Three Indicators You Should Consider IT Managed Services
by Elaine Evans, on Jun 21, 2019 3:55:29 PM
The traditional business structure used to include some form of IT -- a systems administrator, internal help desk support, or an IT Director. However, many companies are now opting to use “out-of-house” IT services (aka Managed Services) to either completely handle their IT or to supplement their IT tactics (aka Co-Managed Services).
But why have external IT providers become increasingly popular? Because for many businesses and their owners, it makes more sense, saves them time and more money than trying to set up, train staff and manage their own IT.
For example, when I was younger, I did my own taxes every year. Years later, I decided to hire a professional tax accountant and never looked back. Why?
- My finances had become more complex so I needed help.
- They were experts and could do it better.
- I could afford it.
Still, knowing when to hire, train or supplement via outside resources is challenging. Below are three common indicators that you should start investigating using outside resources.
1. You (or someone else) are doing it when it’s not "your job.”
Every small business has people who wear multiple hats, so recognizing when it’s time to hire or bring on additional resources can be tough. Prioritizing these decisions will prevent your business from establishing troubling IT practices that are harmful and will progressively become harder to fix like:
- Employees sharing passwords
- Everyone using the free version of Dropbox and storing company data on it
- Not enabling redundant backups
- Users saving important files on their desktop instead of the cloud or server
Let's say, your star developer is probably able to help solve a few people’s Microsoft Office or reboot their Mac. However, people may not want to bother said developer since they've already got a lot on their plate. So employees may end up wasting time and spinning their wheels to avoid creating an inconvenient situation. Or your Office Coordinator might have set up new computers in the past but isn’t adequately trained on which System Preferences should be set up to keep a computer secure.
At what point do these distractions and time commitments become more detrimental than paying for a dedicated resource?
2. You are or have IT professionals on staff, but that’s not something you or they know well...
Even when you are or have dedicated IT professionals in your business, keeping up with changes, updates, and standards can be a challenge across the array of platforms that IT engages with on a daily basis:
- Cloud systems
- Network administration
- Various operating systems
- Software applications
- ...and more!
The time and money to maintain trainings and certifications for these areas is costly and therefore, usually unmanageable for small to medium businesses or even large companies. Often times internal IT departments are given initiatives that fall outside of their comfort zone and are not equipped with the resources needed to execute them properly.
For instance, many large organizations have a strong Windows acumen on their IT team, but have less experience deploying and managing Apple OS. Or, employing a strong Network Administrator is not in the cards, yet your business relies heavily on cloud file sharing, collaboration, and VOIP services. For areas that fall beyond your team’s expertise, you can use out IT help for ongoing Managed Services or for help with a single project like:
- Setting up a new network
- Migrating email (G Suite or Office 365)
- Deploying management software
- Enrolling existing computers in DEP or VPP
3. You need to make your vision a reality.
Many companies have their senior leadership structured to allow for strategic IT decisions to be made, but they don’t always have the workforce to execute those decisions. You may need help with any of the following:
- Relief from triaging your team’s day to day issues
- Help setting up new hire SaaS accounts and computers
- Enforcing hard drive encryption
- Requiring a password to be on Macs
But how do you accomplish these things? You could do a little research and see that using an EMM or MDM tool will allow you to facilitate this, but you don’t have the time to learn and manage one of these tools.
These are areas where having an external IT provider can help get you the breadth of services you need while also working alongside you as a partner to not only help guide strategy, but also be “boots on the ground” to execute daily tasks.
Risks and Benefits
The risk in not prioritizing your need to bring in IT Professionals only gets worse the longer you put it off. IT is responsible for securing your network and endpoints, troubleshooting IT problems, and optimizing hardware and software used to run the entire business; it touches almost everyone and everything in your company.
By hiring a Managed Services provider you get:
- A dedicated IT resource and partner
- Access to a large pool of knowledge around multiple areas of IT
- Up to date certifications to assist with your strategy and growth
- The ability to help your business reactively (a Help Desk) and proactively (strategic partner)
- To weigh the cost against hiring your own person (think: vacation time, benefits, management, overhead, etc.)
There is a cost associated any way you look at it. You are either paying for things like lost time, company data, or a monthly fee. No matter how you run your business, you simply want to understand which way is going to cost you the least.
Springboard IT has been providing Professional and Managed Services to Philadelphia and beyond to Apple-centric businesses and schools for over ten years.