IT management in small businesses and schools

Getting the balance right to meet all demands

Are you an IT Manager within an SME? Do you work in a school office, where everyone calls upon you to fix everything from the printer, to the photocopier, to your interactive whiteboards, yet you have nobody to call upon to help with your IT problems? If you are the one and only ‘IT person’ in your business, managing this on top of your own day job… we feel your pain! In fact, that’s how Affirm IT was born, and why we are recommended for our services. We know the pain of the person trapped in an IT bubble, with technology progressing faster than you can say ‘shut down and restart.’ If this sounds like you, read on to find out more about the kind of problems we solve, how Affirm IT can help with IT management in small businesses and schools, and how we can make sure you get the balance right to meet all your business IT demands.

What is IT management?

Information Technology (IT) management incorporates the ‘monitoring and administration of an organisation’s information technology systems – hardware, software, data, and networks.’

With a focus on efficient operation of information systems, IT management also ensures staff work more effectively and efficiently; and increasingly now also includes budgets, staffing, change management, automation of processes, technology support, and, according to Forbes Insights, means ‘providing access to end users to the technology they need, whenever they need it, and on whichever platform or device they choose.’   

The role of the IT Manager

Depending on the size of company, this could vary from being a single point of contact for all things technology – connectivity, the printer breaking down, arranging mobile applications, training, and making sure all communications are issued on time – to being an IT Manager, responsible for wider project management and delivery, budgets, as well as provision of an IT helpdesk or support team.

But one thing is certain, without technology, businesses and schools alike, are likely to come a cropper.

IT management in small businesses and schools now includes responsibility for efficient operations, progressive innovation, strict governance, compliance, and IT security, of course underpinned by effective communication. But the role of an IT Manager also tends to involve people, performance, and achieving goals against budgets and costings.

As an intrinsic part of any business now, it is more common to see a business designed around technology, than the technology brought in to meet the specific business demands. And along with this increase in technology, so also the vulnerability of the business increases too, by way of security threats.

So, as the responsibilities increase, how much of this is detracting from your ‘day job’ or becoming more essential to the running of your business, but growing out of proportion against the time and manpower you have available?

How Affirm IT can help you boost your IT management

Over the years, we have seen many IT Managers in larger businesses make their way up through the IT ranks, from starting in technical support team or virtual helpdesk, to managing their own support team and delivering huge business projects.

One thing we almost always find though, is that the IT Manager may be a specialist on the technical side but lacking in other areas. So, they are spending their time learning and developing people management skills, for instance, and the technical support then falls by the wayside.

Even more so within SMEs, schools, and offices where spreading the workload isn’t easy at all, as the volumes of staff are simply not the same.

So, it’s crucial that you have someone you can rely on to ease the pain, and shift the emphasis away from managing the detail of the digital era to the experts, such as Affirm IT.

  • We remove the burden – As the technical experts, Affirm IT can take the pressure and responsibilities away from frontline IT Managers or those with the additional role of IT management within their remit.
  • We leave you to do your day job – without the added fear of never knowing what’s coming next – is Pete going to say the printer’s broken again? Is Rachel going to ring to say she can’t connect to the server? Does Tim want to know if the email he has received is safe to open? You can simply concentrate on your to do list without any interruptions.
  • We can build and maintain your IT network support – whether you are looking for on site internet connectivity, wireless devices, integrated platforms, we cover all aspects.
  • Disaster recovery and proactive monitoring – onsite and offsite support leaves you comfortable in the knowledge that your back up systems are ready to go in a worst-case scenario. In fact, we are ahead of the game in detecting errors early. Which, from a cost and time perspective, is every IT Manager’s utopia!     
  • We offer flexibility – getting to know your goals, your systems, your day-to-day requirements is our business. With unlimited 24/7 remote support, you will never be hanging offline waiting for a response.
  • Project implementation – included within our range of services, we can work with you to ensure everything from system and server upgrades, email hosting and cloud migration are efficiently handled by the experts. We understand every aspect of IT projects and take over responsibility from start to finish.
  • Dedicated IT engineer – what more could you ask for than knowing you speak to the same engineer whenever you contact us? There’s nothing worse than having to explain how your systems work, the little quirks within your business and not really knowing the technical terms yourself to do so! Which is why we provide a dedicated engineer to each client.
  • Compliance and security updates – you will also be safe from a compliance perspective. We are trained and more experienced than most in terms of GDPR, security and cyber security requirements, and protecting yourselves, your clients, and your suppliers. We keep our systems and services up to date and will pass that same information and service on to you.

Taking the next steps with Affirm IT

In conclusion then, if you are new to the role of IT Manager, if you are overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of your business and cannot manage the IT on top of your day job, or if you want to allow your teams to focus in the business rather than on the business, then Affirm IT can take over from here.

We can align your technology with your business goals, keep your infrastructure up and running without fear of it dropping, keep you safe, secure, and of course fully compliant, and work on not only efficiency of your business, but efficiency and productivity of your staff.

Stakeholder management is also key. But your IT Manager cannot be expected to investigate all the problems, then devise all the answers, share all the answers, and then teach all the answers across your organisation. Becoming an integral part of your IT function means Affirm IT take over the technical and digital development, leaving the internal focus on the planning, the people, and the profits. Stakeholders, Board, staff, and suppliers alike will benefit.

Incorporating the services of a third party such as Affirm IT, can make the difference to IT management in small businesses and schools. And reap the rewards you didn’t know you were missing out on. From helpdesk support with a dedicated engineer to completion of your most ambitious IT projects, the experts at Affirm IT are ready to take your call today.

Domains A & C are owned by Affirm IT Services

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