IT Managed Services
You’re a business owner and things are going well. Your customers are happy, your employees love their jobs, and your business is profitable and humming along. Congratulations! You’ve put in some long days and dealt with some tough problems to get here, so take a moment and celebrate your team’s accomplishments.
But increasingly, you’re getting questions about technology. The computers you bought a few years ago aren’t running so great, and your employees need help with them. Your accounting software is a few years old and needs an upgrade to keep up. You’re thinking it might be time to switch to a new customer relationship management system (or start using your first) to better track your current customers and reach out to new prospects. You’re getting emails about PCI compliance, but you’re not sure what the next step is. You’re getting a lot of email that looks a little off that’s actually trying to steal your confidential information. Some of your people have gotten a nasty virus that took them out of commission. That college grad in the office is telling you to move to the cloud, but you’re not exactly sure what that is or how to make it work for your business.
As your business grows, this list will grow, and it never ends. Technology is the lifeblood of business now, just as necessary as electricity, and it needs to be every bit as reliable. But technology is constantly changing, and it seems impossible to keep up with everything. What do you do?
Do you hire someone to handle your IT? What do they need to know to take care of your business? How much do those skills cost? That college grad knows computers pretty well, but they’re not getting their actual work done on time now, and they’re getting pushier about how to do things. Some of your other employees are grumbling.
What do you do?
Now is the time to consider getting help with your IT needs. This is where managed IT service providers can help you put your focus where it needs to be: on your business.
Here are five signs you should invest in IT support:
1. You have recurring or constant computer problems.
As machines, computers are unique in that software allows them to perform a tremendous variety of tasks. The trade-off for this incredible versatility is a high likelihood that they will have problems.
The good news is the internet allows software developers to make changes faster than ever before, including adding features and fixing problems. The bad news is that with everything constantly changing and updating, things can break faster than ever before, too. It takes a scientific mind to understand how computers work, but even more importantly, it’s something of an art to make them do a job. These skills take time and experience to build and master.
True IT professionals understand this mix of science and art and to make computers run smoothly and efficiently. Investing in professional IT support puts your focus back on your job and leaves it to dedicated professionals to turn the techno-mumbo-jumbo into a smooth operation.
2. You have questions about security and no clear answers.
Everything is connected to the internet in one way or another nowadays. We have the computers on our desks and in our backpacks, but we also have our phones, tablets, thermostats, lights, door locks, security cameras, and many other devices and appliances. With everything being connected comes great power, but the resulting responsibility is how to keep your company’s and your customer’s information safe.
But you already know this. The question is, how do you make it happen? You could go out and spend a lot of time making phone calls, scheduling demos, and trying to divine what solution (or solutions) would be best for you. And once that’s decided, you’re going to have to put it into action and make it work with everything you already have.
The alternative is to invest in an IT support company that has gone through this song and dance dozens (if not hundreds) of times, understands how these various solutions work, knows which ones are best for particular needs, and are capable of putting them into action quickly and smoothly. Don’t spin your wheels and try to invent it all over again.
3. You need upgrades and don’t know where to start.
Software updates are a part of our daily computer lives, whether you use your business applications on your computer, a mobile device, a web browser, or all of the above. Usually, updates are pretty straightforward. You get a prompt asking you to update, you click OK, and maybe the application restarts or the computer restarts, but within a few minutes you’re back up and running and everything looks and operates the same.
But occasionally, it’s not just an update you need: it’s an upgrade. Upgrades generally involve more than a few clicks, and sometimes they require you to upgrade your computer, your server, or your whole company network. All the hard work you’ve put into making your business run smoothly now stands at a bit of crossroads—you need to upgrade, but how do you keep it from impacting your day-to-day operations? The upgrade came with instructions and system requirements, but what does it all mean?
Luckily, this is just another day at the office for IT support companies. They read and translate things like this on a daily basis, and they will work with you to make sense of it and develop game plans that factor in all the moving parts required to make your next upgrade a success for your business.
4. Your business is growing and you need new solutions.
When you had a staff of five, things were easy. Everyone sat in the same room, and if you needed something, instead of an email you might have just walked over and talked to the person. Now, your staff is 25, and you still need more people. The new hires can’t access the files they need, other employees are complaining about everything running slow, and you and your management team can’t afford to stop the presses and fix everything all at once.
This is a crucial decision moment. You need someone to handle the technology equation, and you need to trust them, because their input in your company’s technology will have measurable impact on your company’s success. How do you hand off the reins of such an essential function to someone else? The natural answer is you want someone with experience to take charge, yet still listen and be ready to flex and adapt with your business plans and needs. You need a true IT partner.
A good IT services company is invested in your success and growth just as much as you are in their technical services and support. From lessons they’ve learned in other businesses they’ve supported, they can help you avoid the pitfalls of a particular solution and reap the full benefits of another. Good solutions make a good business better. Go with an experienced partner that’s focused on your success: IT will become less of a headache and more of an opportunity to succeed.
5. You keep on hearing about ‘The Cloud’ but you need guidance on how to use it.
Everywhere you read about technology, you keep reading about the cloud. You hear about how businesses are saving tons of money by moving to the cloud and changing recurring capital expenses into operational costs. Your workforce is on the go and always connected thanks to smartphones and cellular networks, and you wonder how your workflows might be more effective if you weren’t reliant on that one server back in the home office deciding to behave today. How do you get into the cloud, and how do you make the best use of it?
Managed IT service companies help customers answer these questions about their business workflows, technology expenses, and how to take full advantage of cloud-hosted platforms and software as a service. Experienced companies have helped transform numerous businesses from riding on the 5-year IT upgrade train to utilizing cloud solutions that make expensive and complicated hardware and software migrations a thing of the past. Whether you’re interested in what it is or how to get there, investing in an IT support partner will help you make the most out of your interests and investments in the cloud.
If you’re seeing one of the signs above, it’s time to consider investing in a managed IT service partner.