Many business owners are turning to small business managed IT services to stay ahead of technological changes, better leverage their internal IT resources, and provide a consistent experience for their employees and customers. Essentially 49 percent of small business owners said their biggest technological challenge is staying ahead of changes.
Small business managed IT services refers to outsourcing IT network management and support to an external team of seasoned IT professionals. If you have full-time IT staff members, managed service providers (MSPs) can relieve them of many of the tedious tasks associated with maintaining and updating your network. If you don’t have full-time IT staff, an MSP becomes your dedicated IT team.
Managed IT services takes the time-consuming challenge of managing IT off your plate, freeing up you and your IT staff to focus on the goals that drive your revenue.
Here are the top five benefits of working with an MSP, along with tips on how to choose an MSP and build a solid, collaborative relationship with your MSP.
The Top Five Benefits of Managed IT Services
Outsourcing can be stressful. It can take time to build a good relationship, and it can be a challenge to let go of control. The initial investment may seem daunting as well. Even with the stresses, though, small business managed IT services improve your operational efficiency, leading to a healthier bottom line. The top five benefits of working with an MSP include:
- Predictable costs
If you don’t have a dedicated IT team, you may be calling in an outside IT provider whenever you need network updates or when you have network issues. Even if you have an in-house IT team, when your network goes down, it costs your business money along with the goodwill of your customers. Managed IT service providers are always on call. They proactively manage your network, minimizing downtime and quickly addressing problems. Instead of facing a surprise bill from an outside contractor who doesn’t know your business, you have predictable service (and predictable costs) from a provider who understands your business needs and priorities.
- Greater data security
With companies announcing new data breaches almost daily, security is a top-of-mind concern for businesses and consumers alike. Managed IT service providers minimize your risk by using proactive security measures to protect your network and the data of your customers. A high-quality MSP will stay on top of the latest security threats and take steps to ensure your business is safe from external threats.
- More availability to IT service and support
Even the most dedicated internal IT teams have limited availability. Network issues and security alerts don’t always arrive at the most convenient times. MSPs monitor your network around the clock, maximizing your uptime and allowing up your IT staff members to focus on IT goals that move your business forward.
- Leveraging new technology
Researching new technology takes time and effort. Implementing that technology can take your internal IT staff days or even weeks. Working with an MSP allows you to take advantage of the latest technological tools that might not otherwise be affordable or practical. An MSP can implement new technology quickly and with minimal disruption to your business.
- Gaining a Competitive Edge
Digitally advanced small businesses earn twice as much revenue per employee, according to a 2017 Deloitte survey. The same survey also said that 80 percent of small businesses aren’t taking full advantage of digital tools.
By working with an MSP, you can easily leverage digital tools to grow your business, giving you a competitive advantage in your marketplace.
Choosing a Managed Services Provider
As you evaluate potential small business managed IT service providers, it’s important to look for a provider that will be a true partner in your business. Some qualities to look for include:
- Proactive IT maintenance and support: A high-quality MSP won’t wait for things to go wrong. They will be proactive in maintaining and improving your network so your employees and customers have a consistent experience.
- In-depth knowledge: A reputable MSP will have industry-certified staff and established best practices and operational procedures that they can easily share with you.
- Personalized service: Your business needs will change. Your MSP should be flexible enough to grow and change their services to keep up with the growth of your business. They should offer clear guarantees for uptime, backup and disaster recovery procedures to protect your business, and security and compliance solutions that meet the standards for your industry.
Keep in mind that sometimes having a resource nearby to troubleshoot the challenges you face with IT can make a major difference for your business. This usually works best when you have a major technology upgrade in the works or you’re looking to invest in new technology that requires specialized expertise.M</
Collaborating with a Managed Services Provider
Outsourcing IT services can ease the burden on you and/or your internal IT team. Instead of worrying about day-to-day network performance, you can focus on growing your business. To start your relationship with an MSP off on the right foot, start by setting clear expectations. Consider asking questions such as:
- How often do you want to meet with your MSP?
- How will they communicate with you and your internal IT team?
- What is the escalation procedure if an IT issue arises?
- A high-quality MSP will be happy to answer questions and establish clear expectations for the services they’re contracted to deliver.
For an MSP collaboration that will move your business forward, many small businesses are turning to IP Consulting. At IP Consulting, we understand the technological challenges that come with growing a small business. We see ourselves as your IT partner, providing solutions that allow you to stay focused on your business goals, keep you connected with your employees, and allow you to deliver stellar results to your customers.
Contact us today for small business managed IT solutions the help you achieve your business goals.