You don’t preemptively pay your mechanic every month just in case your car breaks down, so why should you approach your relationship with your managed services provider any differently? After all, a monthly bill is a big pill to swallow for what may only amount to a little user support.
The simple answer is that IT services providers offer a lot more than occasional assistance. Much like cars, networks and equipment require regular maintenance to keep things running without a hitch—and that’s where the true power of an MSP becomes evident.
In addition to initiating regular upgrades, routine repairs, system monitoring and other ongoing services, MSPs can help you plan a system upgrade and provide training to minimize the growing pains associated with implementing new tools and services. They can even assist you in preparing for the future by acquainting you with new technology to improve your business productivity and earnings. Bet your mechanic can’t do that! Here’s a brief sampling of just a few things an IT services provider can do for your company.
Increase network uptime
If hiring an MSP seems like a big financial commitment, consider the true cost of a network event. Network or server downtime may directly impact sales (especially if you’re doing business via the internet) and, of course, you’ll need to spend money to get systems online again. And don’t forget subtler expenses, such as loss of employee productivity and reputational damage.
Research group Gartner has boiled down those expenses to a single number: $5,600. That’s what every minute of downtime costs the average business. Pretty frightening, huh?
The good news is that it’s getting much easier to predict and prevent network interruptions. Sophisticated monitoring techniques like the introduction of predictive AI-based monitoring tools make network audits more precise, but those solutions may be hard to implement without a dedicated IT services provider—that is, unless you feel like spending a couple of years in night school.
Assist in planning for the future
Think back 10 years. The Android mobile operating system was brand-new, Apple was about to debut its app store and Yahoo turned down a $45 billion bid from Microsoft. My, how things change.
The point is that the technology sector moves pretty fast—and in today’s world, every business is a tech company. With this in mind, an IT services provider can help you stay ahead of the pack by identifying opportunities to better meet your business goals using the latest technology. After all, you want to be the Microsoft of your industry, not the Yahoo.
Improve productivity and efficiency
Your technological challenges may be lurking five years down the line, or they might already be impacting you every time you arrive at work. For instance, although you may already realize that an automated patient portal has the potential to save your receptionists hours of time, the concept of actually making that upgrade can seem daunting. Even just thinking about the work required to choose a solution, implement it, revise existing workflows and retrain employees is enough to set your teeth on edge!
This is where the strength of an IT service provider really shines. In addition to suggesting superior solutions, an MSP will help you implement those tools, train your employees and ultimately facilitate a pain-free transition. Change is always hard, but with an MSP at your side, new tech is nothing to be feared.
Boost security processes and equipment
If you own one of those lucky businesses that has never been hacked, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of feeling as if you have immunity. Unfortunately, an unblemished security record doesn’t mean your streak will last forever. In fact, some 14 million U.S. businesses are at risk of a breach. But you don’t have to take it from us—just ask the FBI.
Did you know that the average hacker spends 146 days inside your network before launching an attack? This means you have time on your side when it comes to preventing a security event, provided you leverage more sophisticated tools and thorough security practices like threat detection software and regular systems audits. Moreover, intrusions that originate with unsuspecting users who fall for phishing emails and social engineering techniques could potentially be prevented with the proper training.
With bolstered security protections moving up the line of business owner priorities, hiring an IT services provider can help get your systems ready to face down threats and reduce the costs associated with a potential future network breach.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into thorough IT support. For a head start on choosing an MSP that’s right for your business, read our free How to Hire the Right IT Services Provider ebook to learn about the types of providers and levels of IT support out there. Austin businesses, we’ve got your back!