Retailers increasingly face a fast-changing market and the need for more sophisticated and complex IT systems. The old trend was to have your own in-house IT team manage the network and hardware.
However, these days, IT systems and infrastructure are becoming ever more complicated. With the increase in complexity comes an increase in the cost of managing the network due to the ever-changing technology needed to run IT systems. This also leads to increased costs when it comes to obtaining, training and keeping talented IT staff to keep the system up and running.
A newer trend has started which sees retailers beginning to hire experienced managed service providers (MSPs) who specialize in managed IT services for retail businesses. A managed service provider (MSP) takes on the daily tasks faced by many retailers, which include monitoring the network & hardware, keeping the system updated, etc. As a result, retailers that work with an MSP can save money and stay up-to-the-minute with the latest technology and PCI compliance requirements, and more. Retailers can then focus on the daily tasks for running their businesses.
Reasons for Retailers to Outsource IT Management
Here are some of the top reasons for retailers to outsource their IT management:
1). Proactive support: managed IT services take a more proactive approach to supporting a retailer’s network. The MSP continuously monitors the company’s network in order to prevent problems before the happen. The result is that a retail business will less downtime and increase their productivity at the same time.
2). Increase productivity & uptime: an MSP will ensure your network and infrastructure are stable, which leads to an increase in employee productivity and system uptime. If the staff encounter a problem, all they have to do is call the service provider for assistance.
3). Improve network security: a managed services provider will ensure your system hardware and software are kept up to date with patches and other security measures. This results in a more secure system, with fewer exposures to security threats and other vulnerabilities.
4). Faster recovery from disasters: managed IT service providers also provide recovery and backup solutions, which will get your business back up and running in case of a disaster with the network. Your data will be safe, secure and ready when you need it.
If your store suffers an outage, the MSP will be able to step in and get your network back up and running quickly with the data they’ve stored for you. Your company will be back up and running, with only minimal revenue loss and downtime.
5). Future-proof technology: with an MSP, you’ll have faster access to new technology faster, so your company will stay ahead of the curve. You’ll have upgrades and updates faster because MSPs use the best tech and equipment to make sure they can offer the best solutions. You’ll save money while enjoying up-to-the-minute technology to run your store.
6). Ensure PCI compliance: an MSP experienced with retail businesses will have the knowledge necessary to make sure your company is PCI compliant. They’ll have the tools and resources available, too, to keep your network and customer data safe at all times. The MSP will use assessment tools and vulnerability scans to identify any issues with the network. You won’t have to worry about staying in compliance when using an MSP.
7). POS or POP: many stores use a Point of Sale (POS) or Point of Purchase (POP) system to manage transactions. Today, store payment systems are connected directly to the cash register, which is usually equipped with a touchscreen, locked cash box, receipt printer and a card reader.
These systems use a combination of software and hardware to manage transactions. In addition, POS & POP systems integrate with the rest of the company’s system to manage day-to-day tasks. This may include inventory control, HR, scheduling and more.
These systems are becoming more complex as technology continues to evolve. An MSP can help keep your business stay ahead of the curve, while ensuring your system is running smoothly and efficiently at all times.
8). 24/7 support: help is available 24/7, giving you complete support every day, all day. All your employees need to do is make a phone call if something goes wrong. The managed IT service company will ensure your employees have constant support when and where they need it. You won’t have to worry about trying to contact help in the middle of the night if systems go down. Just make a phone call and depending on the problem, chances are the MSP will have you back and running very quickly.
9). Predictable costs: you’ll find that managed IT services are cost-effective in all areas, including your budget. With one monthly payment, all your IT services will be taken care of. You won’t have to worry about unexpected payments popping up during those slow times of the year, when revenues are lower.
Managed Services are Necessary for a Modern Retailer
As you can see, there are many benefits to outsourcing IT services to a managed IT services provider that specialises in supporting retailer’s needs. With an MSP, you can count on your company’s infrastructure to experience more uptime, keeping employees productive. You’ll also find improved security when it comes to your retail data, which includes customers personal details.
In addition, your business will be able to scale when needed. If you experience a time of rapid growth, an MSP can ensure your infrastructure expands with your business. You’ll have the flexibility to grow when it’s needed.
Your retail company will also be future oriented by staying ahead of the technology curve. An MSP will keep you head of the game when it comes to your network. And you’ll be able to easily make sure you stay PCI compliant.
An MSP will also be on top of issues before they become major problems all day every day. You can count on support when you need it. And if you experience an emergency, the MSP will have you back up and running as soon as possible from the date they have stored for you.
If you’re interested in trusted, experienced managed IT services for retailers, just give us a call. We’d love to talk with you.
6th February 2020
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