As an OutSourced IT provider, we deal with all sizes of businesses in almost every industry. While most businesses have their own specific IT needs, there is a common “baseline” of technology that every business must have. Whether you’re a small local retail business, or a large organization with multiple locations, you’ll find the same common basic needs that we’ll discuss below.

Software: Every business in every industry utilizes a key piece of software for their operation. Sometimes this software is industry specific and can even be mandated as part of that industry. For example, all healthcare offices must use an Electronic Health Record (EHR), which is basically a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. A large percentage of industries use a CRM Software (Customer Relationship Management), that includes tools for documenting areas of client data, for the purpose of improving and strengthening client relationships. On the retail side, all businesses use a Point of Sale system to record sales, customer transactions, inventory, etc.

Hardware: This also changes from industry to industry, and is dictated by the needs of a business’ process or industry specific software. For example, a retail shop utilizing a Point of Sale system needs a terminal where they can record sales and customer transactions – traditionally, this was a computer integrated with a cash-drawer, but is now more commonly an iPad. In some industries, there’s a need for mobility. Healthcare offices often have nurses moving room to room, or a transportation company may have a mobile fleet that needs LTE connected devices to access their specific software.

For businesses with numerous employees, a server may be necessary to connect all workstations to the same software and data – this requires a ‘network.’

Network: In practice, a network is comprised of a number of different computer systems connected by physical and/or wireless connections. Regardless of scope, all networks allow computers and/or individuals to share information and resources. Of course, networks can vary depending on business needs; a VOIP phone system or a “guest wifi” connection are easy examples.

Security: This has rapidly become one of the most important parts of any IT infrastructure. At the most basic level, workstations and servers require endpoint security to protect data from malware attacks. Businesses with a mobile workforce may require a Mobile Device Management solution to protect and allow control over sensitive and business-specific data.

Security at the network level is becoming more and more important, with advanced solutions being developed for this cause. While there is no network that is immune to attacks, a stable and efficient network security system is essential to protecting client data.

Other advanced security solutions include Dark Web scans, Internal Vulnerability and External Penetration tests, Security Assessments, and Security Awareness training.

Backup: A backup solution is necessary for every business, not only to protect and recover from data loss due to malware attacks, but also due to physical destruction and loss. Any decent backup solution will be comprised of an off-site and onsite backup, so that files can be recovered and restored to a primary and/or secondary physical location. Off-site backups should be secure and utilize the cloud, removing any manual human interaction from the process. This must managed and actively monitored, so that not a single backup is missed. After all, data is a business’s most important asset!

Web Presence: In 2019, what does it say when you Google a business and find no online presence? Websites, SEO, customer portals, etc., are all must-haves for any current business.

ISM is the premier local OutSourced IT provider here in Central and Southwest Montana. We’re able to assist any business, large or small, with any of the above areas, along with anything else that involves your IT infrastructure.

Each business is unique and demands their own specific set of IT needs – let ISM help your business gain control of your technology!