For a provider of Christian Science nursing care based in the Bronx, New York, keeping up with technology changes and evolving health care legislation issues had become challenging to handle alone. It didn’t make sense to hire a full-time information technology (IT) expert, as the organization has fewer than 50 employees on staff. For this reason, the nonprofit organization decided to outsource its IT needs to Anderson Technologies, a St. Louis IT consulting company.
The partnership exemplifies two growing trends: the rise in outsourced IT services for small businesses as opposed to hiring a firm to “put out fires” as needed, and the use of remote technology to make long-distance work relationships possible.
Taking an ongoing, active approach to information technology, including IT security, allows small businesses “to get out ahead of issues rather than just react to them when problems occur and to have a plan in place to solve them quickly should they arise,” explained V.H., Assistant Administrator.
Taking a complete, long-term view of IT allows it to run its business reliably and securely, stay Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant, unlock cost-savings, and improve its guests’ ability to communicate with loved ones.
No Longer “Pennywise, Pound Foolish”
Before choosing a partner, the nonprofit organization’s team met with three qualified outsourced IT services companies, including a local firm. Anderson Technologies made this short list because V.H. previously worked for one of its clients in St. Louis who was pleased with the collaboration.
V.H. admitted they had some initial concerns about a remote relationship, “but because I work from home in Boston half-time, I have already seen the tools that allow people to work remotely, and I have confidence in them,” she said. The team also felt confident in Mark Anderson, principal of Anderson Technologies, who flew to New York to present the firm’s outsourced IT services.
The facility had gone years without upgrading systems, which in hindsight, was “pennywise and pound foolish,” explained V.H. “Mark was good at weighing our short-term and long-term needs, as well as the economics of the decision. We are nonprofit, and we have to be careful about how we spend our money, but technology is also an important part of our ability to do our work. Anderson Technologies has a great sense of how to balance the possibilities with the economics.”
V.H. and her team also valued Mark’s ability to explain complicated IT issues simply. He identified IT security and compliance issues that needed immediate attention and devised a plan for tackling them as cost-effectively as possible.
Not Sleeping in the City that Never Sleeps
Mark and Senior Systems Administrator Luke Bragg spent a week in New York, armed with an impressive to-do list. They installed a new server, new workstations, new Wi-Fi infrastructure, new copies of Microsoft Office, custom third-party applications, anti-malware software, upgraded the firewall’s firmware, and more. They did everything necessary to get the office running smoothly, securely, and in compliance with HIPAA, often working until 2 a.m. to make it happen.
“They were awesome!” V.H. enthused. “They had a plan, but they understood that any time you are working on a project that is this large and complicated, surprises will come up. They always stayed calm, optimistic, and cheerful. It was just a joy to work with them.”
The nonprofit’s guests reaped the benefits straightaway. “Previously, the Wi-Fi signal wasn’t strong in a number of rooms. Sorting that out made an immediate difference to the patients, who could then FaceTime or Skype with family and friends,” said V.H., adding that it also improved the quality of life for the nursing staff, many of whom have family abroad.
The Long-Term Goals of Outsourced IT Services
With the initial legwork behind them, Mark and his team now support the nonprofit from their office in St. Louis, although they will visit New York for check-ins. The organization’s goal is to stay abreast of relevant technology and HIPAA regulation developments affordably and to plan ahead so it can avoid another massive update. Most importantly, it wants to ensure technology supports its chief mission.
Anderson Technologies is thrilled to help support that plan. “Mark and his team aren’t just passionate about technology, they are into the relationships as well,” said V.H. “That makes this all more rewarding for us, and for them.”
Anderson Technologies is a St. Louis IT consulting company that partners with local and national clients to improve the efficiency and reliability of IT functions, enhance IT security and compliance, and take a proactive approach to maintenance with a focus on cost-savings. For information about outsourced IT services, including IT security, cloud services, hardware and software acquisition, and more, call Anderson Technologies at 314.394.3001 today.