For most kids, summer meant long, lazy days playing games or just doing nothing. But Adam Spencer’s father had different plans for his son.
“My dad was self-employed, and I grew up working for him during the summers. You see, it was cheaper for him to pay me 25 cents an hour than it was to pay a babysitter.”
Adam’s job was to poke cement, with a little wooden stake, into a machine where an auger went back and forth working the mixture. His main task was to not let that stake get pinched, because if it did, it squished his hand against the side.
Thus, from his earliest days working, Adam quickly learned two important lessons:
- How to maneuver the stick so he didn’t crush his fingers.
- The value of education – because he knew he didn’t want to do THIS his whole life.
So, he worked hard, saved up his 25 cents an hour and in middle school bought his first computer. He loved it. When it broke, he found out how to fix it, and in the process acquired a love for technology that continued into college. In fact, he became so proficient at fixing computers that he started doing that to pay for his schooling.
“I was able to pay my way through college, and along the way I managed to build up such a clientele that I ended up making more money doing what I loved – working with computers – than I ever could have made doing my degree. So I just kept doing it.”
Thus began the early incarnation of 911 IT – initially offering the typical “break-fix” kind of a model where if something breaks, they’d fix it.
Along the way, Adam got married, and he and his wife moved into their first apartment. As newlyweds, they went out and bought the stuff that newlyweds need – a new washer and dryer, new bed, new TV, new everything. But unfortunately, they soon discovered their apartment was contaminated with methamphetamine the previous tenant had used to manufacture illegal drugs, causing Adam to get really sick.
“We ended up losing everything, including the clothes on our back, but we still had to pay for it. So, we spent the next year trying to pay all that off and get back on our feet again.”
Adding to their challenges, their first daughter was born with only half of her heart, a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. They couldn’t know if that was caused by the contaminated apartment, but it demonstrated how, even if you work hard, someone else’s actions can take it all away.
And THAT is when it hit him…He realized that THIS applied to his business! Because the very same thing can happen to anyone’s company.
Cyberterrorists can ruin everything someone spent their whole life building; it could all be taken away and destroyed overnight.
“I didn’t want my clients to ever have this happen to them. I wanted to be able to protect them.”
FROM “BREAK-FIX” TO SECURITY AND PROTECTION
With customers throughout the greater Salt Lake City region – as well as the entire USA – 911 IT provides protection IT services for industries that tend to have more compliance requirements, such as CPAs, accounting firms and health care.
Because of their access to highly sensitive data, these kinds of businesses require a greater degree of security – and Adam has a passion for helping them keep their data and their customers’ data safe.
“Unfortunately, I feel like there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what cybercrime is. And so, they just stick their head in the sand and don’t want to deal with it. But it’s not a matter of IF you’re going to get hacked. It’s more a matter of WHEN you’re going to get hacked. And the question then becomes, how quickly can you get back up and going from it? And how little can you make that affect you?”
That awareness of the very real threats that do exist is why 911 IT invests so much time and energy into educating every customer, as well as creating contingency plans and putting things in place so that if something does happen, the damage is minimized and recovery can take place as quickly as possible.
Early on they got a call from a CPA firm: “Hey, can you come in and do a security audit for us? We think we’ve been breached.”
So, they did the audit, and while they were there, the firm let them know they’d just had $450,000 stolen from a client’s account using their credentials.
Adam discovered that two months before the theft took place, the client’s e-mail password had appeared on the dark web – and somebody quickly hacked into that e-mail account, started e-mailing the bank, making little changes, even adding a payroll service. Before long, hundreds of thousands were gone.
“But we were able to pull logs, pull that data, get it to the right authorities. And they were able to get that $450,000 back.”
But security means going beyond finding and repairing problems when they arise; it requires a proactive approach to always looking ahead to solve potential problems before they become actual problems.
A PROCESS-DRIVEN APPROACH TO ENSURING CLIENT SUCCESS
As CEO for 911 IT, Adam’s goal is to provide the perfect solution to every client, every time.
To make this happen, he and the other 11 members of his team have created systems to ensure that aspect of service is entirely process-driven.
Every phone call, every visit by a technician, every interaction – it doesn’t matter who you work with from 911 IT, you get the same process and the same quality experience every single time.
This dedication to engineering the entire experience enables 911 IT to successfully deliver fantastic results over and over again.
“There’s a lot of IT companies out there that fly by the seat of their pants and do a lot of these things as one-offs. Instead, we focus on systems and process, which enables us to guarantee that we can make their systems run more reliably and securely.”
And when they know their systems are secure, companies can turn their attention to innovation and growth – which ultimately increases profits and enables them to spend time on the things they and their employees enjoy, like friends and family.
This comprehensive approach to doing business carries through across the board in how 911 IT works with clients and in securing their systems.
For example, when they conduct a security audit for a potential client, they evaluate their servers, network, firewall, WiFi, everything, to see whether it’s all set up correctly – with the results compiled into an information-rich report.
But while many MSPs will just present the data, 911 IT takes the extra time to explain each point covered inside the report, why the information matters and what they’re doing or not doing that could affect security.
That way, they not only have a raw data analysis of what’s going on at that point in time, they now have the knowledge they need to make the right decisions moving forward.
And even though 911 IT’s systems and processes provide
the framework for delivering this level of superior service, the foundation for their success boils down to something even more powerful – relationships.
“It’s more than just providing a specific service at a specific time. You are coming alongside as a partner. Because our success is built on their success. So, the more successful they are, the more successful we’ll be.”
REAL SECURITY DEPENDS ON SUPERHERO VALUES
Keeping a company and its systems stable, safe and secure involves a complex blend of tools and technological expertise, along with a dedication to staying current with all that’s taking place in the world of cyber security.
Adam enthusiastically embraces this challenge…
“I love learning something new every day. Very few days go by where I don’t get a chance to learn something new. And it just always changes, so it’s not the same thing over and over again.
I love that. It almost makes me feel like a superhero out there fighting for the good and keeping these companies safe from cyber-attacks.”
Real security requires something more than mere intellectual horsepower – it requires a sincere appreciation for the VALUES that matter most to both the IT provider and the clients they serve.
Adam sees these as mission critical: a love for people and teamwork; for integrity and being completely trustworthy; for taking extreme ownership and responsibility; for getting it done right; for gratitude, self-improvement, having a clear vision.
And last, but certainly not least, a love of EXCELLENCE in everything they do.
“We’ve invested and worked hard to create an environment where every employee has the opportunity to excel on behalf of our customers to ensure their safety. It’s part of our ongoing commitment to providing our clients with the absolute best IT services and support possible.”
From banged-up hands to bang-up service – not a bad journey in the least.
For more information on 911 IT, visit https://www.911it.com/.
Do you want more leads, more clients, more profits now but don’t know where to start? Click here and watch a quick video about the three biggest problems IT Service Businesses face and how to solve them.