Today’s small businesses are increasingly using cloud, mobile and social platforms as part of their daily operations. Many small business owners take the time to research the technology available to them and aren’t afraid to try something new if they believe that it will help make their staff more productive, create new opportunities for revenue or overall business growth.
While adopting the latest innovations in technology has many advantages, doing so may bring new challenges to business owners and decision makers.
Many small business owners may have a good idea of how the technology they’re using works and are able to perform most installation, configuration and maintenance tasks themselves if their infrastructure is relatively simple. However, few are technology experts.
How Small Businesses Can Get the IT Services They Need
Small businesses take various approaches when it comes to getting their IT needs taken care of. Very few have the budget to hire an entire multidisciplinary IT team. Some have a small in-house IT team, sometimes made up of just one or two people.
Others rely on employees who normally have other positions to perform IT-related tasks, such as making backups or configuring new workstations to connect to the network.
Finally, certain startup and small company owners will find a local freelance IT expert or a tiny IT services firm operated by students while networking with other entrepreneurs.
While such providers typically offer limited services, such as repairing PCs when they malfunction or helping the owner set up cloud-based email for his staff, their affordable rates make them attractive for companies with limited budgets.
Even though these solutions may work well for businesses that have relatively simple needs, a company that is expanding and increasingly relying on its IT infrastructure to do business needs a solution that will truly suit their needs. Managed IT services adapted to the needs of small businesses can be very helpful.
Advantages of Using Small Business Managed IT Services
Providers of managed IT services for small businesses are able to offer a full lineup of IT services at an affordable price. Here are some of the advantages of hiring a manged IT provider:
Control over your IT costs. Managed IT service firms offer different service plans that you can choose from, depending on your company’s IT needs and budget. Some let you choose from a menu of “service packages,” some create a custom plan for each client, while others offer both options. Once you find the right service plan, you will get all of your IT needs covered at a fixed monthly or yearly cost.
No need to hire in-house experts or use your own staff. Hiring in-house IT staff is quite expensive and beyond the reach of many small companies. Using existing staff members who would normally have another function but also have strong IT knowledge isn’t a perfect solution either, as they’re taking time away from their usual duties to work on your IT issues.
IT support available when you need it. When you use managed IT services, you can have the assurance that an expert will be there to help you 24/7 in case of problem. Some companies provide phone help desk services, together with rapid on-site response for problems requiring the presence of a technician. If something goes wrong, you can be sure it will be fixed quickly.
Better IT security. Your managed IT services provider can help create a security solution suited for your business. This can include deploying hardware and software to protect your network from malware and intrusion by hackers. They’re also able to back up your critical data on a regular basis, with both remote and on-site copies, so you can get back to business quickly in case of disaster, such as a hard drive failing or your premises being damaged by a fire.