A good software stack can make all the difference in the world for a small to medium-sized business (SMB) trying to gain ground against the competition. Sure, you can offer a great product and build a brilliant team. But if you’re constantly dealing with technical issues, missed messages, or a less-than-streamlined project planning tool, chances are you’re wasting at least some of your efforts and attention on problems that could be solved with better IT management software.
There’s no lack of great IT management tools to choose from — and sometimes that’s part of the problem. IT leaders are often tempted to choose big-name products without looking under the hood to see how those tools integrate. Before long, you’re installing a Microsoft product here, a Google product there, and on top of it all, using Slack to communicate about it. Worst yet, you may not even realize that these disparate tools weren’t necessarily meant to integrate with each other. It’s a Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen type situation. So, what do you do? Simplify.
It may come as a surprise to you just how robust a software stack you can build by staying inside one ecosystem of tools designed to work together. Microsoft, for example, offers hundreds of IT management software systems that most people have never even heard of, and yet these tools integrate seamlessly with one another to synchronize communication and workflows across your entire team. In fact, you may already be paying for some of these tools (tools you perhaps didn’t even know existed in your system).
If you’re tired of having to send backup emails to team members who don’t get your messages or having to manually upload data that doesn’t always sync when you expect it to, check out our recommendations for better software solutions below.
Top 8 IT Management Software Solutions We Recommend
Most people know Teams for its chat service, video conferencing, and file sharing capabilities. But did you know that Teams can also function as a business phone service? There’s no need to set up a separate business account with Verizon or Vonage because you can simply assign a phone number to Teams and perform the same functions, such as call routing. If you want one fewer issue to deal with (and one less bill to pay!), switching to Teams is an easy way to get started.
If all your employees work under the same roof, you may be able to get away with skipping this one because your IT team members (or Deborah in Accounting who is really good with computers, if you don't have an IT team) can always walk over to another employee’s desk to solve a problem. However, if any of your employees work remotely even part of the time, you must have a way to centrally manage each employee’s work-related computer, cell phone, and/or tablet. Intune works with each of the major computer and mobile operating systems, so you don’t have to worry about installing a Microsoft product if some of your employees are die-hard Apple fans.
Azure Active Directory (ADD) allows you to let go of one more extraneous tool. It can take the place of Okta or similar identity management services that handle single sign-on. There’s no need to ask everyone to remember fifty million passwords anymore (though if you do need them to, we HIGHLY recommend Keeper for that). Instead, authorize your employees to access each of their connected applications by signing on just one time with the central AAD system.
What use is your IT department management software if your important business emails are unsecured and easily compromised? Skip installing yet another third-party anti-phishing application and go with the lesser-known but just as powerful Defender tool that keeps phishing emails from ever entering your inbox.
We all need fewer tedious, repetitive, annoying tasks in our lives (we’re looking at you, pile of laundry waiting to be folded!). Instead of clicking around to manually set up a new customer account for the four hundredth time, use Power Automate to set up a workflow that does all the meticulous, time-sucking tasks for you.
If your business runs on data (and when does a company not require at least some data?!), you need a way to display that data visually so it can be easily and quickly interpreted. Power BI is a business intelligence tool that allows you to create charts and set up intuitive dashboards to your heart’s content.
Planner helps your team stay organized, no matter how many projects they might have going on at once. Think of it as a Trello replacement that integrates perfectly with each of your other Microsoft tools. In Teams and see a post you need to circle back to? Make it a Task in Planner for yourself! Skip the extra legwork and get more done with Planner.
If your business is expanding, consider using Microsoft Project as your project management tool. It scales up to enterprise-level, so you won’t have to worry about outgrowing its functionality as your business grows and becomes more complex.
It’s not easy to even choose a management software stack, let alone switch from your existing programs to your new ones all at once. There are compatibility issues to worry about, not to mention the learning curve your employees will face as they become familiar with your shiny new tech. BEMO can help you decide which software to use, get it all set up for you, and even help with the tedious management aspects so your employees can focus on more important things.
Did we miss one of your favorite IT management tools? Tweet us @Bemopro and let us know!