Reducing the Cost of IT Support

As a small business or entrepreneur, you need effective and reliable tools that can help you deliver superior service and proven quality. A key service is to stay ahead of the IT infrastructure of your clients: managing configuration changes, monitor performance, identify emerging issues and resolve them before they interrupt work. In addition to providing assistance when necessary, to demonstrate to customers that can meet your changing business requirements and constantly improve performance. But all this can come with a hefty price tag! Read on for 5 tips to reduce the cost of IT Support.

Tips for saving on IT

Informing employees: a quick call to the sales manager, reporting that the CRM system is offline temporarily will save the IT department having to make numerous phone calls about the subject, which allows them to focus on other issues that need more attention. You must notify your employees in advance of any scheduled downtime or any maintenance even outside normal business hours.

Managing incidents: You have to be proactive and anticipate the needs of your customers, you need to get involved with the customer’s problem and be flexible. I say this because the dedication to service is also a good way to optimize the work. If you analyze the main factor, it makes the most efficient service and it can help to eliminate the incidence of root. Do not forget to expedite the answers to your customers so that you can help in automating and integrating all in one system.

Outsourcing service needs: in certain situations, companies can hire one or more IT staff, yet still fall short in supporting the needs of their employees. It is well known, and it is no secret that IT support staff full-time are expensive. For many companies, paying a competitive salary, with the advantages and benefits to an IT professional is usually more than your budget can handle. Hiring an outside company to attend to your business’s IT needs is often more economical. It may not seem like it if you are looking at a big company like Cimbas with their expensive rates, but a smaller local company such as Prosyn Ltd. in the London area could serve your IT needs and your budget quite nicely.

By making analysis and records: with this, you focus on the resolution of the incident in the first contact and you ensure user satisfaction. You can create indexes of time and measure quality in the resolution of customer issues. You must register incidents and service requests until they are resolved, as well as an analysis of the most common problems to which users face and establish more objective strategies to thereby eliminate or reduce the causes.

The advantages of automation: you have to automate tasks wherever possible. As simple as providing users access to reset their own passwords thing can save your staff support hours and the savings for your company. You must optimize the processes of technical assistance, offering users the ability to help themselves, you can implement a FAQ section IT in your company intranet, responding to some of the questions that your support department receives more frequently.

Conclusion

IT departments must commit to the implementation and deployment of your business infrastructure to thereby manage maintenance activities of labor, and to enhance the automation of labor resources with high costs.

How to Use Business Intelligence to Your Advantage

Business intelligence provides many advantages to companies who apply it, and has become a key factor to improve the competitiveness of enterprises in almost all industries. Here are a few of the key benefits of utilizing business intelligence.

Cost reduction, increased efficiency

The company staff from all departments, need to have reliable and relevant information to do their jobs. Most companies are unaware of the amount of work and resources needed to generate all that information and distribute it to the people who need it. Not many are really aware of the significant cost of not doing so, as this results in a lack of coordination, wrong decisions and poor utilization of available resources in the company. It is an expensive oversight to not have available relevant and necessary information ready at the time that it is required.

This work is usually done manually by the interested parties, which takes time out of their own obligations, forcing employees to spend productive time on a task that could easily be automated. Generally, they do rely on tools such as spreadsheets. Although this is a factor that goes unnoticed, a very important part of the hours of office work is data collection and reporting. A good business intelligence system should be able to automate much of this work, minimizing the possibility of errors and allowing people to devote their time and talents to what really matters, analyze information, not process. This will improve decision-making, coordination between departments and speed in general all business processes.

More ability to make decisions

By reducing the costs of information, a new horizon for the company with many more possibilities open. First is improved decision making as to provide more relevant, accurate and updated information, ensuring we are in a better position to make decisions that fit the reality of the company and our market. How many wrong decisions could be avoided if adequate information presented in a format that would facilitate its comprehension were consistently available?

Secondly, the company can start to consider issues or projects that were previously impossible to assess due to lack of time or resources to make a reliable estimate of the costs and potential benefits. In general, there is ample relevant information to be collected, and knowledge is power.

Improved responsiveness

The natural improvement in responsiveness is also remarkable when utilizing business intelligence strategies to their fullest. We can not only provide the necessary information in a much more visual and intuitive way that allows us to locate errors much earlier, but all of this occurs on a much faster time frame than normal. We can also define our own system of alert for exceptions to rules or trends, so we always know what is going on within the company.

You do not need someone to be continually reviewing data values to know if something goes wrong. You can program the system to generate notifications when a specific value is outside the parameters that have been set. The program will proceed to check all of these indicators on an ongoing basis and if it finds any anomaly, the system will alert people registered as responsible for such matters. Here are some examples:

  • A break of stock of a particular product. Tell the boss to make a new order.
  • A decline in sales in an area. Send mail to delegate and his team responsible for sales in that area.
  • A higher level of non-payment of 20% by the a customer. Send mail to business and billing departments.

Increased visibility and a better understanding of the business

The business intelligence systems are not only able to provide analytical and reliable information quickly, but they can do it with attractive visual formats for easy understanding and visualization.

This flexibility to present information allows it to assimilate much faster and better detect the crucial points that can be useful.

It also serves to expose developing problems that may have passed unnoticed among many rows and columns of numbers and alert the proper person to correct them.

Often the perspective from which we look at reality is crucial to give the correct solution to the problem before us factor. The business intelligence systems offer us multiple views, allowing us to improve our outlook and our ability to understand the business. If you are still not convinced, this video offers a compelling explanation of all the has been presented here.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence is the ability to transform data into information and information into knowledge, so that workers can optimize the process of decision-making in business.

Data, information, and knowledge

From a more pragmatic point of view, associated directly with information technology, we can define business intelligence as a set of methodologies, applications and technologies to collect, refine and transform data from transactional systems and unstructured information (internal and external in relation to the company) in structured information for direct use (reporting, analysis OLTP / OLAP, alerts …) or for analysis and conversion to knowledge, giving support to decision-making personnel in the business.

Business intelligence acts as a strategic factor for a company or organization, generating a potential competitive advantage, which is simply to provide “insider” information to respond to business problems like entering new markets, promotions or product offerings, eliminating islands of information, financial control, cost optimization, production planning, analysis of customer profiles, profitability of a particular product, and other potentially risky decisions. Harnessing business intelligence technologies is about minimizing risk and maximizing rewards.

The main products and tools to develop business intelligence that exist today are:

  • Balanced Scorecards (BSC)
  • Systems Decision Support (DSS)
  • Executive Information Systems (EIS)

On the other hand, the main components of data sources to business intelligence that exist today are:

  • Datamart
  • Datawarehouse

The BI systems and components differ in operating systems that are optimized for querying and reporting on data. This typically means that in a data warehouse, data is denormalized to support high-performance queries, while operating systems commonly found standard to support continuing operations of insertion, modification and deletion of data. In this sense, the ETL processes (extract, transform and load), which nourish the BI systems have to translate one or more standardized and independent systems to a single denormalized operational systems, whose data are fully integrated.

In short, a complete BI solution allows businesses to:

  • Observe what is going on within several diverse business systems
  • Understanding why trends are occurring
  • Predict what might happen in the future
  • Collaborate with teams
  • Decide what path to follow for optimal success