If you have a growing business, your needs are changing, and your data is growing. With more data to manage and more employees working from different geographic locations, it becomes harder to manage everything. On top of that, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage data in multiple locations. As a business, you also must contemplate how you will meet the needs of tomorrow. It’s critical to have the systems in place to have a structured data flow that will meet the needs of everyone, employees, and customers today and in the future.
If you’re finding it hard to manage data and struggling to keep your systems up to date with the demands of a growing business in a digital world, then you may need to consider managed services for your business.
What are Managed Services?
Managed services is a term used to handle the daily operations of your specialized applications. This service is outsourced to a third party. When effectively used, it can be like having a complete IT department with the expertise to deliver focused application operations to your company’s business application users. Managed Services can make a difference in infrastructure management, systems administration, network monitoring and security, authentication, data backup, disaster recovery, and server maintenance. All of this is controlled from a central location, functioning beautifully together as an entire IT staff.
The Benefits of Managed Services
More small and medium-sized businesses are referring to managed services as a way to have the latest technology to stay competitive in their respective markets. It also provides them the opportunity to focus on revenue and company growth. Some of the benefits of managed services include:
More Time to Focus on Goals
With managed services in action, that leaves your IT team to focus on what they were hired to do. They can spend more time on meeting the company’s IT goals and less time playing catch up, trying to fix problems that could have been avoided had they had the opportunity to focus on their day-to-day tasks. IT is constantly changing, and IT staff have a lot they must stay on top of. At the same time, they are required to assess the needs of the company and build strategic plans to take them into the future of their business. All of this while trying to put out fires and manage all of the company’s users’ IT issues.
Less Downtime, More Productive
Network downtime can cost a business as much as $5,600 per minute. Most small businesses can’t afford that. Nor can they afford to be less productive. Managed services help to avoid this issue because they take a proactive approach to maintenance. Managed service providers use remote monitoring and management to identify, diagnose, and troubleshoot potential problems to stop them where they are before they become major issues. That gives your on-site guys fewer fires to put out and application users fewer network issues that prevent them from working.
IT Expertise and Support
With technology forever changing, it’s important that your company is always in front of it and can keep up. Rather than spending money on more staff that also needs to be trained, which can be costly for most smaller companies, managed service providers enable you to hire an entire team of IT professionals at a flat monthly rate that is already uniquely trained for the job, and ready to work. Managed service providers will always have their staff trained on upcoming and new releases, as well as new technologies. With this type of expertise, you never have to worry about being behind the curve when it comes to the latest trends in technology.
Most managed service providers offer 24/7 support and a reliable point of contact. So you’ll have a dedicated team familiar with your company and know your company well enough to determine the best solutions for your business needs.
Your managed services can also be set up to ensure that you stay in compliance with your industry’s standards.
Keeps You on Budget
One of the greatest benefits of managed services is that it lowers labor costs and eliminates the cost of hiring and training new IT staff. The cost of training one IT staff person alone can be nearly $2,000. You’ll also never have to worry about unexpected service costs since the service-level agreement is tailored toward your organization’s unique and specific needs.
Better Manage Technology Expenses and Needs
As your technology needs evolve, you’ll need to make adjustments to accommodate that. They will mean scaling your system either up or down. Managed service providers can respond to changes in demand in real-time. You can also adjust the level of support as needed, helping you to not pay for more than you need to.
With managed services, you can rest at night knowing the data that benefits you and your customers is secure. You can also rest knowing that backups and plans for disaster recovery have already been well thought and strategized by a dedicated team that knows your business.
How to Know if You Need Managed Services
If you’re still unsure if managed services is something that your business needs, there are some unique signs that can help to know. IT managers are under the pressure to meet performance, manage operations, and the security needs of the business, all while keeping costs down. That can be a strain on any IT staff and can be costly for the company when they are constantly having to pay to be reactive to preventable occurrences. You may want to speak with a managed services provider if you:
- Are setting strategic goals for the future
- Are considering new services for your IT department
- Find yourself constantly having to put out IT fires
- Do not have the trained staff you need to deal with IT issues
- Need a better IT infrastructure to properly support your business processes
What to Look for in a Managed Services Provider
Some of the qualities to look for in a managed services provider are:
- Offers a flexible service model
- Offers advanced services
- Has hundreds of consultants available
- Has a solid and reliable backup plan and a strategy for disaster recovery
- Can support different time zones
- Has an established escalation path and provides a secondary contact
- Works with your legal team to ensure compliance is met
- Takes a shared approach to managed services
- Has a good strategic relationship with your solutions or cloud provider
- Provides 24/7 support
- Utilizes remote monitoring and management for proactive maintenance
- Has a reliable, single point of contact dedicated to your company
The bottom line is, as your business grows, so will your IT needs. Your in-house IT staff was all the company needed for a period and is still great to have on-site—for smaller, more manageable projects. But to stay proactive and in front of the changing needs of technology for your business, it’s time to consider utilizing the benefits of managed services.
We’re here to help! Reach out to us and one of our managed services experts will consult and advise the best strategy for you and your organization’s needs.