Partnering with a managed IT support provider can deliver growth and business opportunities by the boatload - but how do you know when your business is ready for an MSP? Here are 7 signs your business is ready for an IT partner and the change and growth it brings.
Running a business can feel like a treadmill of objectives to check off. For every one item checked off your to-do list 10 more appear. Because of the pace of modern business, it is easy to miss opportunities to save money, time and resources, with IT as no exception.
Just because everything works for what you need today doesn't mean that tomorrow shouldn't be better. For a business to grow tomorrow there must be change today. IT systems can be the make or break of any business in any sector. A properly managed, up-to-date IT infrastructure can unlock a business' potential.
"But how do I know if my business is ready?" I hear you ask, here are 7 signs you need to look out for in your business.
#1 - Working as a Remote Team is a Challenge
We all know the challenges of working remotely over the last 18 months. From dogs barking on an important call, internet dropouts and endless distractions as you try and find the balance of work and personal space in your home.
Those challenges are part-and-parcel with working from home and try as they may, no managed IT support will be able to stop your dog barking in the background of your meetings. What a good managed IT support partner can do is remotely onboard your colleagues to work effectively from home. Providing installation, configuration and set up of remote working must-have apps like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and any other business tools your people need. Getting a user onboarded when they join an organisation can make or break for their prosperity in the role you acquired them for. Don't let a bad experience or temperamental IT systems hinder your growth and comfort in the new role.
Working from home can feel lonely, isolated with no one to call on when there is a problem, be it IT related or other. Knowing that you can call on IT support night or day is a comforting asset to any user in a business.
Though we are now going back into offices, collaborating with colleagues face-to-face it is still important to keep in mind your business' working from home plan. If another lockdown were to happen - perish the thought - you need to know your business will work as effectively from home as they would be in the office. By having an MSP on board you know your IT systems will be covered in any eventuality.
#2 - Downtime is Becoming a Common Occurrence
Sometimes the evidence it is time for an IT support provider can be as blatant as IT systems dropping out regularly.
Do you ever find yourself losing time due to your internet dropping out, computer freezing? Though they're great opportunities to make a cup of tea or coffee they do cost money. The classic notion of "prevention is better than the cure" having an IT partner monitoring your systems proactively can prevent downtime, resolving issues before you even notice them. A mature IT support provider will provide you with the best IT solutions for your business, ensuring that your business is resilient to any technological challenges.
Providing the knowledge to get the best solution is half the battle. You need an IT partner that can provide the consultancy to recognise your needs and a team that can provide a smooth roll-out of key projects managed by PRINCE2 qualified staff utilising the power of Microsoft, HP and Dell certified engineers.
#3 - Spending Too Much on Break-Fix Providers
Break-fix IT support providers sound like a great idea for a fledgling business. IT support that only needs to be paid for when used? Sounds like a great backup should the worst happen. Ad-hoc solutions can get incredibly expensive if IT problems become more common.
It is natural for IT problems to become more frequent as a business grows. IT problems are a pain that is felt throughout a business. Don't let them be double the problem for the accountants. By choosing a managed service provider you will not only benefit from proactive monitoring meaning your business will experience fewer problems but your business will experience the benefit financially of clear, forecastable billing meaning you can keep the accountants on side and free up funds to drive growth in the operations of your business.
#4 - Facing More IT Problems Than You Can Handle
Chances are if you're reading this blog you are responsible for the IT systems of your business. It is also likely that you have other responsibilities besides IT management. Without a dedicated IT support resource - either an MSP or in-house support - there are only a finite number of IT problems a company can manage on their own.
Resetting a password here, installing software there... all seems easy at the moment. IT can be a complex beast. The larger the organisation the larger the IT problems. Don't let your business be bottlenecked by the capacity of your in-house IT support, be it a dedicated team or someone's side responsibility.
"We have a person in-house to deal with our IT problems, why would we need an MSP?" That is a fair question to ask. As mentioned before, the larger the business the larger the need for more complex IT systems and along with that more complex problems which can eclipse your in-house IT support team's knowledge or capacity. Free up your internal resources to focus on what they were hired to do and off-load the burden of IT support to a provider with over 400 years of knowledge at the disposal of your business needs.
#5 - No Cyber Security
Without a doubt, cyber security is the biggest threat to any business. It seems every day now we are seeing yet another business in the news falling victim to cybercrime. Did you know four in ten UK businesses report having any kind of cyber security breach in the last 12 months [Source gov.uk]
Having cyber security prevention systems and policies are a must in modern-day business. This means more than just anti-virus software. To properly protect your business a good place to start is pursuing Cyber Essentials Certification. Cyber Essentials is a certificate that shows your business is committed to the implementation and upkeep of basic cyber hygiene. Cyber Essentials is a National Cyber Security Centre scheme, backed by the government, to help protect businesses of any size from cybercrime by implementing and auditing cyber security systems and policies. To read more on what Cyber Essentials is and why it should be at the top of your to-do list find our resources here.
Though this is a sign to show that you need to invest in a Managed Service Provider, not all Managed Service Providers provide a cyber security offering. We are proud partners of the IASME Consortium, a group that provides certification to organisations to assess companies and provide Cyber Essentials Certificates. Make sure to look out for the Cyber Essentials Certification Body logo when weighing up the options on an MSP and ask about their cyber security offering.
#6 - IT Systems Are Out of Date
Nothing hinders a business' growth in the modern world more than out-of-date IT systems. Could your business exist without technology? Chances are the answer is no. If IT systems are so essential to your business' existence then keeping them up-to-date should be of paramount importance.
Do you know what IT systems you have and what versions they are on? Do you know what versions they should be on? Are there other options for your IT systems? These are all questions that you could be asking after reading our blog. Questions that you're right to ask but maybe you don't have the time or knowledge to explore them? You need a Managed IT Service Provider that can guide you and provide you with the latest, most cost-effective IT systems for your business.
Any good MSP should be monitoring your patching scores. What are patching scores? Patching scores are the levels to which your devices are updated with Microsoft or other vendor software updates. Poor patching levels can leave your business wide open to cyber-attacks. IT patching levels should be a keen KPI for any responsible modern business leader. Making sure that machines are up to date with their allocated patches also ensures it is running at its top capability. A machine out of date could run a lot slower than one fully up to date. Your MSP should be on top of pushing the latest patches to your estate's machines and providing you with regular patching scores so you can keep an eye on it yourself.
Keeping systems up to date can also involve the supply and installation of the latest hardware. This can mean the latest server infrastructure or cloud solution best suited for your business giving you the peace of mind your systems are running at their optimum and providing the best ROI. The saying goes "a worker is only as good as their tools." IT systems are no exception to this. Providing your staff with the latest hardware from laptops, mouse and keyboard to desk and mobile phone can improve the efficiency of their work incredibly.
#7 - Internal IT Isn't Working Out
You might be thinking "I have an internal IT team. Why do I need an MSP?" We work with many companies alongside or as a backup to their internal IT team. Having internal IT is great for any business. Keeping the lights on IT wise and fighting any problems that arise is a great option to have in your arsenal of personnel.
While it's all well and good having internal IT to fight common problems such as a password reset there and a broken mouse there. As a business grows it is natural for the complexity of the IT infrastructure, and the problems with the systems, to grow. It is easy for your internal resources to be eclipsed by the weight of an expanding business needs. Do your internal IT teams consider disaster recovery options, cyber security certification or any other mature business IT systems? An MSP is more than just IT support, it's an IT partner. Providing knowledge, insight and the latest solutions to provide your business with the room to grow and not be held back by out-of-date IT and practices.
Hiring an internal IT team has never been harder. Britain's employers are struggling with the worst staff shortages since the late 1990s. This shortage is caused by the two biggest business disruptions of the last decade, Brexit and COVID. While it has often been a rule of thumb that high-skilled jobs have been a safe pool of talent to pick from, furlough and other economic interruptions have caused a black hole of talent in high-skilled roles with IT being one of the most affected. Don't let HR have the headache of navigating the minefield of recruitment in IT. Free up HR resources by partnering with a Managed Service Provider.
- It's hard to notice when your business is ready for a managed service provider. It is often the culmination of multiple issues and inconveniences that give you indicators that you're ready for a change in your business' IT direction
- Recognising that your business needs an MSP is half the battle. Finding an MSP that is a good fit for your business is another. We have a great blog on the 6 Signs of a Great Managed Service Provider
- If you have recognised that your business is in need of an MSP, get in touch with Concise today on 01606 336 200 or fill in the form below. Our expert team are on hand to talk through your business' needs and provide you with the IT Support, Cyber Security and many other IT systems that are essential to modern business.
Fraser Baron-Moorhouse is Marketing Executive at Concise Technologies | Part of Air IT Group and has been with the company for over 6 years.