SMB entrepreneurs play a lot of different roles in the initial stages of their business life cycle. There are so many departments to be handled such as IT, finance, marketing, product development, public relations, and more. Managing growth and cutting costs are just one of the many factors involved. Playing the role of an IT administrator guy is just one of the many hats that you might have to wear. Not being in the technical field, it is a challenging task to undertake. But what happens when the company outgrows itself and there are just too many systems and employees to be handled?
This is the point where you need to outsource your IT department to a managed service provider (MSP). But what is MSP and how does it help small business owners?
Managed IT Service Providers:
Managed IT service is the process of remotely managing the IT department, systems or processes of a SMB by a third party that specializes in providing such services. The whole process is proactive in nature rather than reactive.
What this means is that you as an SMB owner is going to outsource your IT administration department to a third party for a subscription based model, which has the knowledge, experience, tools and infrastructure for its day to day management.
Why Managing IT In-House Is Not A Prudent Idea:
Managed IT services for small business is a smart move as it helps SMBs in monitoring, maintaining, administering, and providing technical support for the entire network reducing downtime and costs. Trying to manage everything from product development, running marketing campaigns, handling employees and managing IT department can take a toll on your productivity.
5 Ways Small Businesses can Benefit from Managed IT Services:
1.) Reduced Costs:
If you are managing your IT in-house, you need to incur both time and money to hire and train employees. The whole process can be cumbersome and painful. Not to mention the fact that you will have a trial and error period where you will need to hire, fire, and rehire some employees. Managed IT Service will allow you to tap into a resource pool that is already trained to do exactly what you want, hence helping you grow your business, increase your productivity, and reduce costs incurred.
2.) Security & Compliance:
Once you have outsourced your IT department to a managed IT service provider, you need not worry about security and compliance. These service providers use the firefighting method of tracking where any technical or performance related issue is automatically reported. This helps in taking quick decisions and providing solutions at a much faster rate. Most of the process is automated with little human intervention, and the concerned people are notified immediately.
3.) Reduced Risks:
There are other benefits like you do not need to worry about hacks, malware and cyber security related issues, loss of customer data, loss due natural events and disasters, server downtime, power failure, and so on. All of this will be handled by your MSP thereby reducing your business risk.
Early detection helps in minimizing the impact and reduce effect on the end users which is crucial for any business, and more so in the early days when a good reputation is the only thing you have to show.
Productivity thrives in a healthy work environment which is free from work related stress and issues. In order to achieve success and goals in time, it is necessary that the employees are working at full capacity. This can be only possible when the work environment is free from downtime, errors, performance issues and cyber threats. All these issues result in the typical “blame game” process that leads to internal conflicts. SMBs need a healthy and productive work environment to succeed in today’s competitive market.
5.) Technical Skills:
Not everyone is a geek or a nerd. The truth is that you may not possess the technical knowledge or the skills required to manage your IT department. Each one of us is adept at something different. Learning the basics is one thing and important too (to be in the loop), but being an expert is another. Instead of trying to be a jack of all and an ace of none, it is a marvelous idea to just let the experts handle the technicalities so you can better focus on growth and development.
6.) How To Decide:
Here is a productivity loss, revenue loss and overall loss formula that will help you calculate your losses, estimate costs and take the right decision:
P = (Number of users affected) x (% of Productivity Loss) x (Average salary per hour) x (Duration of downtime)
R = (Number of users affected) x (% of Revenue Loss) x (Average profit per employee per hour) x (Duration)
P + R = $$$
Small business owners are now looking for solutions that can deliver results to securely power their operations.