How efficient is your network? How worried are you about potential security vulnerabilities? Are you continually coping with IT issues? It may be time to consider getting some consistent outside help. Not just for when problems arise, and you can’t fix them, but more importantly, before issues occur. A managed services provider can help your business by handling many of the tasks associated with protecting, upgrading, and monitoring your network. An MSP will focus on performance and on a proactive approach to managing your infrastructure so you and your c-suite can grow your business model.
What Is A Managed Service Provider?
Perhaps we should level-set for a second. Managed services and managed service providers mean different things to different companies, industries, and providers. According to Gartner, “A managed service provider (MSP) delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure, and security, via on-going and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or a third-party data center.”
Where MPS are the most beneficial for small businesses is often in the IT support space from outsourced technical support to break-fix onsite, to remote monitoring and management support services. These service companies seek to provide higher levels of customer services outside of some typical desktop or operating system support. These services are all delivered through a predictable monthly agreement called a Service Level Agreement or SLA. SLAs are a contract between yourself and your provider that outlines the expectations for their response time, so you have a clearly defined time to resolution for IT issues that arise.
MSPs make it easy for your staff to focus on their actual day jobs, not chasing down incident reports, troubleshooting IT issues, or waiting on hold with your Mediocre provider to get your problem resolved. MSPs typically offer a retainer service which delivers a cost-effective way to bring a little added insurance to your IT environment. You might be wondering how to determine if your small Boise business would benefit for a managed service provider? We get this question a lot from potential customers, so here are a few ways an MSP can help your business thrive:
5 Signs Your Business Need a Managed Service Provider for Your Small Business
- Your (IT) Team is Overwhelmed
We recognize that many small businesses don’t have a dedicated IT person, and if you do, they’re wearing many hats like your other employees. If your team is already treading water as you grow, can you afford to have anyone disrupted for printer problems, Microsoft updates, or phishing attacks? To fully protect your network, your company requires regular, proactive updates, employee training, enhanced awareness of threats, and often 24×7 monitoring. If your IT team is already struggling, or you need to give your employees time back to focus on the tasks in their job description; it’s time to get them some extra help.
- You’re Worried About Costs
Continually adding skilled IT resources to cover the emerging technologies your business requires to compete in the market will get costly. We’ve seen many of our small business clients benefit from our Managed Service offering, TechCare. We’ve built this service specifically for our fellow Bosie SMBs because we recognize the importance a robust IT infrastructure has on your business. While MSPs create different flavors of service, make sure you find a partner that can deliver on your needs today and as you grow in the future. TechCare provides on-going network support with regularly scheduled maintenance, which allows small business CEOs to put their focus back on generating profit for their business, not spending it on mediocre IT support.
- You’re Worried about Security
Ransomware, phishing, and other malware attacks are on the rise impacting firms of all sizes. If you handle data, collect information about clients, or have any proprietary information, you’re right to feel a little uneasy. Security preparedness is not something we recommend you combat alone. Working with an MSP can give you peace of mind with another set of eyes watching network activity. Routine tasks you expect your network admin to be on top of, like antivirus monitoring and patch management, sometimes get left unattended when your team is stretched thin, or their role is split between internal and external customer service.
- A Disruption Would Damage Your Business
Any hacking or cyberattack will disrupt your business; this much we can all agree. With cybercrime on the rise, it’s not just about the disruption to your staff internally; it’s equally as important to think about the service disruption for your customers. What could a delay look like for your customers? Would it change their perception of your ability to deliver on your contract, service, or order? If you can’t access your network, you can’t fulfill orders, serve customers, or even collect payments. We encourage small businesses to work with a MSP for many reasons, but minimizing risk is one you can’t overlook.
- Your Team is Stuck in a Reactive State
If your employees are scrappy trying to add tools for their teams to be more efficient, you might applaud them for their “Can do attitude,” initially. Adding devices, workstations, and software ad hoc, without careful planning, can make your network far more complicated than any one person can effectively handle, especially if IT is not their primary role for your organization. Proactive care protects your network and prepares you to control growth. When you react to your growing needs without planning for the future, you could overspend – and expose yourself to additional risk. A MSP can help you create a plan and a reasonable approach to growth and ensure your network will be ready to scale when you need to.
If you’re tired of chasing down problems or your sub-par IT partner, we can help. Don’t settle for Mediocre IT. See the difference our Five Star Promise has made to other local Boise businesses and learn more about the Right IT Solutions for your Small Business.