Any Aussie who has spent time abroad knows how ridiculous some of the myths about our country are. For example, a couple myths Brits and Americans believe is that the national beer of Australia is Foster’s, and that we drink it here all the time. Additionally, many Europeans buy into the myth that kangaroos and koala bears roam our streets freely. And for 30 years now, people around the world still think all Australians look and talk like Paul Hogan.
As ridiculous as these myths may sound, they’re fairly harmless. The worst that could happen is having to take time out of your holiday to explain to someone that toilets do not flush backwards in Australia. But there are far more dangerous myths out there that can stand in the way of your company’s success.
The world of managed IT services in particular is full of individuals spreading myths that were debunked years ago. Nowadays everyone is seemingly an expert, and it can be difficult to discern fact from fiction. Business owners and IT decision makers continue to rely on their colleagues and mates for IT advice, which unfortunately has perpetuated some of these myths. While your mate may be great at offering tips when it comes to the footy, you should always listen to an expert when it comes to IT.
Empower IT has more than ten years of experience helping small- and mid-sized organisations improve their IT’s performance and reliability. As you might expect, over the years we have heard quite a few managed IT services myths, all of which were simply untrue. We have taken the time to debunk five of the most common myths that we’ve come across.
1.) Small businesses don’t need IT help
Many smaller companies buy into the idea that they do not need any IT support. They only have a handful of employees and do not see the value of hiring a managed services provider or in-house staff to handle this. The primary reason in most cases is that they see it as a luxury and not a necessity. Unfortunately, that idea is just as wrong as the myth that Mad Max is based on a true story.
There are two main reasons that an SME should have IT help of some kind: security, and business continuity. Australia’s small companies are now a target for cybercriminals and disgruntled employees who know full well that they have little to no IT security in place. And if a security threat doesn’t impede IT, a disaster will. According to a Symantec survey, the average Australian SME experiences nearly 15 hours of IT outages each year because of a disaster. This downtime can be quite costly, as we will explain below.
2.) Managed IT services are expensive
It’s easy to see where this myth comes from. You need to pay a managed services provider on a monthly basis. However, without one, you need to pay someone only when IT stops working. On the surface, this is true, but once you dig a little deeper you soon realise that costs involved go beyond these expenses.
A managed IT services provider works diligently behind the scenes, identifying and eliminating IT issues before they impact employee productivity. Without this happening, these small problems continue to grow and may end up shutting down IT systems completely. As an IDC for Acronis report found, the average hour of downtime costs an Australian SME $21,300. This means that a managed services provider who can prevent even one hour of downtime every two or three months is more cost-effective than no help at all. And this is only one way an IT service provider will save your business money each month.
3.) All managed service providers are the same
Are all restaurants the same? No, each one has different cuisine and areas of expertise. Some may have better customer service, whereas others may have more affordable food. It’s the same with managed IT services. Each one is different, and determining which is best for your business requires that you understand their differences. Searching for managed services in your area and picking the provider that simply pops up first is dangerous. Take your time, understand what each provider offers, and schedule an in-person consultation before making a decision.
4.) You don’t have to fire current IT personnel
Another common misconception when it comes to managed service providers is that hiring one means you have to make your in-house IT staff redundant. Believe it or not, hiring a managed services provider to supplement your current IT staff can help you create a more dynamic team that gives you the best of both worlds. Your in-house IT staff can provide employees with a personal touch when it comes to workstation setups, troubleshooting, and other day-to-day tasks.
Meanwhile, the managed services provider can monitor networks and systems remotely. This may be time-consuming and labour-intensive work that many in-house IT personnel can’t always handle while focusing on other tasks. Additionally, a managed IT services provider can take care of larger projects or other tasks that your current IT staff may not have the capabilities or expertise to handle.
5.) Managed service providers use geek speak and won’t understand my business
Yes, there was a time when managed IT services providers were technology-focused businesses who provided one-size-fits-all IT solutions regardless of what a company did. These days, the field is much different. Many managed services providers understand how companies in individual industries work and what they need from their IT systems.
This means your business will have IT services and support optimally designed to power your company. Moreover, a good IT provider will explain things to you in plain English and show you key performance indicators along with IT return on investment, ensuring you understand everything. It’s safe to say business-facing technology experts who understand the professional world have replaced the geek squad that once dominated IT.
Director of Empower IT, Salim Sukari, says, “Don’t let yourself fall for the many myths that surround managed IT services. Most of these are either based on out-of-date information or come from those who had a bad experience with their managed services provider. The best way to see if your business is a good fit for an IT provider is to schedule a consultation with one. This will help you get a better idea of just what they truly offer.”
Want to know what’s real and what’s a myth when it comes to managed IT services providers? Contact Empower IT for your free consultation. We’ll show you where your current IT is vulnerable and what can be done to protect it. Furthermore, our experts will identify key technologies and processes that can be integrated into your business to improve performance and your bottom line.