Business owners and managers are always looking to improve their results and with managed IT services they can. In a competitive marketplace that includes digital processes, it’s important to try and gain an edge. Reimagining how your IT operates may be a good place to start.
What Does It Mean To Have Managed IT Services?
IT managed services is a term that describes the outsourcing of the maintenance of your business’s digital information processes. This type of service is good for companies that cannot support a large enough IT department for their needs. However, the list of benefits may even convince companies with internal IT departments to consider making the move to an external provider.
What Do Managed IT Services Providers Offer?
The integrity and safety of your business’s data are critical. You don’t want malicious entities accessing your information and damaging your network. Also, time-intensive practices can take away from precious man-hours that are best put to use on mission-critical tasks.
Monitoring your network is essential for keeping your business safe from hackers and other dubious entities. On top of that, managed service providers can guarantee your network is running smoothly and seamlessly.
Backup and Emergency Recovery
Equally as important to the safety of your data is your ability to create backups. In the event of any type of data loss, you want to have the capacity to regain access to it immediately. Recovery of data that is lost due to a technical issue is something you should not leave to chance.
Data Storage and CRM Applications
IT managed services come with large amounts of storage and infrastructure capabilities. Therefore, you do not have to stress over the capacity of your servers to store your data.
Allow a managed services company to organise and protect your data.
Furthermore, softwares such as Customer Relationship Management tools, known as CRM applications, are essential to your business’s tasks. A managed service provider will help you integrate and operate the software that best suits your needs. Having an expert assist you with your CRM can reduce the learning curve.
Email hosting for a company is a much more involved topic than maintaining a personal account. Much like your sales and research data, the content of your emails is a part of your intellectual property. A managed service provider will make sure your emails are stored securely.
If you’re in the medical industry or need to run large patient/customer databases with many images and details, having an outsourced help desk can be extremely beneficial. They can ensure your server is always available for staff to connect into, as well as that it is secure and backed up. Hiring an internal staff member to look after such servers would start at an annual salary easily in the 6 figures. But adding this as a task to someone already doing this role for other companies makes it so much cheaper.
When dealing with servers and cloud hosting like Microsoft’s Azure platform, it’s really essential to get it right so that your data and security is not compromised.
Maintain HIPAA Compliance
For businesses that deal with sensitive personal data, HIPAA compliance is a tedious necessity as your business needs to adhere to various stipulations. From protecting health information to ensuring your business enters HIPAA-compliant agreements, there are many potential pitfalls.
A specialist that manages your IT will know how to keep your business up-to-date with the proper security measures. They can also offer training in HIPAA as it applies to your business.
Now, let’s examine the six benefits of having IT managed services?
1. Simplify Your Business Management
Outsourcing your IT allows you to place your emphasis where it belongs: on your business. You don’t need your life complicated with mundane tasks and sudden emergencies. If a server crashes or you lose an email, you shouldn’t have to divert your attention to it.
For companies that already have an in-house IT department, it doesn’t mean that you have to lay them off. On the contrary, they are free to concentrate on projects that are related to your business model.
Outsourcing your IT department can really take a load off time and personnel management.
2. Expand Your Team’s Expertise
Managed IT providers have experienced staff members in a wide variety of disciplines. By interacting with the IT provider, your employees will gain knowledge that could only be attained through time-intensive and costly seminars. This new expertise will be practical and laser-focused on the tasks at hand.
3. Maintain Compliance
We already mentioned HIPAA and the headache of maintaining compliance. HIPAA focuses primarily on the medical field and related areas. However, besides HIPAA, different industries come with their own set of rules for IT systems. Outsourcing the management of your IT means that you don’t have to worry about dropping the ball on regulations.
4. Guarantee Optimal User Productivity
IT issues can be a source of employee downtime. Losing an hour here and there may not amount to much, but frequent issues that affect multiple employees can add up. If a server is down, your team will not be able to make any progress. This can result in losses as deadlines are left unmet and your customers do not receive the proper service.
A managed IT service provider monitors your network on a 24-hour basis. Any issues that arise are dealt with immediately by experts with appropriate protocols in place. You won’t need your in-house employees to read through manuals and try to make due with calling a tech support line. The key is keeping downtime due to IT issues to a minimum so that your organization can focus on what’s important.
5. Streamline Your IT Budget
IT costs can arise seemingly out of nowhere. The unpredictability of system failures and hardware breakdown can eat away at your bottom line. Most managed IT service providers offer fixed monthly rates that make your budgeting predictable.
Beyond knowing what you spend for IT, a managed service provider will help you plan for the future. You will know about necessary upgrades well in advance so that you avoid last-minute expenditures.
For startups, a managed service can be a godsend as your initial outlay will be much smaller than if you were creating your IT infrastructure from scratch.
Additionally, your business can enjoy economies of scale as it grows. If you notice a sudden surge in your business, a managed IT service provider will help you grow sustainably without overshooting the target. Similarly, if your business runs into a downturn, you can scale down without having to incur huge costs.
Have better clarity of what your IT will cost with an experienced outsourced helpdesk.
6. Immediate Expert-Level Support
You cannot overstate the access to expert-level support for your business at the drop of a hat. By investing in a competent managed IT service provider, you’re not only expanding your business’s capabilities but also taking out an insurance policy.
Having complete peace of mind comes with knowing that a knowledgeable team will troubleshoot any problem that arises. A hidden advantage of this includes helping you maintain a problem-free interpersonal environment in your business. IT issues are a common source of discontent and tend to create tense interactions between employees. Preventing frustration and arguments that can stem from IT issues will keep your team running like a well-oiled machine.
Is Managed IT Services The Best Option for Your Business?
Even if you have an IT department, it’s worth considering outsourcing some or all of your information management needs. You need to quantify your IT expenses and weigh them against a professional IT management firm. Have a conversation with your team and see if you can brainstorm ways of taking advantage of the extra time you will have on your hands. Also, think back to any IT calamities that may have hit your business. Think about how much safer you would feel knowing that your company’s data integrity is accounted for.
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