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How Vendor Management Can Help You During a Crisis

How Vendor Management Can Help You During a Crisis

As businesses begin to open up, many of them are trying to make the best of an already difficult situation. New mandates and precautions are going to be affecting us all, and that is going to mean placing a priority on specific aspects of your business over others. That might include cutting back on certain vendors, or putting some less pressing issues on the wayside until things settle down. We’re able to help Rapid City businesses do this through our vendor management service.

Lessons Learned by South Dakota Businesses From COVID-19

The current crisis has put into focus how many businesses are vulnerable to disruption during an unexpected event. Most organizations just assumed their technology would always ‘just work’, and for most if not all, this current crisis was a wake up call. Sudden shifts to business, such as a global pandemic, should be written into all future disaster plans moving forward.

This event has illustrated to businesses that unless they have a robust IT support system in place, such as a managed service agreement, the impact to daily operations is subject to the whims of fate when disaster strikes.

Businesses that were already prepared to allow a remote workforce saw the least disruption in general, while businesses that weren’t prepared had to scramble.

Adapting to the New Normal

Many South Dakota businesses affected by this crisis found themselves struggling to adapt to an upended business environment. Concerns and concepts once on the back burner, if considered at all, suddenly became critical to many a business' very survival. For example, businesses now need to focus on supporting a remote workforce, cloud computing, video conferencing, and VoIP, and they need the support system to keep everything running and maintained.

While it is true many businesses were able to hobble along during this crisis, an equal number (if not more) may not recover from it. This is the reality of a disaster; some businesses will close their doors permanently. Moreover, unless the survivors make significant changes in how they view technology (as an investment and not a burden), they may not survive the next event… and there will be another event. There always is. Now is the time to prepare for it, because when it strikes it may be too late.

One area of concern for South Dakotan small and medium-sized businesses is that often their tech department consists of the owner or team members whose main job isn't maintaining the business' technology. While this arrangement works well enough during times when everything is stable, it quickly fails when things aren't running as smoothly as expected.

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone

The most important thing to remember is that you're not alone. This crisis has laid bare for many businesses just how many gaps there were in how they implemented and engaged with the technology they once took for granted. Gaps made it difficult for them to support their customers or remain productive during this crisis. A common refrain we hear from many business owners during these trying times is, “How do I keep my business open, protect my data, and support my remote workforce?”

Not only are you not alone, but you don't have to go it alone. One advantage enterprise-level businesses have over their smaller cousins is that they have the resources to keep technology experts, such as a Chief Information Officer, in-house and within reach. If you're a small-to-medium-sized business, you might not have the resources to hire a full-time CIO. Fortunately when you partner with KT Connections you don’t have to; it’s like investing in a vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer).

Someone Needs to Manage Those Vendors

As many South Dakota businesses sent staff home, including their IT staff, they found the institutional knowledge needed to maintain their technology was out of the office due to social distancing; perhaps permanently. Moreover, because process, procedures and best practices weren’t documented, once those team members were unavailable or off-site, no one knew how to solve the IT problems that occurred. 

No one knew which hardware and software was being used and how they interacted with each other. No one knew where the service agreements were, or which pieces of equipment were covered under it or quite honestly if there even was a service agreement. There was no singular point of contact to ensure that the technology continued to run smoothly, particularly during times of uncertainty. 

This is a recipe for disaster.

The Advantage of Vendor Management

The coronavirus crisis, like all disasters, has crystallized the reality that many South Dakotan businesses need a central point of contact to handle their technology concerns effectively and efficiently. These businesses have felt the effect of relying on piecemeal IT maintenance and now know it doesn’t work.  

Having us aboard can free you and your team up so that you can focus on running your business and support the needs of your clients, not worry about your technology. We speak technical jargon, so vendors are less likely to point fingers at your team or recommend less than perfect solutions, because we advise them on the solution they need to implement.

For example, if you’re not sure how to start and support your newly remote team’s computing needs, HP provides a wealth of tools. As an authorized HP (Hewlett Packard) vendor, KT Connections can provide your team with the HP tools to work remotely.

How Vendor Management Works

Our vendor management service works with third-party vendors to reduce your bottom-line expenses, presenting you with hardware and software solutions and suppliers that will work best to suit your needs. Our service ranges from simple consultation to an in-depth program of infrastructure management. In this way, our Virtual CIO offering is sure to be a valuable asset to rely on when it’s time to evaluate your company’s technology needs.

As part of our managed services, we take an inventory of all of your hardware and software along with serial numbers, warranties, registrations, licenses, and configurations, keeping them documented for easy access in case of disaster. All support done to each piece of hardware is thoroughly documented throughout the lifecycle of the hardware. We can report on the number of times your staff has had an issue with a specific router on your network. You can imagine how beneficial it is during a crisis to only need to make one phone call for a problem and reach a team with that kind of insight.

Having problems communicating with your remote workforce, or concerns about keeping your data secure?  Do you need a new piece of hardware or software to better support your clients; or are simply having a problem with a particular part of your IT? All you have to do is call us. 

We will be your advocate and take the time to communicate with the necessary vendors on your behalf. When we’re done, we will inform you of what was done or is expected to be done in real-time. When you partner with KT Connections you won’t remain in the dark about your status of your IT.

Please take a minute to browse our website for more information on our valuable managed IT services. Feel free to contact us at 605-341-3873 or simply fill in the form to have one of our professional technicians contact you.

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Tuesday, September 22 2020

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