Small IT departments at small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are confronted with multiple challenges in supporting the modern, flexible workplace. As organizations grow and the need for tech support increases, consider organizing and reinforcing your IT organizational structure with consolidated IT support and management tools to meet the needs of IT staff, employees, and the business itself.
There's no easy day for SMB IT teams. You don't have the massive resources of budgets, staff, and "preferred" vendor relationships that larger enterprises typically have, yet you’re tackling many of the same challenges. Ultimately, your IT structure is responsible for delivering IT support that drives not just a great end user experience, but also business productivity. "Doing more with less" isn't just a slogan, it's the default way of working when you have a small IT department structure.
While you focus on how to improve your small IT department, your to-do list is both massive and mission-critical for the success of your business. The emergence of hybrid and remote work, as well as growing cybersecurity threats, have made IT support more complicated and compelled many IT teams to turn to multiple tools and often-disconnected “solutions.” In fact, a recent IDG study reveals that a whopping 87% of IT leaders report using multiple tools for remote support. A lack of headcount in the IT department structure in small organizations makes the job challenging enough, but the complexity of your IT toolkit/stack can create problems too, for both your agents who need to toggle between tools and for your employees who seek fast resolution times.
Top Three Tasks SMB IT Teams Must Perform
While you consider how to organize your IT department, the list of IT tasks you need to perform come in three big, highly mission-critical buckets:
1. Provide technical support. On the double.
Business output depends on employee productivity. You have to keep your users up-and-running by offering them IT support that’s user friendly and resolves their issues fast. If your IT team uses multiple tools to support users, that means your agents must toggle back and forth to access the right tool for the right user issue, impacting time to resolution. Don’t forget, employees at remote workstations also have equipment other than their laptops and mobile devices that they now rely on to do their work, like home Wi-Fi routers, personal printers, headsets, extra monitors, and all the cables and connections that go with them. Your IT team is now responsible for troubleshooting any and all tech issues with these physical devices.
2. Manage IT infrastructure. Keep business humming.
Technology is the heartbeat of modern organizations. You must keep a pulse on the health of employee devices so that they can continue to do their work and avoid big problems by staying on top of things. This is best done in the background, without interrupting your employee’s workflow. Whether you’re accessing system diagnostics like memory and CPU usage, managing software updates, fixing identified issues later when the employee is away for the night, or automating software installations, patches, or scripts, all they need to know is that their technology “just works.”
3. Maintain IT security. Even as that becomes more difficult.
The pandemic and the emergence of hybrid work has accelerated cyberattacks around the world. Malicious actors have become more sophisticated in finding holes in IT systems, and once they’re inside your infrastructure, they can do some serious damage. Having IT tools with vulnerabilities that cyber attackers can easily exploit, like most solutions with traditional remote access controls, is a recipe for IT disaster, leading to potential legal liability and damage to business reputation (not to mention your career).
Meeting the IT Needs of SMBs: the Case for Tool Consolidation
Again, the complexity of your IT challenges is directly related to the complexity and multiplicity of your tools. Since too many tools can create inefficiency, tool consolidation is often the best way forward.
In order to meet the needs of your business, your IT teams need to be:
Enablers of flexible work, including hybrid and remote work.
Without technology, flex work comes to a grinding halt. When your agents are productive and can quickly access the right tool for the right situation, they can keep the business moving forward more effectively and efficiently.
Focused on user experience—for end users, agents, and admins.
When your agents have a great user experience, a great end user experience will follow. IT management must be easy to execute and invisible to end users, while IT support must be seamless and fast. But it’s not just about agents and employees. As an admin, you have to select, implement, maintain, and measure the performance of your IT tools. The more tools you have in your stack, the more time you're probably spending on integration problems, developing workarounds, training people, and managing your complex, disparate infrastructure. When tasked with "doing more with less," sometimes it is better to have fewer tools to "decomplexify" your infrastructure.
Able to adapt and evolve.
You will need flexible IT management tools that allow you to scale your department as your business demands change. Expensive, on-premises legacy systems bog you down, wasting resources. Today's businesses run on technology. Your team needs bandwidth to not just react to existing environments, but to look ahead. IT tools need to liberate your time for larger initiatives, which is why a consolidated platform works best.
Integrated into the business.
IT team are now in the spotlight, keeping modern businesses running. It only makes sense that the support process be brought into the spotlight too. Consider capabilities like conversational ticketing that brings the help desk to wherever employees are working, on messaging apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Tools must be seamlessly connected in a work-from-anywhere world.
Do more with less.
Consider how many agents it takes to support your business; one agent can do more, and more easily, with more efficient (and consolidated) tools built for supporting today’s flexible work. Built specifically for today’s challenges, an all-in-one IT solution can meet the needs of SMBs.
It’s go time.
Want to learn more about how to improve your small IT department? We can help with our all-in-one IT support and management solution purpose-built for SMBs embracing flexible ways of working. Learn more about GoTo Resolve.