IT used to be a fairly simple equation. Managed IT services just weren’t necessary for most businesses to run. In fact, until the early 2000s, a lot of technology was still serial-based. For example, if you were a club, casino, or even retail business, your point of sales system would have a serial connection. This just isn’t the case anymore.
Larger-scale businesses are more likely to be familiar with managed IT services, but they’re not the only ones who need it. Not by a long shot. A functioning business at any scale really does warrant a dedicated team to monitor their backup systems. And as technological infrastructure becomes more and more interconnected, it’s become increasingly important to make sure your data is protected, whether you’re a big fish or a tadpole.
But not every business can afford to focus on IT. So, what can you do to stay safe?
Managed IT for both Data Security and Cyber Security Risk Management
Hiring individual members to build an IT team from scratch can obviously be a headache. That’s where managed IT comes in.
See, a business like Facebook or Google won’t need to go outside of their own staff for this. But what about the little guys? Just because you aren’t tech-focused doesn’t mean you’re not tech-enabled. In other words, technology enables your business to run, so you’re vulnerable to the same cyber threats as anyone else.
As we mentioned earlier, integration has its pros and cons. Cloud-based solutions are on the rise, and that’s great, because it means you can access your applications anywhere. But it also creates more opportunities for cyber criminals to attack you where you keep your data.
When everything is integrated, one breach can mean all of your systems becoming vulnerable. There is highly malicious ransomware out there that can destroy your network within hours and even cause you to go out of business.
“Break/Fix” IT vs Managed IT
The break/fix approach is basically what we call it when you wait for problems to arise and then worry about troubleshooting them. Managed IT, on the other hand, can help you avoid those problems altogether.
If you wait until something goes wrong and then call in the experts to fix it, frankly, that may be too late. It’s always, always better to have someone who is dedicated to regularly monitoring your IT systems.
Managed IT essentially means having a dedicated team. Think of it as feeding your business IT system a healthy diet rather than going to a doctor and buying more medicine every time it gets sick.
The break/fix approach in a nutshell:
- Downtime is a huge issue when IT services are only provided on an as-needed basis. It means that whenever something is broken, you have to call in a repairman to take care of it before you can move forward. In the mean time, you’re totally stuck.
- Unpredictable costs. Obviously, you’re hoping nothing goes wrong—but no technology is perfect. You can’t possibly budget accurately for when things are going to break.
- Temporary solutions. Your IT service provider relies on getting paid when things go wrong for you, which creates a cyclical scenario. They’re more likely to just meet the minimum requirements of a “fix” every time an issue pops up. This basically guarantees that the repairman has to come out again in the future.
- Other income loss: when clients can’t access your services, you stand to lose money (or even customers).
- Extra costs. You’ll be charged for things you could have done yourself if you had known the solution in advance.
- Smaller knowledge base. An individual technician might be skilled, but the skill set offered by a specialised team of IT staff is invaluable.
- Surprise issues. The burden will be on you to notice when something is wrong before it gets worse. A hard drive could be failing inside of a mission-critical computer. Do you trust yourself to be able to catch that and call in help before it dies?
Managed IT services in a nutshell:
- Catch problems before they occur. Following the example above, a managed IT team will replace the computer and fix the hard drive before anything disastrous happens (like loss of data).
- Permanent solutions. A managed services provider offers holistic IT support. You may have proactive monitoring and maintenance done remotely, or have face-to-face, onsite visits from IT staff who will look after your business. Essentially, they handle all of it for you on a regular basis, and their job is to optimize everything—not just walk away from it at the end of the day.
- No surprise expenditures. It’s a fixed-price solution wherein all costs can be predicted and prepared for ahead of time.
- No income loss.
- No unforeseen charges for basic fixes like restarting your computer, fixing your mouse, or reinstalling drivers.
- Team skill set means more knowledge than individual IT technician.
Club IT also offers managed IT services
Remediation is always more expensive than prevention. Although IT can be expensive, it shouldn’t be if you plan properly for it. Because the reality is that every time you mitigate against a system security problem, you’re set to save hundreds or thousands of dollars. That’s just the nature of technology.
For these reasons, Club IT provides 24/7 monitoring and proactive maintenance to help businesses respond quickly to issues. How we resolve those issues is pretty straightforward. Any time a server goes offline, a computer gets a virus, or a hard drive starts to fail, we get the notification right away. Then, we can fix it for you before the problem grows into something really bad.
Our work goes well beyond applying band-aids. We like to optimize our clients’ entire IT infrastructure. So we’ll make sure your performance is up to spec, your backups are working, and your antivirus software is functioning properly. Additionally, we’ll integrate a help desk with your business email for quick help around the clock.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but you can’t afford not to have managed IT for your business. It’s cheaper even than having your own in-house IT, and it’s certainly going to save you money if you’ve been working with no IT team at all. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you think you might be in need of a managed services provider!