This week's IT buzzwords focus on efficiency. As a small business owner it is important to be able to identify practices and systems that can help your IT partners deliver better quality service. Here are 5 IT efficiency buzzwords, and their significance to you as a small business owner.
How To Talk "Efficiency" When it Comes to IT:
1. Remote Monitoring and Management or RMM
Definition: A collection of information technology tools that are loaded to clients workstations and servers. The tools gather information regarding the applications and hardware operating in the clients locations as well as supply activity reports to the IT service provider, allowing them to resolve issues remotely and easily.
SMB Significance: Monitoring your network and servers 24x7 helps your IT partner to easily fix issues quickly and remotely. These tools will also provide the SMB with asset tracking and licensing information on their client systems.
2. Electronic Ticketing System
Definition: A system that allows end users to submit IT requests via email. The system will automatically create and issue a ticket in the IT Service companies system. A user calling in can have a representative create this ticket as well. This allows the user, the clients site contact and the IT service company to track the progress of the issues. The IT service company will update the ticket with processes they have taken to fix the issue.
SMB Significance: Working with an IT service company that has this type of system lets the end user and the client site person responsible for the IT relationship track the progress of the issue and keeps an electronic record of all issues for time tracking and billing as well as it can create a knowledge base for how the issue was fixed to help for future issues of the same nature.
3. Professional Services Automation or PSA
Definition: Software designed to assist professionals (for this definition IT Professionals) with electronic ticketing, time recording, billing, project management, resource management and documentation.
SMB Significance: A modern day IT professional services company will use a PSA system (like ConnectWise) to manage their team, provide their clients an electronic ticketing and tracking system, electronic invoicing and other tools. This type of tool provides efficiencies to help run the IT services company and keep things from slipping through the cracks.
4. Backup System
Definition: Backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.
SMB Significance: Every company no matter what size should have some kind of backup system. It could be as simple as an external hard drive plugged into the companies only computer to a more sophisticated system using a combination of software that backs up to tape, disk or cloud storage.
5. Backup Retention
Definition: The length in time a backup image should be kept.
SMB Significance: This refers to the amount of time your company would want to be able to revert back to or restore a file. It is important to understand what your retention policy is on your backup system. If your company has any compliance needs set by HIPAA, SOX or others it is crucial to have this policy in place.