Companies are increasingly relying on technology to drive business objectives. From making online experiences convenient and engaging for customers to supporting marketing through digital channels and automated communications tools, companies know their competitive edge is likely to come through innovation. For small businesses, access to reliable technology helps level the playing field and allow them to compete with bigger enterprises. They can benefit from managed IT to support these efforts.
Due to the subscription-based pay model of cloud solutions, small businesses suddenly have access to all the same applications and platforms that used to be reserved for only those enterprises with the budget to pay for the latest and greatest technology. Now, small companies pay only for the number of users they need, and they have the benefit of being able to match the conveniences and services of larger organizations.
While this presents a great opening for small companies to capture new opportunities, it also exposes some additional gaps in the ability to support the technology. Areas such as infrastructure — and specifically the network — may need to be upgraded and maintained at a different level to support the bandwidth and performance requirements of a modern cloud environment.
That’s why a small business can benefit from managed IT. While a smaller enterprise may have an in-house IT staff member or even a small department supporting technology, expanding to managed IT may provide some new opportunities. Consider the advantages a company may experience through managed IT:
Availability — One of the benefits of managed IT is that the availability of technicians matches the flexible work schedules of the modern employee. With many small businesses employing remote team members or mobile employees, work hours can include evenings and weekends in a flexible time-management framework. A managed IT provider may have 24/7 availability, making it easy for employees to maximize productivity.
Cost Savings — Managed IT is a budget-friendly solution compared to paying the salary and benefits of an in-house employee. With a managed IT provider, you only pay for the help you receive, and the provider can manage the fluctuation in your assistance needs. For instance, if your business has an element of seasonality, or if you are training a team on using a new platform, your needs can be accommodated. You also never pay a help desk employee to sit idle when everything is going smoothly.
Faster Response Times — Rather than waiting for an overtaxed, in-house IT employee to get around to figuring out why a system is glitching, a managed IT provider can respond quickly to your employees’ needs. Problems can be addressed simultaneously, rather than waiting in a queue until IT has the opportunity to assist.
Expertise — You may wonder whether a managed IT provider could possibly know your systems as well as an in-house staff member could. Providers generally train employees with in-depth expertise on a variety of systems and applications, and you’ll be assigned technicians who are well-versed in your particular solutions. You may even be able to find a provider that specializes in your industry.
While many small businesses benefit from managed IT, there are a few reasons why it may make sense to keep your assistance in-house:
Proactive Anticipation of Issues — When an in-house IT staff member works with your teams day after day, they develop an understanding of your business and the potential technological roadblocks that might impede progress. They also develop relationships with your staff that can lead to better teamwork and special project management.
Your Needs Are Minimal — If you’ve recently started your business and your solutions are mostly based in the cloud, you may already have most of your IT needs handled. It may make more sense for an in-house employee to take on the few IT-related tasks that need to be handled. If you’re utilizing infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), or other cloud solutions that are managed and maintained by the provider, you may have little need for IT management.
You’ve Recently Freed up a Lot of IT Staff Time — If you’ve recently migrated some of your workloads to the cloud and you have a small dedicated IT staff that previously supported them, you may have the opportunity to split their time between support and developing new initiatives for technology-driven opportunities.
These situations certainly apply for some small businesses, but many will benefit from choosing to outsource IT for cost savings, availability, and the level of expertise that providers can offer. It’s an additional step smaller companies can take to capitalize on technology opportunities. They can harness all the tools available through cloud solutions without any hesitation that they can access the support and maintenance they require from a managed IT provider.
If you’re considering how your small business might benefit from managed IT, check out this resource from SinglePoint Global, then contact us for an initial consultation.