Increasingly, small businesses rely on their IT infrastructure for almost all tasks and operations.
Whether it is processing online orders, communicating with customers, generating new leads, handling complaints, advertising new products, or accessing information on the go, you need to know that your IT systems are up and running at all times.
However, small businesses often also depend on limited expenditure, which means keeping staff and operating space to a minimum. In this article, we take a closer look at the need for IT support, and explain why outsourcing responsibility for this to a managed service provider (MSP) can be preferable to employing a full-time in-house team.
Small businesses must contend with various IT security threats, ranging from the rise of targeted cyber attacks, to the risks associated with having remote workers. For this reason, small business IT support can be vital in protecting data, preventing disruption, and ensuring you are equipped to combat threats.
The cyber security services a small business may gain from working with an MSP include cyber security awareness training, which can help to minimise human error and protect against problems like phishing and other social engineering attacks. A good MSP will also be able to identify areas of vulnerability and help you to address them.
It has never been more important to have continuous access to business data, and to be able to access important information from anywhere. Moreover, companies rely on high levels of productivity, which means disruptions like viruses, equipment failures and wi-fi problems can cause real harm. Again, high-quality IT support can minimise this.
As an article written for Business Matters rightly points out, every employee in your business has better things to be doing than trying to fix technical problems with a computer, or trying to find out why a router won't work. The right MSP will be able to handle things like this, and provide equipment leasing, so that you can focus on work at all times.
For small businesses, it is vital to minimise unnecessary expenses, and outsourcing IT support to a managed service provider can be one of the best ways to do this. After all, the alternative is an in-house IT team, meaning you will need to pay them a salary, invest in training courses, offer employee benefits and incur recruitment costs.
As an article written for Engage 365 explains, depending on your IT needs, an in-house team may need to include up to a dozen people. By outsourcing instead, you can gain access to a wide range of IT experts, covering a range of IT needs, as and when you need them. At the same time, many of the associated costs are reduced or eliminated.
Unfortunately, some problems cannot be prevented, and whether it is a site failure caused by flooding, or data loss caused by a cyber attack, you need to bounce back quickly. Recovery is one of the fundamentals of security, and this means having a robust contingency plan in place, as well as the means to actually enact that plan if things do go wrong.
To have an adequate recovery plan in place, you are likely to need small business IT support in the form of regular data back up, cloud hosting services and both on-site and off-site recovery services. Furthermore, you are likely to need the ability to access replacement equipment, as well as image-based backup services.
Finally, IT technology is constantly evolving, with new software, hardware, security protocols and ways of doing business emerging all the time. In the majority of cases, business leaders and going to be slower to adapt to these changes than experts in the field, and those experts are also going to be better equipped to implement change.
Working with a managed service provider, you can benefit from their insights. For instance, they will often be able to recommend new technology, software or hardware, and when new trends emerge, they will be able to help you keep your finger on the pulse. This has the added benefit of inspiring confidence in your customers and business partners.
The Last Word
The realities of the modern world mean that most small businesses rely on IT systems to function. However, this brings with it concerns about cyber security and equipment reliability. Put simply, if a business cannot continuously access its systems, protect itself against malicious threats and recover from disaster, it can be fatal.
For these reasons, it is advisable for leaders to seek out professional small business IT support from a reliable provider. In addition to taking care of these core concerns, a high-quality MSP will also be able to make recommendations and help you to adapt as technology changes, so that you are never caught off guard or required to play catch-up.