IT is integral to the way people work. It’s so vital that Australian organisations today purchase the best hardware and software money can buy to stay ahead of the curve. The problem is, managing technology systems requires a unique set of skills that many business owners lack.
Rather than handling technology all by yourself, a better option is to work with a managed IT services provider (MSP). These companies are essentially an outsourced IT department that handles all system maintenance duties.
Relying on an MSP is a big decision, so here are seven signs that indicate you should.
1. Recurring IT problems
Traditionally, IT support services take a break/fix approach: companies pay an IT technician to come and fix computer issues as they occur. The problem with this approach, though, is that the same issues tend to recur.
Break/fix technicians are only called in to fix the issue, not the underlying problem. That’s akin to doctors treating the symptom rather than the cause. Also, since break/fix technicians make their money per job, they rely on repeat business to turn a profit. They’re not incentivised to make sure things stay fixed.
That’s why if you’re experiencing the same hiccups after being serviced by traditional IT support, opt for an MSP instead. Unlike break/fix technicians, MSPs are incentivised to find and address the source of your IT problems. They also perform regular checkups to ensure the same issues never happen again.
2. Network downtime
Frequent network downtime is often the result of overlooked issues in-house IT departments fail to fix. This could be anything from misconfigured systems to employee errors to poor preparation for natural disasters. Without a well-coordinated team, costly downtime incidents will continue to occur.
Working with an MSP mitigates these risks because you get a team of support engineers watching over your IT 24/7. By proactively monitoring your networks, they can detect and resolve issues well before they lead to downtime. What’s more, the best MSPs back up your systems regularly to keep your business operational in case of a disaster.
3. Poor cybersecurity posture
If your business is prone to cyberattacks and data breaches, you need an MSP that specialises in cybersecurity. Such companies evaluate the strength of your current security frameworks, and provide recommendations on strengthening it. For instance, if phishing scams are the largest source of data breaches, the MSP may recommend multifactor authentication (MFA) and cybersecurity training.
Beyond recommendations, first-rate MSPs offer multiple layers of protection to keep all threats at bay. This includes intrusion prevention systems, anti-malware software, network firewalls, and advanced encryption protocols. Support engineers can also install and configure these protections to ensure the safety of your digital assets.
4. Inefficient systems
Slow legacy software and decade-old hardware are clear signs that you should work with an MSP. These IT companies take the time to learn about your company’s objectives and assess your current infrastructure. Based on their findings, they’ll then determine which services and solutions are necessary to give your business a competitive edge.
MSPs offer a plethora of advanced, high-performance solutions that can be customised to fit your needs and budget. They can migrate your systems to the cloud where you can access feature-rich solutions like Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Some providers also procure advanced computers, install mobile device management systems, and even develop custom software.
5. Massive IT costs
Managing IT systems can be an expensive endeavour. Costs come in the form of patch management, network configurations, data backups, cybersecurity, cloud implementation, and system maintenance. Don’t forget that if you rely on break/fix technicians, you’ll have to pay even more money every time your tech breaks, too. This means month-to-month IT costs are highly unpredictable, leading to higher overheads.
Switching to a master MSP guarantees reduced costs and easier budgeting. For a flat monthly subscription fee, you get unlimited IT support services. These services cover everything from troubleshooting and data backups to patch management and network monitoring.
6. Understaffed in-house teams
One-man IT departments make sense for small businesses with less than 10 computers, but they can only do so much. When your business grows, the time that the sole IT technician can dedicate to each user is spread thin. Plus, no matter how capable they are, they can’t be experts in every aspect of IT. System administrators need training to learn new trends and technologies — and that’s time they don’t have.
MSPs employ dozens of support engineers who specialise in different facets of IT, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity. This allows them to make up for any of your IT staff’s shortcomings. Best of all, a reliable MSP can scale their services to match your growing business. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 computers or 100, MSPs can work as an extension of your IT department.
7. IT management affecting work
Running a business often requires you to wear many hats. On any given day, you could be in charge of growth strategies, hiring, and even maintaining IT systems. However, if technology is getting in the way of running your business, you definitely need an MSP.
MSPs take all the technical and tedious work associated with managing IT out of your hands. Tasks like software patching, data backup, cybersecurity, and cloud migrations are facilitated by a team of support engineers, not your staff. This way, you and your employees are freed up to focus on driving the business forward.
If you’re looking for an MSP to take charge of your technology, start with Empower IT. We’re a leading MSP that has served Australian businesses for over 15 years. Give us a call today to get unparalleled managed IT services.