When it comes to performing day-to-day functions, serving customers, operating efficiently, and maintaining a high level of productivity, most small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are as reliant upon IT systems as large enterprises. If servers crash, applications stop working or slow down, or employees can’t access network resources, SMBs lose money and are forced to play catch-up. If problems persist for an extended period, the consequences could be severe.
The biggest difference between SMBs and large enterprises is the fact that smaller organizations typically don’t have a full IT department to manage technology. There might be a single IT manager or an employee who handles IT issues as an added responsibility. With the complexity of today’s IT environments and the direct connection between technology and business success, this creates a tremendous amount of risk.
To overcome a lack of in-house expertise, many SMBs are outsourcing all or a portion of IT management responsibilities to a managed services provider (MSP). In a managed services model, an organization pays a monthly fee to an MSP for a wide range of management and maintenance tasks. This makes IT budgeting more predictable and efficient.
The MSP can remotely monitor servers, laptops, mobile devices, security tools, connectivity, user access and authentication, phone/unified communications systems, storage, backup and recovery, cloud environments, and other IT tools and services. The MSP should also manage software updates and security patches and offer technical support. A detailed service-level agreement will spell out the exact services provided and define expectations for performance, availability, responsiveness, etc.
Shifting these responsibilities to an MSP allows you to take advantage of a much broader skill set and knowledge base than you have in-house. Instead of hiring, retaining and training your own IT department, you have access to a team of experts who will monitor and manage your IT environment using enterprise-grade technology. MSPs constantly train their teams on the latest tools, IT concepts, security threats and more, which saves you time and money while reducing risk.
Routine maintenance and software updates are managed remotely, freeing your IT manager to focus on higher-value tasks and business concerns. When issues arise, they can be addressed right away by your MSP. Managed services also allows you to take a more proactive approach to security that focuses on detection and prevention, which reduces the risk and cost of downtime.
Of course, managed services does not come without risk. Your MSP must have the infrastructure, staffing, and responsiveness to keep your IT environment firing on all cylinders. The MSP must be able to support your business processes and goals so you don’t have to change the way you function.
The best way to avoid these risks is to perform due diligence and choose the right MSP. Have they worked with organizations in your industry? Are they willing to share references and case studies? What level of service and responsiveness are they willing to put in writing in an SLA? Can they support all of the technology in your environment? Do their security tools and processes meet your business requirements?
Verteks managed services helps you shift your mindset from “wait until it breaks and fix it” to “keep IT functioning at an optimal level.” Let us handle the day-to-day management and monitoring of your IT systems so you can focus on running and growing your business.