Running a small to medium business (SMB) comes with plenty of challenges, and time and money management are always prominent among them.
At the same time, every modern business relies on technology (for banking, transactions, customer management, payroll, promotional activity and more), so having the right IT infrastructure and solutions in place is crucial.
As an SMB, you undoubtedly want the sorts of products and solutions available to enterprise counterparts that may have been cost prohibitive in the past. The good news is that advances in technologies, such as the cloud and its accompanying storage and security solutions, have opened up a world of possibilities for operations – especially those that previously relied on an employee with some IT knowledge as their default IT team, or pay-by-the-hour consultants to handle problems and emergencies.
A range of benefits
This is where managed service providers (MSPs) come into the equation. But before considering what an MSP can do for you, you need to think about how you use IT, what else you could be doing and how much bang you are currently getting for your buck.
Managed solutions offer the most up-to-date tech tools and solutions for your business at a fraction of what they used to cost.
Managed solutions offer the most up-to-date tech tools and solutions for your business at a fraction of what they used to cost. Better still, an MSP can help streamline internal systems and procedures, and improve your customer experience to boot. In fact, the possibilities when partnering with a reputable MSP are endless – up-to-date and fully customized software, automation, greater productivity, beefed-up security and 24/7 support are just the start.
Additionally, a good MSP can constantly monitor your IT infrastructure and deliver the best solutions for your business, providing regular updates as well as emergency patches to counter just-discovered threats and vulnerabilities. This is becoming increasingly important given technology’s rapid pace of change.
A good MSP can constantly monitor your IT infrastructure and deliver the best solutions for your business.
Once your technology is outsourced, you can get on with running your business, and engaging an MSP will also give you access to its team of dedicated technical experts – saving you the considerable cost of hiring such a team directly.
Security is naturally of paramount importance, and MSPs can provide cloud solutions, for example, with state-of-the-art security. Look for providers offering a mix of on-premises and off-site storage and data solutions to maximize workflow and general office efficiency.
Choosing the right MSP
Having made the decision to go down the MSP path, you’ll want one with a proven track record in the SMB space. This will give you confidence that it’ll be attuned to your unique business needs.
The increasingly mobile nature of work means you’ll want an MSP that can support your business anytime, anywhere with the right mixture of cloud, data, mobility and security solutions.
Ideally, they’re the ones that ask the right questions about your business, what your IT objectives are and how they can best implement them as seamlessly and cost-effectively as possible.
Additionally, they should be able to advise you on the best course of action regarding hardware and software investment, and whether it’s more efficient to use solutions such as SaaS (software as a service) rather than purchasing hardware and software directly.
Whoever you choose, they should be able to show you effective ways to streamline your IT infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner to ensure productivity gains at the end of the day. In other words, they should be a good cultural fit for your organization, dedicated to helping you achieve your strategic goals and with the tools, time and talent to get you there.