As small businesses pursue a path of high growth, their IT needs also grow exponentially. Many business owners err when they decide to develop in-house capabilities to manage IT needs.
There are several reasons why you should consider managed IT services for your business, and following are the top seven:
- Quick break-fix solutions are never reliable
Many businesses opt for a handyman or a technical person to evaluate repairs that are needed. This person then serves as the resource to call when the system falters. However, these solutions often can prove to be costly and unreliable. The individual performing the repairs may not be available, for instance, when the issue arises. Your company may or may not have an alternate resource at that precise time to perform repairs and correct the issue. Comparatively, a steadily managed IT team is always ready. The ability to draw upon a team of IT experts as a resource, as opposed to a single individual, is a more reliable option. This option provides for business continuity due to pre-emptive planning and a back-up arrangement, if required.
- To ensure business continuity
This could actually be the number one reason to move to managed IT services. Many businesses rely upon their regular resources to bail them out, even in a severe crisis. However, when a system failure is large enough, it may affect your business’s critical data and stored information. This may or may not include client data. Data wipe-outs can derail a business by hampering the continuity first. For a startup or a small business, data losses can affect client projects, eventually even damaging business relationships, as deadlines are impacted, timelines delayed, and commitments may be broken.
- Trained and professional IT talent is expensive
It can be costly for a small business to hire IT professionals at the outset. In addition, those small business owners need to ensure that the in-house resource or resources are up-to-date on any current IT trends and practices. This is not just limited to knowledge of viruses or malware attacks, but also to possible disruptions in the system which might subsequently cascade to other departments within the business, hindering business operations overall. Consistent IT training can be expensive for a small business. Lastly, retention of resources is an ongoing job for you as the business owner. Retaining talent can be costly and a hassle, especially if you are encountering problems. Crises can burn out your resources quickly. Conversely, shifting to a managed IT set-up resolves these issues before they begin, as the provider leverages its own team of professionals and back-up manpower to address your needs.
- To deal with sudden and exponential growth spurts
A sudden spike in business can occur regardless of company size. IT systems need to be capable of absorbing and addressing this type of sudden increase in demand without compromising output quality. With an in-house system, a sudden increased demand on a company’s resources may necessitate quick expansion of existing systems. While your business ultimately may be able to accommodate this, you will pay a price in the form of hassles, worry and expenses that may multiply many times over. With a managed IT team in place, the provider absorbs this burden and has capabilities in place to accommodate these potential issues.
- Crisis management can get out of hand
Crisis preparedness is a major element of crisis management, especially for small businesses or those just starting out. At times, unforeseen events can create widespread damage to a business and its data. For a startup, this can be damaging in two ways: 1) crisis management can be expensive; 2) picking up from where you were forced to leave off can be difficult with many elements of vital data missing entirely. This can quickly spiral into lost time and the inability to make up for data losses – all of which can impact project continuity, client relations and business continuity.
A managed IT provider, on the other hand, is prepared for crisis management, given that this concept is central to well-managed IT services.
- Updates and technical enhancements are costly
As many small businesses make decisions based on budget restrictions, managing IT expenses can be challenging.
Any IT system requires consistent upgrading and maintenance. Managing this in-house can be expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, if your system resources are multi-tasking, you risk having them spend time on investigating system upgrades without the bandwidth to then implement the changes. These lapses also can impact business continuity and eventually become a drain on expenses. However, with a managed IT services provider, essentials like system upgrades or patch updates no longer need to be a concern to the business owner. Effectively managed IT service providers will ensure these elements are updated and adhere to current IT best practices. This is the provider’s own investment in their business.
- To purchase your way into enhanced capabilities
An effective managed IT service provider will provide robust, pre-emptive attention to your systems. When you contract their services, you equip your own business with professional infrastructure and trained manpower that align with your projects. This resolves the issue of unplanned expenses and expensive technical upgrades. It also positions your business with stronger overall capabilities. With access to better IT systems, you can adapt quicker to client needs, increase your own core competencies, and assume more demanding responsibilities.