There is no doubt that IT systems are essential for any business.
They form a huge part of our communications and are often used for sales. But there is a massive divide between businesses at the top of the sector and businesses struggling to emerge. That divide or gap is difficult to narrow without equalling or bettering the IT systems that the competition are using. Why? Because without effective IT, your marketing strategy simply cannot compete.
If you can’t log onto your workplace computer systems, you can’t work. It really does start at that basic level. If you can’t monitor your marketing campaigns, you can’t possibly determine the best times to ramp up or put the brakes on individual promotions. You can’t monitor the effectiveness of campaigns, or identify what your competitors are doing. Beyond the basic IT provision, we use IT in every one of our online or digital marketing campaigns. Without it, you simply can’t be competitive.
Your online presence goes a very long way when you consider the reputation of your company, your business, and your brands. It might begin with your website. This needs to be hosted somewhere and updated daily. The IT services you use might include hosting, but any content updates are down to you. If you can’t keep your website up and running, you can’t log in to communicate with your customers or leads. And if they can’t see your website, you’re not going to stay in business for long.
Secure transactions and data protection
Security for your website comes, for the most part, from your host. You can purchase security certificates to rank better with search engines. But security isn’t an option when it comes to transactions. Customers need to know that your website is secure and that their data is protected when they shop with you.
You might also need to screen some credit account holders or high-value purchasers. You wouldn’t let someone move into your house without screening them. You shouldn’t let customers order large values of goods without checking their payment credentials either. The IT services and functions available to you should provide this extra layer of protection for both sides.
Data collection is a major part of the marketing strategy. The more you know about your customers, the better you can target new ones. You might have pop-up forms, surveys, or subscription services all running on your website. Simple plugins from a WordPress site aren’t usually enough. For campaigns that are effective and competitive, you need to drill deeper, using IT.
Once you have the data, you need to mine it. That means you need to understand how to filter the data. This helps you to find the answers to the questions that are most important to your marketing strategy or campaign. All of this data needs to be secure, easy and efficient to access, and non-corruptible. It sounds like the work of an IT specialist is required!
Services your business needs
There are several different approaches to your networking needs:
Managed IT Services – Managed IT Services for businesses, according to Houston-based Truewater, can be hit-and-miss if you pick the wrong company for the job. You need a reliable individual managing your account and fixing problems before they appear. Effective networks simply run smoothly without daily calls to your IT Services helpdesk. When your IT services are managed, you know there is a single point of contact taking care of everything your business needs.
IT Consulting – Hiring or engaging a consultant to get you set up is always a good idea. They have seen a lot of other companies in your situation. They’ve provided expert knowledge to suggest the solutions your business might need ongoing. But once they have presented their report, they are likely to leave you to make up your mind and get on with it. Some managed IT service providers also offer a full consultancy so that you can keep everything in one place.
Disaster Recovery – Despite your best efforts and that of your IT systems company, hacks can happen, bad weather can damage your equipment, and disaster recovery becomes essential. This service is often included as part of your full-service contract, but it’s worth checking your insurance and liability options too.
IT Support Help Desk – The bigger your company, the more likely it is you’ll need employees to have access to a support desk. Logins and file management are the biggest problems that your workforce might have. After all, not everybody is IT savvy! Your marketing team is also likely to need a little support with setting up campaigns through the website. These issues might go beyond the typical help desk support provision.
Hosted Solutions and Cloud Computing – For a fully integrated network, you might select to have your entire internet presence and intranet provision hosted in one place. Many companies have at least two different websites. And different departments in your company might require different types of intranet. The marketing team is likely to be running several different cloud-based software programs. These are required to manage their campaigns. Keeping this updated, secure, and accessible is one of the biggest challenges they face.
Working in the cloud means your workforce can work from anywhere at any time of the night or day. If you want to hire the best talent in the world, chances are you need to look globally and across time zones. Collaborative working is made possible through the cloud, regardless of geography.
Once you’ve established the right type of IT service provision for your business, you can start to use it outside of your business too. Social media is a huge part of any brand marketing campaign. But it has its vulnerabilities and restrictions too. Do you want to integrate your social media activity with the rest of your website or data services? You will need an IT system and network that can support that securely.
Now IT has become the norm for all businesses, it’s easy to forget the full scope and demand on such systems. To stay competitive, you need to stay ahead of the IT revolution.