Why Managed IT Services Are Essential For Small Business Owners
Running a small business means you’re up to your eyeballs in work. Maybe you’d even try to do everything by yourself. Meanwhile, there are clients to keep happy, employees to oversee, and you also have to keep track of the minutiae of day-to-day operations. And as this is the Information Age, you also have to make sure that your IT game is up to snuff.
In today’s business milieu, a business that wants to survive and flourish has to have an online presence. There’s no getting around that. Unfortunately, not all small businesses can afford a full complement of IT staff. And no matter how much small business owners would like to believe, being small wouldn’t make them go unnoticed by hackers and cybercriminals. (1)
Overview of managed IT services
Managed IT services, also known as MSPs (managed service providers) or IT support companies, are IT-focused companies that businesses hire to handle all or a part of their IT operations.
Depending on their Service Level Agreement, these third-party companies will be responsible for a business’s IT needs, whether just a part or their whole IT infrastructure. A managed IT service can also provide 24/7 system monitoring, support, troubleshooting, problem resolution and reporting, and others. (2)
The types of services you can get would depend on the managed IT service you’ll hire. You can outsource email hosting, monitoring, data backup, storage, cybersecurity, and other IT functions. Also included are hardware and software deployment, patching, upgrading, maintenance, IT infrastructure audit, and overall guidance concerning IT. They can help small businesses be at par with larger companies when it comes to IT setup.
Reasons why managed IT services are essential
With managed IT services taking care of your technology and IT needs, you can focus on other areas of your operation to make your company more competitive. Below are several reasons why managed IT services are important for small business owners:
MSPs can save you time and money
Often, a small business doesn’t have the wherewithal to have a fully staffed IT department, complete with the latest tools and equipment. What usually happens is that the regular workers themselves have to take care of any IT issues that turn up. More often than not, a non-technical person working on a technical issue only results in more delays—or, worse, it could even compound the problem.
Issues such as downtime, a security breach, or data corruption can occur. The point is, if you’re trying to save a few bucks by ignoring your IT requirements, you could be facing a plethora of problems. You could end up spending a lot more in terms of time and money. A managed IT service can prevent IT issues, and if one does happen, they can take care of it.
They typically have the proper tools and equipment, not to mention a team of experts at their disposal, to deal with IT problems. A small business owner working with an IT support company would have an experienced team of IT specialists to rely on when the business needs them.
The business’s employees can focus instead on utilizing their expertise—marketing, sales, customer service, and others. Using a managed IT service, small businesses can increase their efficiency overall by around 50–60% and can actually reduce IT costs by an estimated 30–40%. (3)
A small business owner also wouldn’t have to invest in technological tools and equipment; neither would they worry about upgrading them periodically. Since they’re using a managed IT service, they wouldn’t have to concern themselves in that area.
An MSP also offers scaled services, which means you, as a business owner, can adjust your company’s IT spending according to your budget and needs. A managed IT is also paid the same amount monthly regardless of the monthly work and support you require.
IT experts will have your back
As IT continues to advance, it’s unrealistic to expect that small business owners would be able to keep up. But keep up they must; changes in technology, after all, affect all industries. That’s where managed IT services come in. Due to the nature of their business, they’re constantly updated and abreast with the latest trends to better serve their clients.
If you’re having problems with a particular technology, MSPs can handle them and help you avoid the dreaded downtime. Downtime, which refers to when systems, equipment, or machines are idle, can cost small businesses up to USD$20,000 per hour of downtime. And if you do experience downtime, an IT support company can provide safe communication lines or help your employees access files. (4)
Your business can have top-notch security
Figures revealed that being small doesn’t make a business invisible to cybercriminals. On the contrary, small businesses are vulnerable because hackers know that their sites don’t often have sophisticated cybersecurity. More than 40% of them, in fact, were targeted by cybercriminals. (5)
With cybercrimes on the rise, no company of any size could afford to treat its security in a cavalier manner. Unsurprisingly, three of four small businesses state that they simply don’t have the staff to handle their IT security capably. Managed IT solutions can provide cost-effective, robust cybersecurity that could very well be your business’s savior—especially if you consider that about 66% of small businesses go under within six months after a successful cyberattack. (5)
Additionally, an MSP could train your staff to prevent them from falling into common hackers’ techniques and scams such as malware attacks, phishing, and other social engineering tricks.
The modern business setting encourages businesses toward digitization and an increased online presence. To do that, small business owners would have to upgrade their IT team, something which not many of them could do. However, a managed IT service can provide everything that a fully equipped in-house IT staff can do at a very cost-effective rate.
- “Main Street overconfidence: America’s small businesses aren’t worried about hacking”, Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/10/main-street-overconfidence-small-businesses-dont-worry-about-hacking.html
- “What is an SLA? Best practices for service-level agreements”, Source: https://www.cio.com/article/2438284/outsourcing-sla-definitions-and-solutions.html
- “Managed services boost efficiency and cut costs”, Source: https://betanews.com/2014/08/15/managed-services-boost-efficiency-and-cut-costs/
- “Survey highlights the heavy cost of business downtime for SMBs”, Source: https://www.techradar.com/news/survey-highlights-the-heavy-cost-of-business-downtime-for-smbs
- “30 Surprising Small Business Cyber Security Statistics (2021)”, Source: https://www.fundera.com/resources/small-business-cyber-security-statistics