Your Technology Consultant and Your Business: Beyond If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

[SMBNation – Seattle] I’ve interviewed a number of local technology consultants at the Sixth Annual SMBl Nation. What’s encouraging is that many of their businesses are going quite well (or at least “ok”) so that means YOUR business is going well too.
What I’m a bit concerned about, however, is that many of you are not fully using your computer consultants.
They tell me that for the most part, they’re simply putting out fires and ensuring that your technology stays up and running. This is all good, but there’s two key points I want to share with you, in how you should consider taking your relationship to the next level.
Some of you are already implementing what I’m about to tell you, but many of you are not.
One: I’ve written about managed services a number of times, and you should know by now that its a set of services that’s all about automating your IT management and support. For example, knowing that a hard disk is low and failing before it fails. These services are offered for a flat rate and are primarily offered as a service via the Internet.
Some of your IT consultants are not offering this service to you. The days of having a big box for email and appliances for security are coming to an end. There’s no need to pay $1,000 for a server installation. When you can pay $50 a month (per employee) for email or security, etc.
If your IT consultant can not supply this service to you, now or in a few months (many are new to this as well), then you should consider working with another consultant. Benefits to you included cash flow and faster support.
Second: Instead of only looking to your IT consultant to repair hardware or software that’s not working they should be helping your GROW your business through the implementation of CRM, a better web site, mobile solutions for your sales staff, contact management and more. Use your IT consultant as a trusted adviser and seat at the management table (or pretty darn close).