As much as small businesses would like to do everything they can for the business to prosper, often times they lack the resources to do so with their IT. With Austin, Texas becoming a very competitive business environment, IT has become quite an essential part of a businesses’ survival. However, small businesses lack the funds to employ an IT department. Fortunately, IT management services is an emerging service that seeks to solve small businesses’ IT problems. Small business owners face continuous pressure to conduct business more competently, as well as enhance employees’ productivity. In addition, they have to maintain an effective cost of production.
Checkout our post on why small businesses should consider IT outsourcing.
With such challenges in place, difficulties of dealing with emerging technology are frustrating to businesses. It becomes challenging for a small business to implement new technology and it may result to day-to-day operational difficulties. Computers are prone to virus, spam, and other security threats while email and server malfunctions resulting to idle time for employees. With such small interruptions as well as network downtime adding up, the business’ revenue is affected greatly. It may be concluded that most small businesses or companies fail to experience the best performance ever possible from their information technology applications.
Poor handling of the IT infrastructure is frequently slowing down the growth of businesses. Most small businesses are stuck somewhere making attempts to find best solutions for technological problems. This interrupts their focus on activities that generate revenue. It is becoming more crucial to come up with a technology management ways that are cost effective now that reliance on IT systems among small companies is growing. Companies that are growth oriented require an IT infrastructure that is well organized so that instead of focusing on solving information technology failures they can enhance production, creating more revenue and expanding the business. IT departments are not the best idea for small companies since only big companies can afford them. However, the growth of Managed IT Services is a great solution for small businesses’ IT problems.
What Are Managed IT Services
IT consulting firms and outside firms provide these services. Today, the number of IT resellers, vendors, and telecom carriers is growing. They provide managed services on the basis of remote, proactive company networks monitoring on a continuing basis with business owners being less involved. Managed service providers have consultants who specialize in small business support, computer security, and business applications. In general, such services are carried out from a remote location through the internet. However, practical and emergency services are offered whenever necessary. Services offered range from basic monitoring to entirely managed services. General day-to-day operations support, as well as on-demand assistance for any other key requirement, is as well provided by the IT consulting companies. The services are in most cases offered on a flat monthly rate or per user basis. However, this approach is far cheaper compared to having an IT department within the company.
Various types of Managed Services and their Benefits to a Business
- Remote Network Monitoring
Monitoring the network’s critical components such as firewalls and servers remotely is done by managed service providers. Troubleshooting of problems is done remotely by consultants. Automatic alerting systems enable resolving issues before they can considerably affect network performance. This reduces network downtime.
- Computer and Server Support
Company computer consistent monitoring and maintenance is necessary to enhance desktop performance. IT consultants provide various solutions to ensure proper functioning of computers as well as protection against the most current technology disasters and threats. In addition, they offer problem-solving services and prevention recommendations to avoid recurrence of problems. The solution also involves installation and administration of servers.
- Network Security
In most cases, hackers target mall business because it is easier for them to penetrate their networks. For this reason, small businesses are in greater need for network security than large companies even. IT consultants provide tools as well as practices, for instance, firewall management and spam management to ensure that the business is protected from hackers, spam, and viruses.
- Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Data backup is quite crucial and should never be overlooked. On the other hand, most small business never backup their data. With IT management services, copies of business files are stored regularly in an isolated backup facility over the internet. Such files remain secure within the off-site storage facility with no need for a tape of hardware. Online backup services and remote backup assists a business to avoid loss of data in case of a disaster.
- Custom Software Solutions
Information technology consulting firms recommend and offer custom designed software solutions with regard to each small business’ exclusive requirements. Contingent to needs and requirements of the project, information technology consultants assist businesses to determine what technology best suits the needs and requirements of the business.
- Technology Evaluation and Planning
Many owners of small businesses put in place an ad-hoc approach for dealing with technology, without a long-term plan for the needs brought about by future technology. IT consultants provide an inclusive computer as well as network assessment and evaluate the latest Information Technology set up to recommend potential changes to maximize the effectiveness of technology for a small business.
Other Benefits to be Considered by Small Businesses
Managed services offer affordable IT solutions- solutions for complex technology issues at a fixed monthly fee. They are compelled to be focused since they incur more costs due to repeated technology failures. This means a small business will access better services at a relatively lower cost.
Small businesses can access constantly available exterior technology experts who are in place to keep track on company’s networks and fix them. In addition, a small business can access tools and equipment they could not afford.
Managed services facilitate for increased revenue within small companies in various ways. For instance, technological issues are anticipated early and resolved before they create disruption. This completely cuts idle time for workers by ensuring improved hardware as well as network performance which reduces network downtime. This results to increased efficiency then to employee productivity and finally to improved return on investment.
Small businesses can enjoy reliable IT infrastructure monitored and maintained by professionals at fair prices. Managed IT services have made it possible for small businesses to access professional services that only big companies could afford earlier. Owners of small companies can now focus on productivity without worrying of IT failures or even solving the IT related problems by themselves. Small businesses should take advantage of these services now that high competition in business calls for advanced technology in order for a business to survive in the environment.