Everyone is looking for that silver bullet to keep expenses flat while growing revenue. The fact is there are no silver bullets, just decisions that balance risk and reward. Can I sign that new account without hiring another person? Should I hold off on investing in proactive network monitoring tools and hope my staff’s productivity doesn’t slip? Should I invest more in security with the increased risk of being hacked? There are no easy or “right” answers to these questions. The answers depend largely on your perception of risk and reward.
The problem is that many times your risk perceptions are based on very little knowledge or experience. As a business owner, you are likely not a technology expert and you depend on those around you for their expertise. If you don’t trust your current IT team, you are left to make those judgements without a net. How can you protect yourself from that kind of risk? One way to reduce your exposure to technology risk is to partner with a managed service provider (MSP) that provides a full–service help desk, backed up with strategic advisory and security services. A partnership with this kind of MSP can help you improve your bottom line in at least 4 significant ways.
Enterprise Grade Tools for a Fraction of the Price
In the technology world, there are some things that are basic “table stakes” tools that are required, but can be very expensive in terms of tools, upkeep and people. This is especially true for small– and mid-sized organizations. Most business leaders would agree that you need to have a solid backup system in place, managed network firewalls, anti-virus/malware/phishing protection and proactively applied operating system patches to each of your servers and workstations. In addition, most would also include a need to proactively monitor your network to avoid production slowdowns. Each of these tools are designed for enterprise level organizations who can spread the high cost of purchase and maintenance across large numbers of staff. An MSP can provide you with these same required tools and expertise at a fraction of the cost, because they can spread these tool costs over their entire customer base. Read about the different levels of services here.
Reducing IT Issues is Profit to Both Organizations
It is not always obvious when small IT issues occur, but it grabs and shakes you when a major outage puts your staff on hold – technology issues drain profit! See here how much downtime can cost your business. Internal IT staff and MSPs operating in a time and materials mode, have minimal incentive to focus on reducing these issues. Outside of reputational damage, these teams retain jobs and drive profit each time your team suffers a technology issue. The incentive is just not there to drive for a maximum reduction in these issues. On the other hand, an MSP that operates on a fixed fee model has every incentive to eliminate your technology issues. Each call from your team to the help desk is a direct expense to both you and the MSP. This direct incentive plan is a great motivator for both you and the MSP to find the real resolutions to problems and drive down costly downtime.
Technology Resources are Expensive and Not Always Needed Full Time
Most small– and medium–size businesses do not need a full-time technology security officer, database administrator or high-end network engineers. At the same time, they do need their expertise off and on during the year. Not only is this expertise expensive to hire and retain, there is rarely enough work within the organization to keep them engaged and happy. Much like the enterprise grade tools mentioned above, an MSP can spread the cost of these expensive technology resources across many customers and provide an environment that will keep them challenged. This allows you to reap the benefits of their expertise when you need them and not have to pay for them when you don’t. This keeps your systems running at peak performance at a substantially lower cost.
IT MSPs are exposed to many business models that bring fresh ideas to you for free
One of the big things any company must fight is developing a myopic view of what should or could be done. It is always good to have a fresh approach to challenges and opportunities. That is difficult when all your experience is largely with the organization that you are employed with. One of the built-in benefits of an MSP is they work with companies of all sizes and industries. If your MSP works with you in a strategic fashion, you can tap into those fresh perspectives at no additional cost.
Every business is looking to increase profits without dramatically increasing risk. Applied Tech provides a fully outsourced technology solution, TechCare Complete, that can provide expertise to address your complete technology needs. If you are not ready to make that kind of change, we also offer TechCare Co-Managed that provides all the tools and expertise to augment your IT team’s needs. Contact us and we can talk more about how one of these solutions can benefit your organization.
For more details about IT Managed Services, see our info page.