The world of IT is changing and evolving rapidly. Innovations like cloud computing and the rise of mobile have changed the landscape for businesses of all sizes. For small business, though, it can represent a logistical nightmare. How to take advantage of all these new tools without a massive investment in new equipment and talent? For many, an IT managed service provider is the answer.
The eyes of a small business are sometimes bigger than its stomach—it’s easy to overcommit to a new project. Juggling the problems and challenges of new projects with day-to-day operations can easily overwhelm a small IT department.
That’s where an IT managed service provider comes in. Offloading routine tasks to a partner that specializes in day-to-day IT is the best way for a small business to keep its internal IT focused on growth and initiative without the added strain of day-to-day maintenance.
There are a number of ways outsourced IT can help, including but not limited to these.
An IT managed service provider can easily function as the internal help desk for a small business. Everything from basic troubleshooting of desktop PCs to restoration from major server crashes can fall within the purview of an outsourced IT firm.
In most cases, the external company will have greater support resources available than the IT department of its client. Services like 24/7 support and troubleshooting of highly specialized software are fixed, predictable costs included within a standard service plan without the need to rely on just one or two people within an organization or invest time and money on staffing up internally.
Daily maintenance of servers and desktops, from reboots to software patches, can be outsourced. Like outsourced support, handling server maintenance externally has the dual advantages of fixed cost and freeing up internal resources to focus on strategic initiatives.
An IT managed service provider is typically equipped for advanced remote monitoring and can keep tabs on the distribution of software patches, Internet traffic, and desktop performance. The resources required for constant monitoring, both in technology and personnel, can be prohibitively expensive for a small business, and removing that load makes good fiscal sense.
Cloud and Hosting Services
The cloud is here, and it has changed the modern workplace. Cloud services allow the workplace to extend far beyond the office with safe, secure access to files and documents from home or on any mobile device. Cloud-based collaboration software increases employee productivity and satisfaction, leading to a happier and more profitable business.
However, the multitude of cloud software packages available today is daunting, to say nothing of the cost and expertise required in building a private solution. A small business is often in the position of knowing what it wants to achieve, but not having the time or resources to spare in devising and implementing a workable plan.
An outsourced IT firm has been there before, and maintains the breadth and depth of knowledge to select the right platform for any use case. Allowing internal IT to spec out custom software and then outsource the nuts and bolts of development to an external firm helps maintain forward momentum. The freedom to move on to the next strategic target without being bogged down in routine help desk tasks is a boon to a small IT department.
In a small business, efficiency is key. There’s no room for waste, and even mission-critical routine tasks take time away from the important work of strategic planning and execution. Offloading these tasks to an IT managed service provider means more time and energy to spend on real progress, improvement, and ultimately, growth.