For small businesses in today’s high-tech society, Information Technology (IT) has become a significant consideration. Small business owners are under constant pressure to conduct business more efficiently and improve the productivity of their employees, while simultaneously reducing costs. In addition to these common business challenges, many small businesses are frustrated by the difficulties of dealing with new emerging technologies. Implementing new technology is a challenging job for small business owners, and can cause numerous difficulties in day-to-day operations.
Computers often are struck with problems such as spam, viruses, and security threats, and server and email access malfunctions cause employees to sit idle. Company systems often do not operate at their optimal level to fully satisfy the business needs, and a huge amount of downtime is experienced waiting for technicians to come and solve each problem. These small system disruptions and downtime add up, and greatly affect the revenue of the company. The bottom line is: Most small companies today do not experience the best performance possible from their IT applications.
The growth of small businesses is often slowed down by lack of handling of IT infrastructure properly. Instead of focusing on revenue generating activities, small business owners are stuck trying to find solutions for technology problems. As smaller companies are increasingly becoming more dependent on IT systems, it has become very crucial to find cost-effective ways to manage technology. Growth-oriented companies need a well-organized IT infrastructure so that they can focus on the business instead of trying to solve IT failures. However, having a complete IT department is not a viable solution for most small businesses, and very few small companies can afford to deploy even one permanent IT employee.
Managed IT services are provided by an outside firm or IT consulting company. These days, a growing number of IT vendors, resellers, and telecom carriers are providing managed services based on remote, proactive monitoring of company networks on an ongoing basis – with minimal involvement of the small business owners. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) employ consultants who specialize in small business networks, computer support and security.
Generally, managed IT services are delivered from a remote location via the Internet, but on-site proactive and emergency services are also provided when necessary. Services range from basic monitoring to fully managed services. Overall support for day-to-day operations and on-demand support for any other major need is also provided by these IT consulting groups. Managed services are usually provided on flat monthly fee or per device basis.
Small business owners should consider the managed IT services solution for several reasons. Managed services provide affordable solutions to the complex technology problems of small businesses for a fixed monthly fee. Technology experts are fully focused on keeping the systems of the company up and running because repeated technology failures mean higher costs to them. Therefore, the managed services model is beneficial to both the client and the technology expert because small businesses have the advantage of lower rates and better services, while technology experts get the fixed monthly fee from multiple customers.
With managed services, small business owners have access to external technology experts who are constantly available to monitor and fix company networks. Managed IT services also provide small businesses with access to a wide array of tools that are normally only assets of larger companies. By letting IT consultants manage their technology, small businesses can keep their networks protected against the latest security breaches, as well as reap the benefits of a larger IT team working for their company at very little cost.
With remote monitoring and maintenance of the network, technology problems are resolved before they can disrupt the business, and network and hardware performance is greatly improved, with a significant decrease in network downtime. This increased efficiency leads to increased employee productivity and optimized return on investment (ROI).
Managed IT Services help small business owners by simplifying IT operations and improving the reliability of networks. Instead of spending time worrying about technology, small business owners can stay focused on what really matters.