If you’re struggling with a problem, you look to an expert to figure out a solution.
When you look to driving new client sales, you turn to a sales manager. If there’s a question about marketing, you go to the marketing manager. When you’re planning your information technology (IT) strategy, you need an IT manager. Without the internal expertise, small businesses often look to outside help.
Managed IT services are provided by a third party and encompass everything that has to do with keeping technology up and running. It’s important to give that responsibility to a trusted source because your business is likely dependent on IT for just about everything.
Here’s everything you need to know about managed IT services:
- What are the common IT challenges small businesses face?
- Why proactive IT support over break-fix?
- How Much Do Managed Services Cost?
What Are the Common IT Challenges Small Businesses Face?
Knowing where many small businesses face challenges will help you identify your organization’s IT needs.
Underestimating cyber attacks and other threats.
They are seen as easy targets, making the right cybersecurity plan critical for protecting your organization.
Many small businesses choose to have their managed service provider (MSP) provide a managed firewall and other security-as-a-service solutions to get the protection they need at an affordable price.
Not having a complete backup plan.
Being prepared with a reliable backup solution and plan for recovery helps get you back in action quickly. It’s important to know your risks so you can plan ahead.
You can keep your data protected and your team working with backup solutions that cover your servers, computers, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools - everywhere your team works.
A managed IT service provider helps you build a strategy that fits with your budget. They also offer a variety of backup solutions - on-premise, cloud-based, or in a data center. Their services often include testing to ensure that the data being backed up will be accessible when needed.
Not aligning IT goals with business goals.
IT should always support the business. The right technology can transform business processes, making you more productive. But, strategic guidance needs to come from an IT expert that understands your business, and many small businesses lack that resource internally.
You can work with an IT partner to create and continually improve your IT strategy.
Reacting to technology instead of planning ahead.
Investing in technology upgrades requires capital that small businesses may not have readily available. But, older IT can be less reliable and secure.
If your company prefers to spread the cost over time, you may want to consider the benefits of leasing.
Taking a proactive approach to IT can help you keep in front of issues so you can stay within your budget.
Why proactive IT support over break-fix?
IT services and support fall into two categories: proactive (or managed services) and reactive (break-fix support). In addition to providing support when needed, MSPs offer a proactive approach to keeping your team working securely and reliably. And, for a predictable monthly fee.
How do managed IT services provide proactive support?
Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) tools allow an MSP to proactively manage your business without being onsite. With this light-weight software (or agent) installed on your systems, your IT provider can provide:
- Real-time monitoring and alerting for server and network infrastructure. Monitoring the health of the systems alerts you to any potential problems before they become disruptive.
- Scheduled, remote maintenance. They can install software and manage security patches without interrupting you.
- Fast and responsive remote support. With the agent, your IT team can remotely connect to machines.
How Much Do Managed Services Cost?
Managed services bill a monthly per-user price (sometimes per device) based on the size and complexity of your organization and its technology. Most often, for a contract term of 12 to 36 months.
Many small businesses find unlimited support options to be the most attractive. It helps reduce risk, keeping costs controlled and predictable. A mature MSP will offer a wide range of services that can be tailored to your organization’s needs.
What Else Do I Need to Know about Managed IT Services?
The fix for most IT issues involves a good plan and the right tools. To learn more about choosing the right managed services provider, download this eBook: “What Is an MSP and Why Should Your Business Invest in One?”
Managed IT Services for Small Businesses
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