As technology grows the world gets smaller
Cliches aside the connectivity that technology offers, particularly network efficiency and security, means that the I.T. Department no longer need an office in the basement filled with wires and flashing LED boxes. Engineers can be based at a central location and comprehensively manage a network hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away. With an increased focus on a national technology workforce trained specialists can be available 24/7 to cover all time zones and eventualities.
Secure network remote connections
At the core of this is effective and secure network remote connections that allow engineers to diagnose and fix issues in real time. With broadband availability becoming so common, even in remote areas using satellite, the issue of connectivity is becoming less to ensuring the connection itself is protected at all points by the best security. Once watertight firewalls and intrusion detection is in place the physical distance becomes almost meaningless.
For the short-sighted business owner this will sound like outsourcing. Find a call centre in the developing world, pay them a percentage of a pittance, and that’ll be fine. Back to cliches, you get what you pay for. The differences in service levels between a call centre and a professional IT company are huge. When an isolated site goes down, the server shorts out and needs a controlled restart, try asking the call centre to send an engineer out on a plane to the site. Professionals, and I used the word with deference to the developing world engineers, will have this eventuality built into their support and contingency plans in place to deal with it.
There are obvious benefits to local IT support for a local business, if that’s the limit of your expansion. When your sifting through Google results don’t just consider what you need today but think about next year and the year after that. If you plan to expand then take on support that can help you grow, can support multiple sites and have proven experience working internationally. At the most basic level they will have been through it already and can guide you through the traps and pitfalls. It’s not an expense today it’s an investment for tomorrow.