IT symbols surrounding woman holding tabletTo be competitive in today’s world, companies of all sizes must invest in a robust IT network that streamlines their processes while providing additional value to the customer. Considering the continuous rapid evolution of new technology, staying ahead of the curve requires significant resources. For smaller enterprises with limited staff and a tight budget, keeping up with the latest technological trends can be daunting.

Fortunately, taking advantage of managed IT services offers small businesses the same level of resources as their larger competitors at a significantly lower price point.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Outsourcing IT work has been common practice for many businesses that lack the budget for a full in-house IT team. For small companies that have IT systems in place, this generally required hiring off-site IT professionals for issues on a break-fix basis or to consult on future needs. The outsourced experts would charge for individual tasks on-demand, making it difficult for businesses to fully budget for their future IT costs. Managed IT services eliminate this uncertainty, providing their clients with access to full IT staff on retainer. Depending on the service level agreement, the managed services provider (MSP) can offer full IT support, including troubleshooting, systems analysis and future need anticipation, to give businesses the chance to streamline their operations and reduce costs. The covered IT services are provided to companies that pay a flat recurring rate. Choosing this model gives smaller businesses access to a dedicated team of experienced IT professionals they couldn’t otherwise afford, offering many benefits comparable to an on-site IT department.

10 Benefits of Managed IT Services

1. Save Money

Companies considering working with a MSP may wonder if they can save money by continuing to hire IT help as needed. However, tackling each of your IT needs with the initial question of affordability will likely leave a business with unresolved issues and ensure you’re not getting the most out of your system. By signing on with a MSP, you not only keep up with your troubleshooting but your IT experts will ensure your system is efficient and appropriate for your needs, saving you money on unnecessary equipment and outdated technology. Improved systems with less downtime will also enhance on-site productivity and improve the experience of your staff and customers, all things that can also have a positive impact on your bottom line. Finally, some industries require IT regulatory compliance. Professional IT experts will ensure all regulations are met, helping your business avoid punitive fines and/or shutdowns that can cut into profits.

2. Save Time

When an IT system is developed and maintained properly, it can be used to handle many of the time-consuming core business tasks of your daily operations. This frees up manpower to focus on the elements that require a human touch. Automating certain tasks and using technology to check for errors can also greatly reduce mistakes, saving you the time it takes to fix them and giving you peace of mind that your business is running smoothly. When something goes wrong within your IT infrastructure, knowing you have an expert on call eliminates the need to troubleshoot the problem yourself to determine whether you can afford the solution. In fact, many issues will be tracked and addressed remotely, keeping your operations running smoothly with minimal involvement from you or your staff. Knowing your IT systems are in expert hands allows you the freedom to focus on growing and running your business.

3. Improve Security

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving issue that requires regular monitoring to keep up with the latest threats. Without a full-time IT department, it’s likely your business’ security efforts have gaps that can be exploited. Working with a managed IT services provider can help you keep your system protected, reducing the chance for a data security breach that puts your company and customers at risk. Your provider will stay on top of the newest security tools available and ensure you’re covered in the event of a cyberattack. Data loss can be another devastating threat to your company, but MSPs often offer backup and recovery options as well, keeping your operations running smoothly when disaster strikes.

4. Scalability

Growing businesses require expansion of the current IT infrastructure to handle an increased workload and manage new necessary applications. Doing this alone can be costly and puts the company at risk of having outdated or mismatched technology. Hiring an IT professional for planned expansions can also be a major expense and may leave you without the ongoing assistance needed to incorporate new processes smoothly with minimal downtime. Outsourcing to a managed IT services provider gives your business room to grow, with professionals available to reassess your needs at any time.

5. 24/7 Support

Many MSPs offer continuous support to ensure they’re always available when you need them most. This business model often includes tools such as remote monitoring to catch and assess issues as they happen, disaster recovery and help desk solutions. Allowing the MSP to handle the back end of your IT technology means any issues that come up can be addressed immediately, at any time of the day or night, instead of just within normal business hours. If your company depends on internal or consumer-end IT processes to function, this helps preserve business continuity, saving your reputation with customers and building the professional confidence of your staff.

Choosing the best way to build, maintain and expand your company’s IT infrastructure is an important step to setting your business up for success. Companies that believe they have minimal need for expert IT technicians may feel they’re saving money using the break-fix method to handle issues as they occur, but they’re likely not getting the most out of their technology, resulting in lost time and money in other areas. Taking advantage of managed IT services gives smaller businesses many of the same benefits of having full-time IT staff on-site for a fraction of the cost. With IT experts working around the clock at their disposal, they can rest assured that their system is tailored to meet their IT needs, protected by the latest security advancements, and that someone is available to assist them whenever needed.