Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need.
How Businesses Can Acquire the IT They Need
There’s a lot of different pieces of technology that go into a business, and they all need to come from somewhere. Not only that, they need to suit the business’ needs. Let’s examine how two different businesses might go about procuring their necessary IT, starting with their network infrastructure.
Servers and Networking
Bert’s business is expanding, so he needs to increase his capabilities to accommodate the increased staff and workflows his operations will soon have to contend with… his single workstation isn’t going to cut it anymore. He realizes that he will need a network to support his operations, so Bert - being a complete novice - looks on some online forums and tutorials to try and teach himself what needs to be done. Most of what he reads is effectively gibberish to him, but he manages to patch together what he thinks will be an effective business network, with a server to store the lion’s share of his company’s needs.
Unfortunately for Bert, he misconfigured a few components along the way, and so he finds that his network doesn’t work the way he needs it to - leaving him unprepared for his increased staff, and out quite a bit of time.
On the other side of town, Ernie is experiencing similar growth, and comes to the same conclusion: his business is going to need a network in order to sustain his increased operations. However, Ernie knows where his strengths are - computers and technology aren’t among them. Therefore, for his networking needs, Ernie calls in a managed service provider.
The managed service provider steps in and takes care of Ernie’s needs, designing and configuring his network to both support his current operations and preparing it for continued business success.
Of course, a network only helps a business if you have multiple workstations. Both of our example business owners will also need to procure computers for their new employees to use.
Bert, who operates a rental service, needs his workstations to in order to process orders, program the GPS locators on his vehicles, and perform general office tasks. He goes to the local big-box technology store and picks up a few generic computers. Too late, he finds out that these devices don’t have the processing power needed to support his GPS solution, and needs to have them upgraded - spending money that didn’t need to be spent.
Ernie’s business, on the other hand, is retail, which means he needs workstations that can support the point of sale software that his employees will use. These workstations also need to be compatible with the machines used to procure his products. While Ernie has a handle on the business side of things, he relies on his managed service provider to help him procure the workstations that can accomplish his needs. As a result, Ernie’s employees have the equipment they need.
Software as a Service
Speaking of the equipment needed, this equipment itself needs to have the right software solutions in order for operations to commence. There are a few ways to handle the procurement of this software.
In order for Bert to make his business work, he needs to know which of his vehicles are available to send out. To do this, he leverages asset management software. Unfortunately for Bert, he and his employees neglect to update this software, which leaves it vulnerable to cyberattack. Before long, Bert’s business is locked down by ransomware, rendering him unable to continue operations.
Comparatively, Ernie again leans on his managed service provider to assist him. As Ernie relies on a lot of software, rather than purchasing it outright, he leans on his managed service provider to license the necessary solutions via a software-as-a-service arrangement. Since Ernie is using a solution that is maintained by the developer, he doesn’t need to worry about any maintenance, as the developer is responsible for that.
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