for your business. If you know of anyone who has experience with an “iffy” managed service provider, have them contact us right away! We can show them the value of working with a reliable MSP.