Being proactive can save a lot of headaches. Outside of maybe your car, nowhere is this more evident than with your business’ technology. Businesses that fail to stay ahead of their technology problems see a lot more inefficiency and costly downtime than organizations that stay on top of their technology. If your business doesn’t have a proactive maintenance platform in place, you are just prolonging the inevitable.
It’s not easy managing office technology and business solutions. A lot of thought goes into their day-to-day upkeep, and small businesses often do not have the time or resources available to ensure their technology is properly maintained. What they don’t tell you is that you don’t have to do all of this yourself. You can easily outsource these responsibilities to a managed service provider.
Managed IT services can help your business save money, pure and simple. Today, we wanted to help by providing some baseline numbers for how working with a managed service provider can keep your business’ bottom line in check.
Technology management is something that a lot of businesses struggle with, especially small businesses that already have many employees fulfilling many different roles and taking on additional responsibilities. Managed IT services give businesses who struggle with technology management a way out by providing access to top-notch services designed with the small business in mind.
Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, chances are you have some experience working with vendors. Your business certainly depends on the products they provide, but how is your relationship with vendor management holding up? Let’s take a look at one particular anecdote that displays the pains of vendor management and how working with a managed service provider can alleviate the stress associated with it.
Business technology isn’t going to be a strength of your business if it isn’t properly maintained. Unfortunately, most modern businesses can’t commit the time and resources necessary to do this on their own. This is why partnering with a managed IT services provider brings great value. This value wouldn’t be possible, however, without trained and experienced technicians. Today, we thought we’d take a closer look at the people that deliver that value.
How Businesses Can Benefit from Managed Services Right Now It goes without saying, but businesses everywhere are feeling the impacts of widespread orders to close their doors in the attempt to minimize the continued spread of COVID-19. While this makes the idea of any major operational shifts intimidating for the small business owner, the transition into a managed service agreement can ultimately help protect your business from closing for good. Let’s look at a few of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for businesses, and how working with a managed service provider (MSP) makes these difficulties somewhat less of a concern. Challenge #1: Businesses Can’t Operate with their Teams Staying Home Naturally, without their employees coming in to work, businesses have found it difficult to keep up on their workloads. This obviously isn’t a great situation for these businesses. However, in the face of such a pandemic, employees can hardly be blamed for wanting to minimize their chances of infection by staying home. This is an especially big problem for businesses deemed essential, as people are still relying on their services, but they can’t in good conscience put their employees at risk. With an MSP’s support, it is much easier to find a balance to maintain operations, especially for those businesses who can sustain themselves via remote work. While this may not apply to all industries, those that can function without employees needing to come into the office can adopt the solutions and security required to do so. In these cases, an MSP can serve as a useful resource by helping to manage the use of these solutions. Challenge #2: IT Support is Difficult to Acquire Safely Working from home is one thing. Receiving support for the technology that is used in the home is (for many) another can of worms entirely. While this is true in most circumstances, the need to keep our distance from one another makes this a larger concern. You don’t want to put your team members, or the repair technician for that matter, at risk. An MSP can help resolve this situation on two fronts, both thanks to the remote nature of managed services. First of all, the management of your IT means that an MSP’s technicians will always be using remote monitoring tools to catch and diagnose issues on the devices that your team uses. Secondly, with the same remote access, the MSP can then resolve many of these issues without an in-person visit at all, whether your team is in the office or working remotely. Challenge #3: The Economy Isn’t Strong Enough to Invest in Any Additional Services Let’s do a quick comparison between how the traditional IT services will bill your business, compared to what is included by an MSP. The old-school repair service doesn’t incorporate additional fees into their rates, like time and materials. As a result, the total price can be wildly unpredictable, and practically impossible to budget for accurately. On the other hand, by offering a predictable service covered by a comprehensive monthly fee, the MSP’s rates can be budgeted for and scaled with the services delivered. With a few exceptions for out-of-scope services, a business that signs on with an MSP can operate with the confidence that they know what their bill will say each month […]
Uptime and Capacity Optimization An efficient business doesn’t have to deal with a lot of downtime. This is made possible by reliable and well-maintained systems. Technology doesn’t maintain itself, after all, and it takes a dedicated strategy to keep technology updated, patched, and maintained. This strategy is typically to update systems when organizational productivity slows. With the help of a managed IT service provider, you don’t have to schedule these fixes. The MSP has powerful remote monitoring and management software that allows professional technicians to keep an eye on your network, your infrastructure, and your data storage systems to ensure that all are functioning optimally. Additionally, using innovative automation technologies, we are able to better patch, update, and protect your network than any other method of IT support. An MSP’s service is a fraction of the cost of a comparable solution: paying multiple IT technicians to monitor and maintain your business’ network and infrastructure. The value of an MSP is clear. Your business will see more uptime, and less overall IT-related issues, while also having access to useful methods of IT support. Business Management Optimization The small and medium-sized business owner has a lot of responsibilities. Adding the health of a company’s IT to that list may not be ideal. Running a business means making tough decisions, but if you could move some of them off of your plate, wouldn’t it make you more effective at dealing with your other responsibilities? Definitely. Managed IT Services makes this possible. Besides freeing up capital that typically would be allocated to payroll, an MSP puts you in position to focus your efforts on other endeavors. Your IT, therefore, will be a strength, as it will have trained professionals focusing on it, allowing you to focus on everything else. IT Budget Optimization Speaking of shifting capital. Managed IT services, even with every machine your business has covered by a managed services agreement, is a fraction of the cost of hiring the corresponding number of IT professionals. Having IT technicians that live and breathe IT working for you is advantageous, but having them working under contract for a small percentage of the cost you would expect, is a positive development for any business. Furthermore, an MSP can help you direct the saved capital to make your business better. When people have years of experience dealing with business-centric information technology issues, they can help you design and implement the technology that will help your business make gains in efficiency and productivity. Security and Compliance Optimization Sure, managed services bring a lot of value to your organization. Nowhere is this more evident in combating cybercrime and maintaining organizational compliance. With the ever-expanding knowledge base in cybersecurity that an MSP’s technicians have, your business will see some major benefits. Firstly, you are sure to get the most comprehensive and dedicated security consulting. Secondly, an MSP can help you implement a training regimen that can do wonders for keeping your business’ IT secure. Finally, an MSP can present you with innovative tools to keep your data, network, and infrastructure safe. As far as compliance goes, the more secure your IT resources, the better your organization will be at operating up to compliance standards. Since compliance isn’t all about keeping your information secure, our expert consultants can help your organization […]
Your Business’ IT Support If IT support plays such a big role on the success of your business, it stands to reason that you would want to establish how to determine what type of IT support will have the most significant impact on your business’ ability to create revenue. The first consideration that needs to be addressed is ensuring that your IT support can help you maximize your company’s uptime; and, that the support results in a net positive ROI. Minimize the Total Cost of Ownership There is a metric in business called Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This is where a business determines how much it actually costs to own a product. For the average business, a server is the most important and expensive device, but once you factor in the expense in migrating files, regular and irregular maintenance, the cost of utilities that power the device, you may be adding a large percentage to the total. Minimizing this through viable output and consistently good performance can improve your ROI and limit your TCO. We’re not suggesting that you should go into a total TCO analysis of all of your computing resources. That would take a lot of time that you just don’t have. Our suggestion is, however, to keep in mind that proactive management carried out by an outsourced IT provider will work to maximize the value you will see from that device. This is because the more uptime your systems have, the more they can be used for revenue-creating possibilities. Additionally, if you want to go beyond outsourcing your IT support, you can utilize cloud computing platforms that remove your need for IT support completely. Since these platforms have dedicated IT professionals managing their own hardware, the price of which is baked right into the product, you won’t see additional costs from utilizing utility computing in the cloud. Boost to Productivity and ROI We’ve already presented how outsourcing your IT support can work to save you considerable money due to its proactive nature, but we should mention that you do have options. You can choose to do business with an outsourced IT provider, who admittedly already does business will other companies in the same fashion. With new automation that is available, not much is missed, but it stands to reason that if you are going with an outsourced provider that you may be concerned that your IT isn’t always being valued. For companies that don’t want to outsource, there are two options, you can rely on a break/fix provider that fixes technology as it breaks; or, you can work to hire a dedicated IT staff for your business. Regardless of what you choose, to keep productivity high, your business’ technology has to be available and functioning as intended. To maximize the return you see on your investment, you have to have systems up and running as intended, but also have to be financially conscious. Managed IT services make this possible. If you would like more information about IT support and services, contact the professional IT experts at SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636.
Why IT Procurement Matters So Much In order for a business to see the most value from its technology, there needs to be an awareness of how interconnected and codependent the individual pieces are, and what technology solutions are needed. Let’s go over some of the components that a business will need. Servers and Networking Solutions In order for your employees to be appropriately collaborative, there needs to be an infrastructure in place that makes communications and data sharing practicable. As a business grows, the capacity of this infrastructure needs to grow with it. However, if tackled by someone who isn’t very familiar with the solutions currently in place, this expansion is apt to only cause further problems. The same goes for other improvements as well – a single misconfiguration could potentially cause a very expensive downtime event. On the other side of the coin, by calling in a professional to assist with the expansion of your networking infrastructure, you can effectively eliminate the risk of causing downtime while greatly expediting the actual process of upgrading your infrastructure. A professional can both advise a business in what is best for it to adopt, as well as come in to assist with the installation of the improved solution. Workstations and Computing Resources Without the right technology for their tasks, your employees aren’t going to be able to achieve very much. This makes it important that you acquire the right tech for the task at hand, rather than focusing exclusively on bargain hunting. Consider the possible ramifications of automatically going with the least expensive option, without taking the time to consider it more comprehensively. Bargain hunting online can lead to ultimately wasting money on a system that doesn’t actually serve your needs – or worse, doesn’t even work properly. In that case, you’d likely be stuck having to pay a professional to fix your newly acquired systems… and that’s assuming you wouldn’t be stuck having to purchase other ones. Once again, in working with a managed service provider, you have a resource that will assist you in selecting the right technology – the first time – potentially even getting a better deal than you would have otherwise. Software as a Service Of course, if you plan on using your technology, you are also going to need the appropriate software. If handling this independently, you may be tempted to cut corners a bit – downloading torrents instead of paying for the software you need. Doing so puts your business at considerable risk, and subjects it to negative attention from law enforcement and the public at large. However, a managed service provider provides a much better option. Instead of putting your reputation and operations at risk, you can lean on your provider’s Software-as-a-Service offering, Instead of investing a large lump sum on a software title that’s only going to need replacing in a few short years, a Software-as-a-Service arrangement effectively serves as a subscription to a particular solution. For a low monthly sum, SaaS provides your business with the most up-to-date version of a given software, as well as all the support you may need for it. That way, your employees have the tools to do their job, while you (and your budget) can rest easy. Which Experience Would You Prefer? If you’re looking […]