Like many business owners, you probably spend your time on sales and marketing, operations, and ensuring that your technology infrastructure is running smoothly. To do this, you make sure you’re using the latest firmware and patches, check the hardware for errors and ensure that your data backups are run properly in case of a ransomware infection or data breach that could ruin your business.
If you are doing all of that, and still have your sanity, then kudos. However, the reality for most business owners is that they don’t have the time or expertise to do everything, especially when it comes to technology. While you can hire an IT guy, it’s difficult to find a generalist with the ability to keep the infrastructure running properly, as well as maintain security and align the technology with business needs. Add in the costs of vacation, payroll, and contributions to retirement and benefits, in addition to sick days, and you start to lose some of your bottom line.
A smarter business decision is to use a Managed IT Service provider, or MSP. There are a number of distinct advantages to outsourcing your technology support, including cost, proactive support and business intelligence.
The Cost of Outsourced IT
For pretty close to the same cost of one in-house IT person, you can gain access to 24/7 monitoring and technical support with a team of experts. If you need a password reset, you have an Active Directory specialist available, and if you think that the email you just opened might have had a virus, you can have a security analyst review and remediate it instantly and restore your data and computer settings if need be.
Proactive IT Support
Another advantage to Managed Services is the ability to put out fires before they start. Proactive monitoring of systems, servers and infrastructure ensures that your technology investments are kept running smoothly. A managed service provider can automatically apply critical patches to your workstations before you even hear about a problem in the news, and they can monitor your infrastructure 24/7 to ensure you aren’t hit with a surprise outage.
Finally, a Managed Services Provider can help you leverage your technology investments to align with your business objectives. This can be as simple as using cloud-based software for maximum efficiency and cost sensitivity, all the way to implementing an on-premise database tied into your e-commerce site, complete with data backup and compliance assurance.
Security and Compliance
You need to ensure that you are operating your business within the compliance legislation framework of your country, as well as any legislation if you deal with global customers. You also need to be certain that your data is compliant with regulations if you are processing transactions (which most businesses do). A general IT support person will not be able to manage this, so you will need to either read a lot of books, hire an expert or look at outsourcing it.
Outsourced IT services provide the reassurance that a team of professional technicians is watching your infrastructure all of the time and are making decisions to protect your network and maximize your investment. If you can get an entire team managing all aspects of the technology backend for the cost of one IT person, why would you go with anything else?