As small business owners rely on IT more than ever before, a growing number are turning to managed service providers to obtain the high-tech IT infrastructure, software and assistance they need to be successful. At the same time, there are many entrepreneurs and small business owners who don’t fully understand how managed IT services work and how they can propel a business forward. Following are five extremely important facts about managed IT services that will enable one to make wise decisions regarding when and how to use them.
Managed IT Services Save Time
Most small businesses can’t afford to hire a full-time IT technician. This means that, more often than not, regular employees must deal with IT problems. Because the average employee is most likely not an expert IT technician, it could take hours or even days to resolve serious IT issues. What is more, it is all too easy for an employee to make a mistake that results in downtime, a security breach or some other serious issue.
Working with a managed service provider saves time because MSP companies can prevent many IT issues in the first place. Companies offering managed IT services use only the best equipment and this equipment is monitored by experts to ensure that everything is working as it should at all times. In fact, most managed service providers offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If something does go wrong, a small business owner can count on immediate, expert assistance to get things running again. This frees staff members to handle other essential jobs such as sales, advertising and customer service, enabling your business to grow as it should.
Managed IT Services Save Money
Can working with a third-party IT service provider actually save money? A lot depends on which IT service provider is used and what services are purchased; however, for the most part, companies that use an MSP save a considerable amount of money. In fact, recent statistics indicate that small business owners can reduce IT costs by up to 40% by working with a managed service provider.
There are several reasons why managed IT service providers are so cost-efficient:
- Small businesses that use an MSP don’t need to invest in their own equipment and then update the equipment periodically as the IT service provider handles this expense.
- Small business owners who work with an MSP don’t have to take on one or more extra employees; this saves money that would have otherwise been spent on salaries and benefits.
- IT service providers offer scaled services, making it possible for business owners to adjust IT spending by the company’s needs and budget.
Managed IT Services Boost a Business’ Security
Many small business owners have discovered that, contrary to popular misconception, they are prime targets for cybercriminals. Because small businesses are less likely to have strong security, hackers go after them regularly to obtain valuable customer and business data or to hold files hostage in exchange for a ransom.
Thankfully, small businesses can now obtain top of the line security at a very reasonable price by working with a third-party IT service provider. IT service providers use up to date security programs and procedures to protect company files from unauthorized intrusion. Furthermore, many offer employee training that can prevent common cyber crimes such as phishing and malware attacks.
Getting Help from the Experts
IT technology is continually improving. Hardware and software that was up to snuff a few years ago are now outdated. Naturally, most small business owners don’t have the time to keep up with technology changes that affect their industry. However, IT service providers do have the time and ability to not only stay abreast of recent developments but also invest in the newest equipment to provide the best possible service to their clients.
Additionally, IT service providers know how to handle any IT-related challenge you may face. If you experience downtime, are having trouble accessing your files or need help creating a secure internal communications plan, your IT service provider is available to provide immediate assistance. Many MSPs even offer 24/7 assistance to ensure that you get the help you need, when you need it.
Taking Advantage of Customized Service
There are many IT service providers for small business owners to pick from, making it possible for just about anyone to find the company that best suits his or her business’ needs and budget. In fact, there are even managed service providers that specialize in offering IT services to niche industries such as healthcare.
Managed service providers also offer flexible service options. A business owner can:
- Use a managed service provider on a one-time basis
- Hire a managed service provider to handle periodic tasks such as providing online customer service during holiday seasons and/or training employees in IT security and management
- Delegate certain IT jobs to an IT service provider while managing others in-house
- Have an IT service provider handle all IT-related work for the company
Managed service providers are well worth the cost. They have much to offer any company and small business owners who work with MSPs often find that they can save money, increase efficiency levels and serve customers better than ever before. Any small business owner who wants to boost his or her business may want to seriously consider the benefits of teaming up with an IT service provider and then do some research to see which exact managed service provider is the best fit for the business.