There was a time when technology was a “cool to have” part of business strategy. But today, a critical IT outage can grind your team—and the entire company—to a halt, threatening customer service, sales processes, business operations, and production. A technology glitch can derail an organization for days, and in some cases, put a company completely out of business.
Statistics show the cost of downtime to small businesses falls into a range of $137 to $427 per minute; for larger businesses, the cost can eclipse $16,000 per minute ($1 million per hour). That doesn’t account for disasters such as fires or floods, which can quickly destroy an otherwise stable company.
Even the most robust IT maintenance schedule can run into snags but engaging with a managed services provider (MSP) can help small to midsized organizations avoid massive outages. By taking a proactive and systematic approach to technology environments, MSPs help businesses navigate the murky waters of technology—from planning to procurement, deployment to maintenance.
Here are 10 reasons why managed services could be the perfect fit for you.
We all know what happens when your technology fails. Frustrating, wasted time, and disappointed customers—to name a few of the consequences. Proactive maintenance, health checks and monitoring, and patch management are straightforward ways to avoid widespread outages by stopping potential issues before they escalate into problems.
By migrating your technology from CapEx to OpEx, managed services agreements bring predictability to your company’s IT line items. In addition to easily budgeted monthly costs, MSPs help guide your technology lifecycle end-to-end, supporting financial forecasting, forward-looking planning, and alignment of IT solutions with business objectives. By looking at technology as a long-term investment, your organization will gain a blueprint for systematic improvements.
Let’s be honest, when your laptop is locked or your cloud backup is offline, there isn’t anything more important to you at that moment. When you submit a support ticket to an MSP, your request is typically evaluated to set priority—those problems that impact critical systems or a wide swath of employees are usually pushed to the top of the list. Your tech partner should have established processes and responsive service level agreements that are clearly outlined in your contract to inform your expectations.
When picking an MSP, be sure to investigate stability, reviews, and longevity. You don’t want a fly-by-night IT support pop-up, but rather a reputable, experienced business with deep roots in the community and a stable, tenured team of tech experts.
Many SMBs find that working with locally owned MSPs means having a partner who understands their business and their technology needs. MSPs can provide reasonable, effective technology to small businesses because they are often using the same solutions inside their own four walls. Don’t be bamboozled by massive franchises that build their success by selling inflated, complicated enterprise-class solutions that your business just doesn’t need.
MSPs invest constantly in their team’s ongoing education through vendor and industry certifications. That allows the team to stay current on technology’s quickly evolving landscape. For example, the team should be well-versed in cybersecurity threats, hardware and software trends, and cutting-edge technology innovations.
Many businesses don’t realize that MSPs can act either as your full, virtual IT department or work side-by-side with existing technology experts on your team. Perhaps you need after-hours support and device management, plus other maintenance activities, handled by an MSP while your in-house technology person tackles major IT projects.
Compared to hiring a full-time person, or several, to manage your technology stack, support daily tickets and troubleshoot larger issues, an MSP is an affordable, budget-friendly alternative. The average cost of IT support services is typically lower than hiring a full-time technology specialist for your team, which runs between $40,000 and $60,000 for junior technicians, and as much as $150,000 for an experienced IT manager, depending on your location. Generally speaking, the average cost of IT support for small businesses in the U.S. is about $40,000 a year.
We can admit it: Software and services agreements can be overwhelming, full of legal and technical jargon that will make your head spin. Not only should your MSP help with planning your technology roadmap and investments, but they can also help manage vendor partnerships, especially when a support issue needs to escalate to the vendor level. Most MSPs have strong relationships with the vendors they partner with, and even if your business uses a unique solution, having someone who “speaks the language” to navigate conversations with vendors is invaluable.
Just as MSPs build best practices around vendor solutions they use regularly, those with expertise in verticals such as healthcare, legal, education, or retail can bring best practices into your organization—tried and true solutions, compliance playbooks, security policies, and more.
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