Information technology is essential for businesses of all sizes. Any business owner who’s suffered through a network outage or tried to keep customers happy while they dealt with a dead app server can attest to that. Large enterprises can manage this risk of service disruptions by investing in additional infrastructure. This is often not an option for small businesses, but thanks to recently developed networking tools they can now access these kinds of enterprise-level IT services through a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
There are a variety of managed IT service providers and packages available, but the defining feature is an active, remote management of your business’s IT systems through a subscription contract. Some MSPs allow you to use a portion of their enterprise infrastructure to run your business’s email, storage, or applications. Others will monitor and maintain your infrastructure with enterprise-grade network tools. Either way you receive enterprise-level IT tools and expertise, and you get proactive not just reactive management of your business’s technology. These features of MSPs can provide many benefits for small business owners.
Dealing with seasonal swings or unexpected market turns are challenges many small businesses face, but using an MSP’s infrastructure might allow them to better adapt to such changes. Rather than worrying about short term hirings or budgeting to expand your own infrastructure, MSPs allow you to quickly adjust subscriptions to the right amount of IT resources, either temporarily or permanently.
This also ensures the quality of your IT systems and the expertise of your IT staffing remain consistent. You don’t to worry about ‘make do’ hardware purchases or dubiously qualified temp staff.
Most MSPs offer their services through set subscription plans that keep your IT costs more predictable. Some small businesses try to get by on the break/fix model where they just wait for something to break before they pay to fix it. But over time dealing with such disruptions to your business is not cost-effective.
Even if your business retains its own IT infrastructure there is still considerable value in the active management provided by an MSP. Your provider’s network tools could notify them when your business is being targeted by hackers for example, and they can adjust security settings on the fly. The MSP model of IT service is essentially an insurance plan for your business’s technology. You pay a small amount over time to reduce the risk of that one big failure.
An industry survey (PDF) found that the median cost of IT outages was $3000/day in lost income for small businesses. Using an MSP’s management tools to address small issues before they spiral into big ones minimizes the chances of such disruptions.
Managing IT takes up business owners’ time even when things go right. The financial and administrative decisions surrounding IT infrastructure requires research, planning and consultations with vendors. Delegating this work to a reliable MSP through a service contract leaves business owners free to focus on core business priorities.
As you can see, using an IT managed service provider can make sense for many small businesses. They provide flexibility in operations and reliability in expenses.
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Boston HelpDesk is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks, and news. Contact us at (617) 848-9393 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on managed service providers and find out whether using one might be the right choice for your business.