Modern business has never been more dependent on technology. To be able to help our customers, to develop our products and to ensure we continue delivering the best quality services, we all need to be up to date with the latest advancements. For small to medium businesses, this has never been more crucial in a competitive world.
However, knowing exactly how to manage, upgrade and maintain your IT isn’t always so simple. Many businesses choose to go it alone. Some even set up their own IT support staff in-house to deal with problems and any changes that may come their way. However, even more are turning towards managed IT solutions to make sure they are firing on all cylinders, and supported where they need to be.
But what exactly is managed IT? How can it benefit your business, and your staff & customers? In this quick guide, we will look at the absolute basics, considering why managed IT support is so essential.
Businesses use managed IT solutions to take technological stresses off their plates. An outsourced team will not only monitor their systems and networking for them, but will also make suggestions for upgrades and additional support.
Crucially, managed IT support works off-site. That means a businesses can turn to experts whenever they require them, and without the need for expensive employee overheads. Businesses simply pay a monthly or annual fee to cover the level of care they deem necessary.
For many businesses, managed IT care offers the flexibility and speed that they need, to stay competitive. What’s more, they can rely on a team of experienced and qualified professionals who can provide bespoke solutions. For small and medium firms, this means not only saving money but always staying one step ahead of the pack.
Businesses in a variety of industries benefit from managed IT support. Not all business owners are technologically-minded – therefore, having an expert available to call, day or night, is often a huge relief.
The bottom line is that managed IT support is a team you can rely upon without having to pay to host them in-house. That could save a lot of time and money!
There are many long-term benefits to using managed IT in everyday business. A business that outsources their technical support will not only save time and money but will also benefit from guidance whenever they need it. With cloud servers and storage tied into the same package, firms can save even more space and expenditure.
Ultimately, holistic IT support allows businesses to continue running from day to day. With in-house IT, there are more employees and systems to manage, and often, managers will have to hire specialists outright. With managed IT, you only ever pay flat fees for the service and expertise that you hire, which makes this option exponentially flexible and scalable!
Managed IT is also available to you at all hours of the day. In a world where businesses need to be ‘always on’ for their customers, it makes sense that their IT support should work for them to the same end. Rather than having to rely on support tickets that take days to process, managers can call experts directly for instant help.
However, these are just a few of the benefits small to medium firms could experience with managed IT. Let’s drill down a little deeper to see how else your own business could benefit in the long run.
As we touched on earlier, one of the major problems of hosting in-house IT support is the overhead cost. There is the cost of employing a team, as well as paying for their training. There are also system and server fees involved, and if your servers or networking go down, your IT team is just as stuck as you are.
With managed IT support, you can call a qualified, experienced engineer at any time. As they are working off-site, you don’t have to pay a wage. You’re also free from having to worry about keeping their systems up and running. Managed IT solutions work on a holistic basis, which means that they are always available for emergency guidance. When customer demand spikes in the middle of the night, and your systems fail, you can call an off-site expert to get you back up and running again.
You immediately work with experienced specialists; there’s no training involved. And that means, instead of having to wait to upskill staff, you can call a trained expert right away — your business benefits from seamless support and advice. In the modern world, interruptions drive up costs.
Another significant benefit of using managed IT is that you will have access to a team who know how to make the most of the technology you are using. Instead of having to take leaps of faith with expensive upgrades, managed IT support will regularly audit your systems and network.
If your business could benefit from the latest security or upgrades to printing and ID solutions, managed staff can alert you as soon as required. With the right technology to hand, you can not only offer your customers quicker, more reliable support, but have the edge over your competition.
Upgrading business technology can take a lot of guesswork unless you have the requisite knowledge and experience. Businesses depend on managed IT to monitor and audit their services to ensure they are always working at an optimum level.
With managed IT solutions, businesses can handle risks with more confidence. Off-site IT support allows firms to run servers and store data on outsourced backups. Therefore, should your firm ever suffer a hack, or a data wipe, you can simply call your IT support to restore your important data. Managed IT care will also ensure you have the smartest, most efficient firewall and malware protection for your needs and budget.
Disaster management is something that many smaller businesses don’t pay attention to. However, even the biggest firms lose thousands of dollars each year through poor management of potential risk. Through a comprehensive network and cybersecurity plan, as well as instant data recovery, your business is always ready to bounce back from the worst-case scenarios.
One of the most significant ways that small to medium businesses can save money is to delegate. However, when delegating in-house, you are still looking at substantial overhead costs. Through inefficient project management, companies lose significant amounts of working capital. A more efficient and productive way to manage IT projects, and those relating to networking and security, is to delegate off-site.
Managed IT support specialists can take control of several wings of your IT strategy. From cloud server management to full office moves and relocations, outsourced IT professionals can work exclusively on your projects and concerns. This immediately frees up time, space and money for you to apply elsewhere.
Managed IT support can also ensure your communications receive complete management. Should your network or VoIP solutions take hits, they will respond at once to put plans into action. There is no culture of IT support only noticing a problem when you bring it to their attention. Therefore, you can always rest assured that if an issue arises, it will be getting the support it needs.
Complete management not only saves you time and money but also boosts team morale and productivity. More time for your team means more time to work on enhancing your service. It may also mean more time for you to take on more clients and revenue.
Many small businesses rely on several different sources for IT support. Some specialists take care of cloud computing and data backup. Others take care of security and firewall management. Some may even run yearly audits over systems and networking.
However, hiring specialists on this basis can get confusing, as well as expensive. Businesses can, therefore, turn to managed IT to cover all bases. A managed IT team can take on several areas of support in one package, for one fee. This not only helps to keep administration simple but can also cut down on costs. It also means that businesses won’t need to keep track of different specialists for different jobs. They can simply call one number or chat online with one advisor for complete management.
This also ties in with ad-hoc tech support. Rather than having to approach a specialist directly, a good managed IT service can leap into action autonomously.
Making a move to managed IT services could benefit your business in the face of increasing demand and advancing technological choices. While there are plenty of benefits to running IT in-house, there are many more to outsourcing your IT support altogether.
If you’d like to know more about how managed IT and cloud support could help you, our team is always here to help. Take a look at our further guides on IT solutions for more information on managing your business’ IT potential.