First time seeing this series? You're missing out! Check out the first two installments below:
Or check out the recaps below!
Now that you're up to speed... The lingering question from Part II was, "How can I skip all this?"
Sit back and relax - we'll dive right in.
We have covered a lot of ground in the first two parts of our series and we have also briefly mentioned managed IT services when discussing the different things you need to get your startup's IT up and running. Now, it's too often that you will see and read stuff telling you why you NEED to purchase something for your business. Whether these are claims of guaranteed ROIs (returns on investment) or being an absolute necessity to keep your business running - what's not often said however is WHY you may have to avail of these services in a more cost-efficient manner.
That's where managed IT services come in.
When you are a business, no matter the size, chances are you work with data. Your data is important, so you need to protect it. How do you go about doing this?
The method you choose will likely boil down to one of two models: a reactive one or a proactive one. If you like to live life a bit more on the edge and not have any IT support at all then you are looking at a reactive model for IT support. That means you wait till there’s a problem first before fixing it. However, that’s like waiting until you’re sick before going to the doctor or waiting until your car breaks down before taking it to the mechanic. Over time, that could cost more money than if you just prevented the problem in the first place with either routine checkups or maintenance.
The other model is to be proactive and this could be done in two ways.
You could pay an in-house employee to do it. If you're lucky, you’ll get away with paying minimum wage (because IT professionals cost a fortune - and deservedly so!) and pray that they're not on their day off when you have IT issues. However, the reality is that you might end up having to hire multiple people for more than minimum wage because you wouldn't expect just one person to know every solution to your IT issues.
Or, you can just pay a fee and have it all taken care of for you. I’m talking managed IT support here, companies that specialize in managed IT services have the goal of preventing, combating, and solving any IT difficulties that may arise. What does that mean? It means you save money and not only that, you gain the power of a whole team of tech experts that are fully equipped to address your technological issues. Often, you’ll also receive 24/7 support, which means ease of mind that your data is being protected as you sleep.
That means you get to focus more on what matters: running and growing your business.
So which method is right for your business?
It really boils down to one question. How much does your business rely on IT? If you do not need much technical infrastructure to run your business, and if even the thought of a server crash is nothing but a minor inconvenience to you, then you do not really need managed IT support. The reactive model will work just fine for you. Many IT services will offer their services to you even if you aren’t partnered with them, but the drawback is that they offer them at an inflated price. This is not dissimilar to fixing your car with no car insurance or visiting the doctor with no health insurance.
However, if the thought of losing years of collected data from hard work scares you, it might be best to look into hiring a managed IT support provider. This is because after shopping around for a provider for a bit, you’ll come to realize that the fee you pay is going to be for your needs. This means you, as a small business owner with only about 8-10 employees, do not need to pay as much as a bigger business owner with up to 250 employees.
In the end, if you’re a business, looking into managed IT support is a good idea. Because if you aren’t a business that has a technical infrastructure, in today’s world it’s a good idea to start looking into implementing one.
Here's a very informative video about why your business needs Managed IT Services:
This video from Cloud Specialists - an Australian Managed IT Services provider - explains it perfectly: "Managed IT Services means that you're taking a proactive approach to tackling your IT problems to reduce risk and potentially huge costs."
With managed IT services, you delegate much - if not all - of the services and maintenance related to your enterprise IT to a third-party IT company. That company provides complete IT services and troubleshooting, typically on a remote basis. Responsibility for IT software applications, service provision, and maintenance falls to your vendor, who can provide IT assets from anywhere.
Now you might be scratching your head out of confusion because it shouldn’t be this simple, right? Okay, let’s look at the advantages of hiring a managed services provider:
"The goal of managed IT services is to provide a simple cost-effective approach to your IT functions and take the bulk of those functions out of your hands," says Emil Isanov, CEO, ETech 7. "In this day and age, loads of managed IT services exist to help any type of business cover their IT needs which, in turn, allow businesses to lower their costs and become more effective in their day-to-day operations."
There's a catch though. Not every client-managed IT provider relationship ends up being successful... It all comes down to communication.
The success of the relationship between a business and a managed IT services provider lies when they work hand in hand.
Let’s look at it this way: we mentioned the break-fix model earlier in this post which literally meant that if something broke, a company would call a technician and a technician would come out to fix it. The company would then pay an hourly rate and, once it’s fixed, the technician and the company would shake hands and that’s it. The break-fix model isn’t ideal nowadays for two main reasons: time and the modern company’s constant reliance on technology. A financial company couldn’t wait two, three, four hours just to have the servers fixed – they need it pronto.
Still unconvinced? Talk to an IT service provider today to know more about managed IT services!