It can be difficult to know when its the right time to involve a managed IT service provider since most of your budget will be pumped into things like marketing, staff costs and your day to day operations. This is probably why most businesses find that their IT capabilities are generally always playing catch up to their actual needs.
As you grow as a business there will always be tell-tale signs that you’d benefit from engaging with some level of external IT support. If any of the following sounds familiar, it may be the time for you to investigate whether receiving IT support may enable your business to run more effectively.
Every time a device breaks your business stops
When you start out it’s quite likely that your business consists of you, a phone and a laptop. You can happily run your operation with just these three things for quite a while as long as your devices remain faithful and don’t break.
When all of your data, software and emails live locally on a single device this leaves your business extremely vulnerable and this only gets worse when you begin employing more people that store their data on individual devices too.
Engaging an IT support provider means you have the peace of mind knowing that someone else is responsible for replacing or fixing your equipment. Typically timescales and responsibilities can be agreed via an service level agreement. No longer does a broken laptop prevent you or your colleagues from doing their jobs.
You use USB sticks and hard drives to store your business data
Many small businesses and charities get by with managing their data on individual USB sticks or external hard drives. Although cheap and quite convenient early on, this method of storing your valuable business data is not secure and leaves you open to a number of risks.
USB sticks are easily lost and stolen. Without a backup, all of your data is lost. If your storage devices are not encrypted then that’s another vulnerability. Alongside these possibilities, actually managing your data and tracking revisions is a nightmare if multiple people require access.
Moving away from using USB sticks and on to the cloud allows you to access your data from any where in the world. As well as having 24/7 access, your data is also backed up automatically, all revisions are tracked and permissions can be assigned so that specific colleagues and teams have access to what they need.
An IT support provider is really well placed to guide you on the configuration and setup of a cloud platform. We’re no different, Mansys are specialists in implementing cloud software solutions like Office 365, Dynamics and Sharepoint.
You have no plan if something goes wrong
A thorough and comprehensive disaster recovery policy and procedure is something all businesses should plan as soon as possible. It’s easy to forget about things like this when you first start the business and then over time it becomes an “it won’t happen to me” concept.
Unfortunately in life bad things do happen and if you have no safety nets in place things like data losses can have a significant impact on your business. A robust backup solution and process in place can save you the cost, stress and difficulties that arise when things go wrong. There are a range of things that you can do to minimise any risks as well as respond if things do go wrong and any good managed service provider will get to know your specific circumstances and find the best possible solution.
You have no antivirus that’s up to date
Ignoring all of the more complex ways that you can protect yourself from threats online, your very basic first line defence is up to date anti virus software. If you haven’t given the responsibility of organising anti virus software to one of your team (or you have but they haven’t got the time), then it’s almost a guarantee that your coverage is patchy and your licenses are out of date. You should also ensure that all of your browsers and other software is up to date.
A benefit of working with an IT support provider is that all of these little and annoying jobs (but essential jobs) are no longer your responsibility.
Slow and patchy internet access frustrates you often
A good internet speed and reliable connection should be a basic human right. When at home a slow speed can be annoying but when this extends into your work it can have a seriously detrimental impact on your productivity. The last way you want to spend your time is constantly restarting your router or sitting patiently whilst you wait to come back online.
Fortunately one of the first things a managed IT support provider will do is secure you a good internet speed since it is so vital to a businesses operations. Whether this is finding you a better provider/line or mapping your premises to iron out any internet black spots, you’ll find it a lot less stressful knowing that you have external support to deal with any internet related issues.
Your staff are unhappy
The biggest complaint of staff in most organisations is not about their salaries but about their internet speed and devices. There’s nothing worse than not being able to print a document before a meeting or patchy internet connectivity.
Having reliable external IT support actually increases your staff motivation and morale!
If any of these signs sound familiar it may be time to seek a little external support around your IT and network. We’ve helped many businesses get their IT operations in order and fit to scale and we’d love to have a chat about your circumstances. Get in touch!
23rd February 2024
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