To 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. Technology can be a great asset for businesses, but it can also be a burden if not properly managed. That’s where managed IT services come in.
By outsourcing your IT needs to a professional service provider, you can enjoy many benefits, including reduced costs, improved efficiency, and increased security. 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. Read on to learn more about the benefits of managed IT services and how they can benefit your business.
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 requires hiring off-site IT professionals for issues on a break-fix basis or to consult on future needs. Break-fix services are someone you contact to fix an immediate and specific problem for a one-time transaction. 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. Managed service providers help you maintain business continuity if something goes wrong in your office or off-site. This 24/7 service provides peace of mind. Depending on the service level agreement, the managed services provider (MSP) can offer full IT support, managing systems, 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.
What are the Benefits of Managed Services?
In an age where technology is the driving force behind the business, managed IT services play a major role in ensuring that your organization’s network of computers and software is constantly working properly. In fact, they can even help you save money by preventing problems before they start.
To put this into perspective, here are some of the benefits of managed IT services:
Increased efficiency and save time
Managed IT services can help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. IT pros can find and fix issues with your technology before they become major problems. When you outsource your IT, you’ll be working with a dedicated team that knows what to look for and how to resolve potential technical mishaps before they affect your business. Proactive monitoring will help prevent issues in the future and will keep your business sailing smoothly. Managing your own in-house team is great when you have the time and resources to dedicate to it, but when you’re busy running your business, outsourcing is often the way to go. When an IT system is developed and maintained properly, it can be used to handle many of the time-consuming core business objectives 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.
Many of us would not want to switch on a computer or enter our online banking details without knowing that we had the most up-to-date anti-virus software installed and updated. But what about your business? Is it more difficult for you to keep on top of managing your IT security, and ensure that all staff members are aware of the latest threats? If so, it could be time to outsource your IT support and management.
Cyber security 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 of 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. With a team of experts managing your IT systems, you can rest assured that your data is safe and secure.
Reduced cost and save money
Managed IT services are often more affordable and cost savings than managing systems in-house. Companies are looking for the most efficient way to get their IT systems up and running in order to cut costs. In-house IT managers’ labor costs are very expensive, but when you hire a managed service provider, they take care of the difficult and time-consuming tasks with their experienced staff. If you decide to hire a full-time IT manager to manage your in-house IT systems, then the cost quickly adds up due to salary, benefits, and other miscellaneous expenses. On the other side, a managed service provider will charge you based on their services rendered and usually, there are no additional hidden costs. This means that your IT infrastructure becomes less expensive to manage because all of the hard work is transferred to a third-party company that specializes in this area.
Companies considering working with a managed services vendor 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 an 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. Your business investment carries a certain amount of risk, some industries require IT regulatory compliance. Businesses have to meet the most widely applicable standards and these are the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Violating these and other standards can cause hefty fines and damage the reputation of your business. Such consequences for a business are very hard to overcome and this will cost businesses to fail. Professional IT experts will ensure all regulations are met, helping your business avoid punitive fines and/or shutdowns that can cut into profits.
Another part of the cost-effective strategic initiatives is predictable monthly costs. When you have a managed services provider, you will be paying the same amount regardless of how much support you use each month. Knowing what you need to budget and what services you will receive, will allow you to have more flexibility when investing in other areas of your business helping it grow faster.
Greater flexibility and 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. As your business grows, you can easily add or subtract services as needed.
With the fast-paced nature of today’s business, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain IT infrastructure. Computers, mobile devices, and all other types of hardware are getting more complex with each passing day. Managing them becomes increasingly difficult as users increasingly demand access to information from any location at any time. There is also an increase in the number of threats to information security.
Managed IT services can help you overcome these difficulties. They provide the necessary support that allows your company to focus on what it does best, while still getting all the benefits of advanced IT infrastructure and comprehensive IT services. With expert support available when needed, employees can focus on their work instead of dealing with tech issues, hence will improve their productivity.
Easier collaboration and increased mobility
No matter how much employees work on their computers, errors and crashes happen and data is lost. A cloud-based system provides security for all information stored in one location so employees can access it at any time from anywhere. Companies can monitor all devices connected to the network to diagnose problems wherever they are. With cloud-based solutions, employees can access files and collaborate from anywhere in the world. This makes it easier for employees to complete projects and get their work done. Giving employees access to company files from anywhere means less time wasted on traveling back-and-forth between the job site and the office. Employees can even use their own devices to access company documents, which is often more secure than using a managed device provided by the company.
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.
If you’re looking for a way to take the burden of managing your IT off your plate, managed IT services may be just what you need. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help improve your business efficiency and security. We look forward to hearing from you! Contact us today.