Front & Centre: How Managed Services Improve Efficiency
As a small business, every hour and every dollar counts. Creating an efficient and organized workflow will enhance your business objectives and propel you to reach your company's goals. Technology is a major way many businesses streamline processes and procedures for employees and customers — but bringing on more technology often necessitates investment in information technology (IT) and other internal support infrastructures.
If your small business wants to bring on new technologies or maximize your use of current technologies, consider investing in a managed service provider (MSP).
What Is a Managed Service Provider?
A managed IT services provider is a third-party business that manages your technology infrastructure and performs a predetermined set of daily services. Depending on your requirements, they assume complete responsibility for managing aspects of your digital profile, including network, security management, data storage and desktop support.
While many MSPs provide remote management, they also often provide on-site staff, either full-time or to manage a specific challenge. Some MSPs specialize in specific IT areas, such as compliance and data storage. Others offer full-service options and IT consulting.
A partnership with an MSP is an excellent decision for many small to medium businesses (SMBs), as they can access a robust IT infrastructure without a significant upfront investment. Like all services in the digital landscape, MSP services constantly evolve to include a broader range of business functions, leaving your team available to focus on business growth.
5 Benefits of Managed Services
Using an MSP can have many benefits for small businesses that want to take advantage of technology without maintaining all the things that come along with it. Read on for five benefits MSP can have for your small business:
1. Eliminate the Need for an In-House IT Department Or Extend the One You Have
Having IT professionals on hand can be a great asset, but that asset can also impact your bottom line. If you don't have the resources for an in-house team, managed IT services can be a great way to get the support you need without an IT department. Additionally, should you need someone onsite, we're available 24 x7 to schedule and onsite visit that's convenient for your schedule. Kind of like getting all the benefits of an in-house IT department without the extra cost.
If you already have an in-house IT team, having an MSP can ensure they can focus their time on integral efforts for the company, leaving other tasks for the MSP. Another benefit of outsourcing IT is that you can profit from more specialized knowledge and skill sets that may not be available within your own team.
2. Save Money on Overhead
With an MSP, you also benefit from monetary savings. While you will have upfront and continued costs for the actual MSP's services, you'll save money in other areas, such as:
- Training: If you're spending less time and money on training your current staff to accommodate new technology integrations, you can reserve that energy and funding for other company goals and initiatives.
- Staff: With an MSP, you'll receive IT staffing benefits. You can get away with hiring fewer in-house IT team members or be able to operate without one. The MSP will provide the necessary support you need while saving you money on payroll.
- Technology: With an MSP, you'll gain better insights and get more use from your current technology. You'll increase your operational efficiency when your technology solutions are used to their maximum potential, which puts your money to greater use.
3. Gain Top Experts Working for Your Business
Life moves fast, but technology moves faster. Keeping up with emerging technology in your industry may be as simple as pressing the buy button — the real challenge comes with integrating it into your business and using it to its fullest potential. Using an MSP, you'll gain top experts in emerging technology relevant to your business needs.
If you only have a small in-house IT team, or if your IT capabilities rely on one employee who's handy with technology, you might not be well-equipped to confront rapid changes in technology within your industry. This challenge can have other consequences, like making it harder to keep up with your competitors or falling behind in your client's expectations.
Having access to IT experts with an MSP, whether or not you already have an in-house IT department, ensures you're prepared to integrate and adapt to new technology, meet your customer's expectations and compete with others in your field.
4. Stop Problems Before They Occur
Just like machinery, technology like networks and servers can run into issues that need repairs — whether that be replacing parts, fixing bugs or fending off data breaches. If your in-house IT team is stretched too thin, you'll be more likely to suffer from preventable issues. An MSP can monitor your systems and respond proactively, from identifying weak points in your network to setting up security protocols to prevent cyberattacks.
A preventive approach can have many benefits for your business, reducing downtime from catastrophic failures and improving your client's trust in your business. If you deal with sensitive client information, data breaches can cause them to lose trust in your business and may propel them to take their business to one of your competitors.
5. Reduce Employee Stress
Workplace stress is the most significant source of stress for American workers — 40% of workers say their job is either stressful or extremely stressful, with 25% listing work as the top stressor in their life.
IT professionals deal with high-stress scenarios, from late-night service calls to system failures that require emergency action. Having an MSP on your side to confront and mitigate issues can go a long way to reducing employee stress.
An MSP also helps you scale your business to accommodate new requests quickly without putting undue strain on your current staff. You might be able to accommodate larger orders or more complex requests without requiring overtime from employees or extending deadlines.
6. Minimize Downtime
MSPs minimize network downtime through proactive monitoring and business continuity planning. Suppose your servers fail or you experience an electrical disruption. In that case, your MSP will mitigate the effects of this issue by switching systems to redundant equipment as a backup.
Cyber breaches and related incidents can also result in downtime, and SMBs are particularly vulnerable to unauthorized access attempts. Regardless of the reason for your downtime, having a professional team to provide backup and keep your organization functioning is essential to meeting customer demands.
7. Enhance Your Cloud Computing Capabilities
Many organizations have moved to the cloud due to its accessibility, centralized data security and business continuity. MSPs can maximize your cloud capabilities through implementing cloud data backups, optimizing infrastructure costs and aligning your existing infrastructure to the cloud for improved process scalability.
With a trusted MSP, you can develop a cloud migration strategy to maintain continuity during a cloud transition. Cloud computing is no longer a complex landscape with cloud experts on hand to assist in strategic decision-making.
8. Increase Scalability
Managed services have more scalability than an in-house team, bridging the gap between outgrowing your current resources and being able to upgrade. As your organization grows, MSPs can meet your evolving demands with support that meets your needs in real time.
It costs an average of $1,400 to onboard a new employee. An MSP can help you scale quickly while absorbing new hire training costs. Flexibility is critical for many organizations in the rapidly changing digital landscape. An MSP can accommodate changes efficiently, streamlining business growth.
9. Security Awareness Training
Human error is responsible for over 95% of cyber breaches and attacks, and training your employees means strengthening your first line of defense against malicious actors. A staggering 91% of cyberattacks begin with a phishing email, and your MSP can train your employees to identify threats and simulate phishing campaigns for improved awareness.
10. Enjoy Consistent Support
Many MSPs offer 24/7 support, giving you access to their knowledge and expertise whenever it's needed. You can focus on your core business goals, confident that your MSP covers your daily business operations. MSPs also support service-level agreements, which define an appropriate response time to an IT event. With these clear goals, your MSP can provide faster response times than a stressed-out in-house team.
Why Is Managed Services With Security as a Service a Good Investment?
Taking advantage of managed services has many benefits for businesses, like allowing you to integrate more technologies into your operations. However, with this technology comes greater security risks, which is why security as a service is a good investment to consider alongside your MSP.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are easy prey for cyberattacks — 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses because they generally lack advanced cybersecurity protections, with ransomware being the largest threat. Choosing an MSP that includes additional security services helps you get more from your investment while protecting your assets and your customer's confidential data.
The risk and cost of data and other types of security breaches make the cost of security as a service with your MSP well worth it for your business, employees and customers.
Why Do Businesses Need Cyber Security Experts in Addition to IT Management?
With the addition of cyber security experts, your business can protect itself and work proactively to mitigate your risk and exposure. Centre Technologies' managed services include network security and other cybersecurity protections to stop cyber threats without interrupting your daily operations.
Managed vulnerability services protect your data and assets. Our extensive network of global cybersecurity experts ensures you're protected from a wide range of threats. We regularly work with small businesses, and our team is experienced in responding to and preventing security breaches for SMBs.
Learn About Managed Services From Centre Technologies
On top of our extensive network of IT and cybersecurity experts and comprehensive remote monitoring solutions, our managed IT services ensure you have personalized service with a local touch. As a managed service provider in Oklahoma City, we support on-site collaboration and support so you feel supported and confident in your choice of MSP.
To learn more about the benefits of managed services for your Oklahoma SMB, contact Centre Technologies today.
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