If you are not outsourcing your IT needs to a Managed Services Provider (MSP), odds are that you are working on a “break/fix” IT model, where proactivity is non-existent and the waiting game to get things fixed begins. If this is the case, you are probably experiencing unnecessary downtime, stress, and a loss of productivity, which can negatively affect your bottom line.
So what exactly is an IT Managed Services Provider/Company and how can it help your business? To put it in Lehman’s terms, it is like having a fully staffed, highly trained IT department on call – a department that proactively monitors, protects and manages your entire IT environment for one monthly cost.
Outsourcing various business functions, specifically IT, can increase profitability and lead to some long-term benefits. It costs less than hiring a full-time staff member, there are no sick days, provides a range of IT resources with proficiency in multiple technical disciplines, and they are armed with the latest and greatest tools that technology has to offer.
Below are the top 9 reasons why you should work with an IT Managed Services Company to make your business more profitable.
Invest in Back in your Own Business
Working with an IT Managed Services Company can result in cost savings and provides you the ability to effectively plan your IT spend. Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce your current IT budget and allocate those dollars to other areas of your business, such as Sales, Marketing, Training, or Product Development to make more money for your company? Invest back in what you do. Why spend more, when you can spend less and receive a higher level of IT service?
With fully automated systems and a more organized environment, you now have the ability to manage your time more efficiently. Gone are the days of losing time to stress and waiting for your IT person to arrive to “save the day.” When employees can focus on the job at hand, they can better serve your customers and/or complete tasks at hand timely.
If systems are not functioning, it leads to a level of frustration, for your employees, that can be transferred, unknowingly, to your customers/clients through a simple phone conversation. That can negatively impact relationships going forward. An IT Managed Service Provider will make sure your systems are always up and running and will proactively fix problems that you may never know about. The end game is to keep your customers and clients happy while keeping your business profitable.
Focus on What Drives You
Working with an IT Managed Service Company provides confidence in your technology. By proactively monitoring your systems at a fixed monthly cost, you can finally sleep through the night, without any worry. Rather than focusing on what might “happen next” to negatively impact your operations, you can now focus on what drives you – your core business. You are now free to meet and/or exceed those milestones and business objectives to increase profitability that you set for yourself. Your costs are controlled, your infrastructure is sound, and technology is now a business asset and your number one ally.
Build a Fortress around your Business
Is your firewall still in support? Is your Active Directory accessible to past employees? When was the last time you changed your passwords or understood what makes a good password? Anti-virus up to date? Shall I continue? There are a lot of moving parts in your IT environment that hackers can penetrate. Although a security breach cannot be guaranteed, it is important to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to get in.
How many times are you asked to upgrade your anti-virus software in one month? Are you sure it is a legitimate request? When working with an IT Managed Service Company, your software, including malware, anti-virus and anti-spam for end users is automatically updated. This eliminates the need for each employee to manage their own and/or the need for a designated staff member to running to each workstation, taking employees offline and installing upgrades. These types of disruptions reduce an employees’ focus on their task at hand. Plus you want to make sure your system is as secure as possible.
Reputable IT Managed Service Providers make sure that security and data recovery solutions are put in place. This ensures that sensitive data and technical assets are monitored and updates and patches to your firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-malware solutions are applied. Without taking these precautions, it is like providing the “keys to your castle” to the outside world. Depending on a hackers’ level of sophistication, they could gain access to your database, company financials, etc. and/or have the ability to encrypt data. Your number one asset – your data – is now gone.
Avoid “Everyday Disasters”
According to the 2012 Independent Oracle Users Group Survey, network outages and human error account for 50% and 45% of downtime, respectively. Meanwhile, natural disasters account for 10%. Based on data volume, 58% of losses are caused by human error and are not planned for. When discussing Data Recovery and Business Continuity Plan, businesses should focus more on their own employees and less on natural disasters.
What is the cost of downtime? That depends on the size of your organization and how fast you can recover. According to a report conducted by International Data Corporation, network downtime costs 80% of SMBs at least $20,000 per hour. For 20% of those SMBs, one hour of downtime can cost at least $100,000. Without a proper BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) solution, one human error can prove to be more than costly and in some cases it can close businesses.
An IT Managed Services Company will require a BDR Solution that will allow you to recover data losses. They will also work collaboratively with you to develop a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan which will incorporate a strategy and solution. Businesses need to focus on the “everyday disasters,” which can destroy your data faster than any fire or flood ever could. Your data could disappear at any moment. It will be so quick and so unexpected that you won’t even know it happened. Could your company survive that?
Productivity Goes Up
When you are on a break/fix model and something breaks, you can place a call to your “IT contact” but what if they are at lunch or better yet on vacation. Sure, they can call another IT professional to fix it, but would they know your environment? The reality is, equipment breaks, downtime increases, productivity decreases and more importantly, you LOSE money.
Instead of taking a reactive approach, IT Managed Service Providers take a proactive approach by constantly monitoring your network to prevent issues before they occurs. Plus, they have a support team on hand to deal with end user issues immediately. Employees that cannot do their job due to technical issues lose their motivation to deliver a high level of service and/or to hit deadlines, which could negatively impact your bottom line.
Be a Know It All with the Best Toys
When you work with an IT Managed Services Company, you are getting a team of experts that are proficient in multiple disciplines in technology. Simply put, they keep your technology running. On top of that, they provide professional consulting services that will allow you to obtain a competitive edge and make your business more profitable through technology.
Technology is constantly changing and your IT Managed Services Company is up to date on the changes in the industry to keep your business operating most efficiently. They vet out the products in the marketplace and are constantly researching changes in the industry to deliver cost effective, capable products and solutions. They work collaboratively to budget for changes in your business’ IT environment so you can stay within your budget. Whether its system upgrades or moving to the cloud, they will create a roadmap to facilitate your strategic growth.
Delegate don’t Complicate
Keeping your team focused on revenue generating activities and meeting individual goals, instead of technology is a solid strategy to become more profitable on a year-to-year basis. Most organizations do not have an onsite IT person and everyone from a C-level position to the administrative level is spending countless hours on trivial technology tasks. This requires research into the problem, an understanding of the technology and the knowledge to fix things. Yes, sometimes this can be googled but why not delegate these tasks to your IT Managed Services Provider? Unless you want the title of technical expert, take your “time” back and focus on the revenue
What if you have an IT Staff person?
Many businesses want the security of having an IT person on staff as their “go to” in case of a problem. This person generally has either a broad range of knowledge in various areas of IT or is an expert in one or two areas only. It only benefits your business to add the expertise, tools and availability of a Managed IT Provider to help support in-house IT operations.
If you you’re interested in taking advantage of increasing your business’ profitability by utilizing the skills and qualities of an expert IT Managed Services Company, give us a call. We specialize in working with clients on the strategic growth of their company. We take your business reaching its full potential, personally.