Small Business Options for an IT Department

By | April 12, 2012

Businesses without an IT department may find themselves at times in the midst of technical problems that they cannot solve themselves. Instead of calling up a local technician or IT service, there are better solutions that will allow you to worry less about technical problems and focus more on your business.

Software as a Service

One of the best ways to go about operating your business without an IT department is by using online software, which is often referred to as “Saas”, which stands for Software as a Service. While this may not have been possible years ago, with new technology innovations like the cloud, many businesses have no need to hire a full-time IT staff anymore.

For instance, companies such as NetSuite were built specifically to cater to businesses without IT departments that still need technical support. NetSuite offers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Professional Services Automation (PSA), among other features. Processes like order management, sales and marketing can all be handled using any web browser via a computer or mobile device. By utilizing this type of software, much of your IT department (at least the core Software side) can be outsourced and managed in the palm of your hand. Of course, NetSuite is just one of many such SaaS providers.

Shared IT Departments

Other companies like SoftControl provide other types of benefits, more akin to sharing an IT department. SoftControl “aims to provide the facilities of a full IT department without the overhead.” They provide both a remote help desk and a support IT manager than can be contacted quickly and easily by phone; on-site if needed, and has complete access to the network. Because of this, operating costs are reduced significantly, overhead is reduced, and you don’t have to worry about managing a full IT department in your office. Everything is taken care of online and your remote staff is only a phone call away. It just doesn’t get any easier. Think of it as outsourcing your IT department. The team works from a remote location and can handle everything from website monitoring, network security, virus removal, and data backup, among other tasks.

In-house IT

If you’d like to keep a bit more control over your network without ceding it to a cloud or outsourced service provider, Windows Small Business Server is a great alternative. This software offers data backup and protection, storage of both files and applications in a centralized environment, and the ability to access any of this information from anywhere that has internet access. You’ll need a bit more technical acumen to operate it effectively, but nothing like hiring a dedicated IT resource and with a little bit of effort, the “University of Google” can answer most questions.

To set up the server itself, you can bring in an IT professional to set up all your hardware, including important features like fault tolerance in case a piece of hardware fails. By utilizing Windows Small Business Server and learning a few pieces of software yourself, there really is no need to have an IT department at all. This should save you tons of money in the long run.

In Summary

By utilizing any of these tips mentioned, you can run an efficient business without ever having to hire an IT team. Sites like NetSuite were created to handle procedures like sales and order management, meaning you don’t even have to worry about implementing a complicated system within your office space. SoftControl allows you the option of having a full IT team working for you from a remote location. Your costs will be lower and to contact them, they are only a phone call away. Finally, if neither of those options sound appealing to you at all, you can always install Windows Small Business Server which only needs a one-time setup by an IT professional. After that, everything can be easily managed by you and your staff, completely eliminating the need to ever hire an IT department. These three options are the best ways to go to run your business without an IT department.

By-line

This article was written by Peter Hansen, a freelance writer with more than ten-years of experience in the information technology field. Mr. Hansen has most recently been involved in the hardware side of the business, working with equipment from cisco memory to microwave radios.