Meeting the technological needs of a small or mid-sized organization is a lot harder than it used to be. Temperamental printers haven’t gone away, but now they’re just one of many tech-centered trouble spots that tend to slow down productivity.
- Is our software fully updated?
- How can we resolve network connectivity problems?
- What is the best defense against malware and other cybersecurity risks?
These are only a few of the questions that today’s businesses and nonprofits must deal with on a daily basis. Their leaders often observe that the organization’s “time-saving” tools are taking up most of the time staff used to spend on actual work. When technology is draining resources instead of creating efficiency, it’s time to consider managed IT.
Managed IT services allow small and mid-sized organizations to access the same advanced technology solutions that their larger (and larger-budgeted) competitors utilize, evening the playing field and making it easier to achieve organizational goals. So how can you tell if managed IT might be right for your organization? Consider these signs that it’s time to make the switch.
- Inadequate performance. Slow network connections, inaccessible data and recurring technical problems aren’t just annoying; they’re cries for help. Your hardware, software and systems are begging for something, but it may be hard to tell what they need most. A qualified managed services provider (MSP) can look at the patterns and help you figure out the best strategy for improving performance and preventing future problems from occurring, whether that is more aggressive maintenance, upgrades of key components or an entirely new approach.
- Unpredictable or exorbitant costs. Who doesn’t love a large, unexpected bill? Any organization leader, that’s who. Managed IT helps business and nonprofit leaders plan for expenses and minimize costs. In addition to being a trained, certified expert, your MSP gives you access to insights that help limit what your organization spends while meeting evolving IT needs. By anticipating costs and budgeting for them over the contract period, you can avoid unpleasant surprises that negatively impact cash flow. And since MSPs can take advantage of economies of scale, your overall costs will probably be less than what you’re currently paying.
- Security concerns. How can you protect sensitive data? What’s the best way to prevent hacking and malware? Are you prepared to handle a system breach if it occurs? MSPs take security seriously, and they understand the latest threats as well as the most effective ways to avoid an incident. Managed IT can help you create a comprehensive security protocol, ensure compliance, identify and correct any vulnerabilities, and minimize cyber-risks of all types. If an event does occur, your MSP will recognize it immediately and bring specialized skills to get the organization up and running again safely and as quickly as possible.
- Absent or unclear IT strategy. Even when everything is working well, it’s important to have a clear IT strategy so you can get the greatest ROI from your technology expenditures. And when something isn’t performing as it should, you need to know whether it’s better to fix, replace or jettison the component in question – or the whole system. A good MSP saves money and increases organizational efficiency by staying on top of routine maintenance, helping you anticipate future needs and scale up as those needs change, and ensuring seamless integration of new hardware, software and systems.
- Demands that exceed in-house capacity. Your IT staff is overloaded. You have to bring in outside experts sometimes, and your organization occasionally cannot complete daily work because of IT glitches. Maybe there is no internal IT staff and others are trying to solve problems they’re not trained to deal with, or the organization is simply trying to use a system that worked once but no longer meets current needs. If any of these situations describe your organization, you’ve grown beyond your in-house IT capacity. Now it’s time to bring in an MSP to help you figure out a better approach and get you back to maximum productivity.
Meeting your organization’s IT needs takes commitment, ongoing training and a deep knowledge of the latest technologies and threats. Managed IT services could be a cost-efficient solution that provides the support you need to keep growing, rather than struggling with IT issues. If you think it might be time for your organization to make the move to managed IT, find out more by contacting the managed services experts at HBP today.