Running a construction business is a complex affair. You have workers and materials spread out at multiple locations that are in varying stages of the building process. You’re using more technology to communicate, coordinate and keep track of everything. As your technology needs have become more sophisticated, so have your needs for IT and cybersecurity management, and that’s where managed IT services comes in.
Managed IT services is an approach to IT and cybersecurity management that proactively works to prevent problems while providing real time support when it’s needed. Working with a managed services provider (MSP) enables your business so that you can improve how you use technology.
When you can better utilize technology, you’re able to gain efficiencies and transparency into your construction company operations that you’ve never had before. You can make better decisions because you have up-to-date information. You can become more competitive.
Finding a Managed IT Company to Meet Construction Industry Needs
Not all managed IT services companies are the same, but you can drill down to which one is going to give you the results you expect when you include the following topics in your evaluation.
1. Strategic Guidance for IT Planning and Budgeting
With so many moving parts in your IT environment, you need someone who can look at the big picture, pull all the pieces together, and plan for the future. Make sure that the MSP you work with offers the services of a vCIO (virtual Chief Information Officer) who will work with you to create your unique IT strategy.
2. Mobility and Use of Mobile Apps
With most of your workers out in the field, you want an MSP that can support and secure all of the tablets and smartphones that they use. Find out if there are limitations to support for any of the apps you use. Weave this conversation into IT strategy by asking how the MSP will help you to find the best mix of mobile apps and help them work together.
3. Communication and Collaboration
Technology can help when you need to get everyone in the same room for discussion, even when you have to do it virtually. If you’re using Microsoft Teams, you’ve already got a powerful tech tool in your hands. But are you using it to its fullest advantage? As you discuss your communication needs in your MSP evaluations, learn how they can enable your communications and collaboration.
4. Business and Operations Automation
Automation with Microsoft Power Apps is how you blow your competition out of the water. Automation takes processes that are complex, manual, or just have multiple steps and turns them into efficient, transparent processes. Not every managed IT service provider has the capability to build automations so make sure the MSP you choose can do this.
5. File Storage and Backup
Not only do your employees work with some big files, they need to access them from different locations and share them with customers and contractors. You actually need more than file storage – you need file management which includes controlling access to information. Discuss how the MSP can enable data management along with creating a backup strategy that aligns with your business needs and budget.
Just about everything that you discuss with a potential managed IT services provider has a cybersecurity component so the security conversation shouldn’t stand alone. At the same time, you want to learn how they will help you to build a security strategy with the technical and nontechnical layers that will allow you to effectively manage cyber risks.
7. Vendor Relationships
If the MSP you choose can work with your vendors on your behalf, that’s a big plus. From your cell carrier and internet provider to your mobile app and software platforms, having someone to talk tech and ask the questions you don’t know to ask is a huge benefit.
One more thing to talk about when you’re evaluating managed IT companies for your construction business is their availability. If the best time for your people to work with IT is at 6:30 am, before they’re out on a job site, is support going to be available? While you’re getting a handle on availability, be sure to ask about what you can expect for response time.
Up Your Construction Technology Game with Managed IT Services
Your technology is probably more sophisticated than you realize, and chances are good that you’ve outgrown what your current IT support team can do. Managed IT services is how you can quickly ramp up how you use technology so that it can not just do more for your business, but actually improve it.
If you’re ready to up your game, get in touch.