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To keep business running, manage growth, reduce risk and costs, look outside for the expertise you need.

Entrepreneurs, especially in their early years, try to do things themselves. As their companies grow, they put together a team of diverse talents to handle various aspects of business: manufacturing, sales, marketing, operations and finance. Back when technology was primarily focused on accounting and finance, it was possible to have a person or small team to handle IT needs.

Now every business function and interaction inside and outside the organization depends on computers, mobile devices and the network. Hardware, software and applications are constantly evolving. So unless you are in the technology business you can’t reasonably expect to have the expertise in-house to stay on top of new technologies, keep all hardware in the company operating and train those who use them.

Some local companies have learned this the hard way. Network crashes, server problems and security breaches can create both a hard cost for repair and lost productivity. Many companies that have grown up with an “as you go” mentality also lack a strategic technology plan, and manage by responding to crises.

A good example involved a local health care provider. They had purchased three new servers and a new SAN (storage area network). The intent was to prevent a system failure and downtime by adding a redundant server cluster with failover capability. Unfortunately, the new servers did not work and were installed incorrectly. Meanwhile the old SAN was left in place and the new SAN sat in its box for months. They were relying on an in-house team that just didn’t have the bandwidth or expertise to deal with the growing technology needs of their organization.

The company then found the outside expertise they needed. The old SAN was replaced with the new one, and server virtualization completely reconfigured according to standards. These changes gave the company true high availability, meaning if one server fails, it will automatically roll over to another, resulting in higher uptime. Virtualization tools were also installed, enabling performance gains immediately for all applications, including data access. The company not only reduced costs by improving productivity, but also avoided a potential crisis had medical records been lost or compromised.

Another example involved a St. Louis based printing company with a sixty-user network. They employed an in-house IT person, but their needs had grown beyond his expertise. The goal was to use technology to maintain a high level of productivity, while mitigating any network related risks. The staff person was replaced with a complete outsourced solution, including a Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) to assess the network for improvement and risks. A forward-looking strategy for the fleet of workstations was created, including a new server infrastructure. This utilized the most current technology and a robust backup solution to mitigate risk of a full server failure. An outsourced 24/7 help desk was also provided to address any problems and maintain uptime. The network is now capable of supporting increased productivity, while the business has increased overall profitability.

Both of these companies solved their technology needs with the help of ThrottleNet, Inc., an IT consulting firm that helps companies with outsourced solutions that streamline business operations, maximize productivity while reducing costs. Our firm specializes in IT planning, remote network management and custom software development. Founded in 1999, we have grown to serve over 300 clients in the St. Louis area. ThrottleNet has won multiple awards, received recognition as a Top 20 IT Firm by Small Business Monthly, and named one of the Leading Information Technology Consulting Firms by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Mike Heil is CEO of ThrottleNet Inc. They offer an array of technology services and products to help business owners achieve their corporate goals and accelerate business growth. They offer their own online learning channel, TNtv, which addresses a variety of technology insights and issues. To learn how to accelerate your IT you can visit ThrottleNet online at www.throttlenet.com, or call them at 314-961-1027.