How To Be A Valuable IT Guy for Small Business?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Small business owners coming from non-IT background tend to avoid technology most of the time; they believe everything can work by itself as old ages. If you are working as an employee for a small business you know what I mean!

You were hired as the IT Guy for the company; however, you are treated as an office boy even worse – no offense – considering that the office boy is more valuable in his position for the company.

The employees are messing up everything on their PCs, printers and the small Local Area Network in the office …. And finally the IT is useless because problems never end.

To solve this dilemma you need consider its main components:

  • Who needs your help? … The Business Owner
  • Why there are problems in the first place? … The Employees
  • When can you solve those problems? … The Tools
  • What is the benefit? … The Cost

The business owner

A business owner with non-IT background in 2012 is a nightmare. He doesn’t have to be an IT engineer, but he should be aware of new information technology trends. Dealing with such person should be taken carefully. If you show him that he is outdated he will take it as disrespect.

Buying PCs and printers for the business is more than enough for him. From his perspective an accountant only needs an excel sheet, a secretary needs to write Word Documents and a sales rep needs a phone and internet connection. Where is the problem then?

The problem is there is no IT Infrastructure….. There is no control on employees!

The employees

Let me introduce you to the best part, Employees! Or as IT people call them, end-users. But in a professional way, they are the customers that you can’t get rid of.

Bad end-users make your life hell; they will misuse everything they find on their way, from downloading huge files, viruses, spywares to printing 100 A4 papers just to review the document before trashing them. They are not your nightmare; they are also the Business Owner’s nightmare.

The tools

As an IT Guy, you can help the business owner with all IT problems coming from the employees. You just need to be proactive and propose a solution.

As mentioned earlier, end-users can cause disasters to your IT equipment and the whole company data. In order to control their behavior you need to set IT policy, but what are the tools required to apply such policy?

  • Active Directory and Group Policy: to control user permissions on their PCs.
  • Managed Antivirus: To detect viruses and clean all devices periodically.
  • In-house Mail Server: To control and prevent SPAM.
  • Network Firewalls: To prevent virus spreading and hacking attempts.
  • Internet Filtering: To filter specific contents, i.e. adult, illegal or bandwidth consuming websites.
  • Remote Monitoring and Support Software: To monitor server and desktop issues then act on them accordingly, even before the users notice.

The cost

Of course you will need to buy some servers and software licenses in order to utilize the mentioned tools. How will you convince the business owner to include that in the budget?

First, you need to create a list of current end-user issues and their impact on the business financially and from security perspective; I will take an example below and let you put yours on your comment.

Let’s take a common case like internet filtering. The business owner buys PCs for the user to run the business, correct? Yes, but most employees get bored fast “After 30minutes of reaching office”, they try to have fun by using Facebook, YouTube or Online Games.

If you are an employee I know you hate me now, because you need to have a break. Believe me, go get fresh air and disconnect yourself from the technology and work atmosphere.

Using internet filtering has the following benefits:

  • Decreases useless bandwidth usage and make it available for business emails and file transfers; accordingly, the business owner will not need to increase the purchased quota with the ISP.
  • Prevents access to known harmful websites, this will decrease maintenance costs.
  • Disables chatting websites and software apps in order to increase productivity.

Those are some benefits you can include in your cost analysis to be able to provide a comprehensive solution. However, never market the idea by declaring that you need to have control on the users or relieve yourself from the daily repeated support calls … instead, let the business owner know the benefits he will gain and leave your own benefits to in your own mind.

Do you have other tips that may help our fellow IT Guys in their daily tasks? Add your thoughts in the comment area below.

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Shady Al Aref is an entrepreneur since 2002. He has worked for several corporations as an I.T. Guru and invested money and experience to grow ARMINDS during the past years.

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Shady Al Aref Bellah

Shady Al Aref is an entrepreneur since 2002. He has worked for several corporations as an I.T. Guru and invested money and experience to grow ARMINDS during the past years.

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