Our reliance on technology is ever increasing, especially within businesses. You might find yourself constantly checking emails, or using the internet for searches throughout your day but our reliance is much more advanced than that. We use systems to store documents in the cloud to allow for flexible working environments, systems for data management where your customer details are stored and retrieved, as well as systems for billing, record keeping and much more.
What is your businesses approach to your IT systems? Is your IT regularly managed to keep it running smoothly each day, or does this only occur when a problem actually appears?
All businesses are different and so may take a slightly different approach. However, if any IT system goes down, this is likely to have a ripple effect towards your employees’ work, and will impact productivity and profits in the longer-term.
This really emphasises the importance of looking after your IT systems so they are effectively managed and kept running at all times, with minimal downtime. You can achieve this through fully managed IT services. When an IT system is fully managed, it is run effectively to make sure everything works from day to day and any issues are solved quickly.
However, a big problem for businesses (especially small to medium sized companies) is that they may not have a dedicated IT manager who can look after the systems on a full time basis. If something goes wrong, there may not be anyone to help and so this is when downtime occurs. If this is the case, an outsourced managed service provider (MSP) is a common solution for many businesses.
A specialist MSP can help manage your IT system for you, so that you can focus on your business without having to worry about your systems, as everything will be taken care of.
What is the role of a MSP?
There are two key areas where a MSP can help your business:
- Fixing problems with your IT system.
- Maintaining and improving your IT system.
A MSP should not only be there to fix any problems if and when they occur, but should take a much more proactive approach. This means that they should be identifying problems before they become major issues. This is a much more efficient way of maintaining your systems and can save you money in the long-term.
With a MSP on board helping your business, you should see a speedier time to resolution, with a reduction in downtime, allowing your business to stay productive. This can therefore also help you to stay ahead of the competition.
However, there’s more to it than just managing your existing IT. We all want our systems to be faster, more flexible and more reliable, with all the latest features. A MSP should continually review your IT systems and look ahead to the future, as well as to new technology innovations that are available. New technology could help your business by improving processes and adding functionality that wasn’t previously possible. Having this business IT support can help make your workforce more productive, which can give you a competitive advantage.
If you would like more information on MSP’s, take a look at our ‘Starter Guide to IT Managed Services’.
How does an IT MSP fit within your business?
If you decide to use a managed service provider for your IT systems, make sure you know what you are looking for first. Take a look at this guide on ‘What to look for in an IT Managed Service Provider’ for some advice.
Once you have done that, make sure your MSP fits within your business. Your IT system is often an underlying feature of your company and therefore you need to make sure you are as open as possible with them. They need to not only know about how your existing systems work, but also about your business, your customers, your processes, your goals for the future and much more. An IT MSP should be like an extension of your workforce, with their focus on proactively assisting your long-term growth and profitability.