Small businesses looking to make systemic change to how they use and manage technology should consider managed services.
Small businesses often have it pretty hard. They have to content with bigger companies that have bigger budgets, and when most of the business world is touting technology is an essential resource for success, its hard to deny that small businesses are at a significant disadvantage. There are, however, ways that small businesses can get more from technology without breaking the bank – this is with managed services. We spoke to TechQuarters, a managed service provider and SharePoint provider based in London that has been working with small businesses for over 12 years. Based on their experience, they gave us their opinion as to why an increasing number of businesses are turning to managed services.
What Are Managed Services?
Managed services as a term is often used interchangeably with outsourced IT support, however this is a misattribution. These are two entirely separate things. Outsourced IT support is simply where a company relies on another company to fix their IT issues, whereas managed services is where a company’s entire IT estate is managed by a third party. Yes, this does involve IT support, but it also involves other disciplines – such as security, projects, software procurement and installation, etc.
Managed service providers are experts in all things technology, and typically have a large workforce that outstrips most small business’ own in-house IT departments. This means that small businesses can generally access a much higher standard of IT expertise working with a managed service provider, than relying on their own staff alone – MSPs often work with clients’ own in-house IT department.
Why Managed Services Can Replace Your IT Support…
Some businesses might not think they need managed services if they already have their own IT department. However, oftentimes IT departments are too busy with keeping everything ticking over, that they generally don’t have time to go the extra mile. Even worse, a small business IT department that is over-stretched (as is common) may become less efficient over time. Below are some examples of why managed services can present a better solution:
- Round-the-Clock Access – Managed service providers typically build teams that are able to provide 24/7 support for their customers. This is likely much more extensive than the average small business’ in-house helpdesk.
- Diverse Expertise – Managed service providers, in pursuit of providing the best possible service to customers, usually invest a lot of time in recruiting and training staff in a diverse range of technical disciplines. For example, TechQuarters have specialist SharePoint consultants, Azure Cloud Architects, and many other IT specialists.
- Cutting Edge Security – With security becoming one of the biggest priorities in the tech sector, managed service providers need to be experts in the latest cybersecurity developments.
- Proactive Monitoring – In addition to usually being able to provide 24/7 support for clients, MSPs implement proactive monitoring solutions to help detect IT issues as quickly as possible. This means that MSPs can help businesses minimize their downtime.
Other Benefits of Managed Services…
So, small businesses can in generally get much more diverse and comprehensive IT management from MSPs, compared with sticking with just an IT support department or services. But there are other benefits to the business, as well. As a provider of managed IT services London based small businesses have used since 2010, TechQuarters was able to tell us some of the best non-tech related benefits of managed services…
- Scalability – Businesses being able to quickly scale their operation up in response to growth – or even down in response to downsizing (or seasonal service demand) – can make them a lot more productive and agile. Managed services are typically highly scalable, so businesses can be sure their technology needs will always be met.
- Budgeting – In general, managed services are backed up by service level agreements and contracts, and are often also have a fixed rate. This means that businesses can get much more visibility into their IT budgets.