The technologies that exist today make it possible for your business to do more, faster and with less. Why, then, does your to-do list keep getting longer? It doesn't matter how many things you get ticked off, there is always something to add. As for those things that you keep pushing towards the bottom – unless there is a technology that can slow down time AND double the speed you can work, they might never see the light of day.
This is a conundrum that IT managers and directors up and down the country grapple with every day.
More accurately, it's a conundrum they grapple with whenever they have time between server crashes, queries from people who should know better, and generally holding everything together while trying to make small improvements whenever the opportunity arises.
The solution is to stop trying to figure out why you can't achieve what you want to achieve even though there are technologies that make it possible.
Instead, you need to enhance your internal IT department by hiring a managed IT provider, or MSP. Here are six ways a managed IT provider can help and improve your IT department.
1. Managing Configurations, Software Patches, and Security Updates
Changing the configuration of applications and systems is a common task for most IT departments. The problem is the time it takes to action a single request. That time is often taken up with research as you find out how to activate, change, or deactivate various features and functions.
An MSP will not only take on this responsibility, but they are also more likely to have the solution at their fingertips. This means you will get a faster resolution to the configuration change request, with everything tracked and marked off as completed.
A similar situation occurs with software patches and security updates. With the complex and piecemeal nature of the IT infrastructures that exist in most New York businesses, it is not possible to simply click update on a software patch or security update. Doing so could have a knock-on effect that can range from minor inconvenience to major problem.
Instead, a proper process needs to be followed that can include everything from risk assessing the patch or update to having a rollback plan. An MSP can take away the strain of this process.
2. Bringing Knowledge to the Table
In some respects, more efficiently managing the IT in your business is already within your capabilities. You know how to do some things, and for those that you don't… well, RTFM.
As you are involved in IT every day, you will know the reality is nowhere near as simple as this.
If only you had time to read the darn manual, right?
It's not even necessary, as an MSP can bring to the table the knowledge your business needs, delivering an immediate impact. This will instantly expand the base of knowledge that you can draw on to enhance the IT in your company.
In terms of knowledge, here is what an MSP can offer:
- A broad range of technical personnel, from technicians to engineers to project managers to product specialists
- Experience and expertise across multiple technologies, platforms, vendors, and applications
- Experience with a diverse range of clients across multiple industries
- Contacts with vendors to extend your knowledge base even further
- Processes and methodologies that have been tried and tested in situations similar to yours
In other words, an MSP provides you with an IT and technology knowledge base off the shelf.
That means your MSP's team will RTFM while you get on with more important tasks.
3. Robust, Time-Tested Solutions
This benefit was mentioned in the previous point, but it is worth exploring further given its scope and the scale of advantages it brings.
When you create a new configuration, there is an element of go-live and “hope it works.” You then endeavor to correct, improve, and update it as you go along.
None of this is necessary when you hire an MSP. They will have a library of battle-hardened, time-tested, and efficiency-driven configurations that are ready to use.
Like Batman grabbing another gadget from his utility belt, your MSP will be able to lift and implement a solution or configuration that they know works and will meet your requirements.
In addition, having ready-to-go solutions means your MSP can optimize your IT proactively, helping you get away from the resource-sapping break-and-fix approach.
4. Reducing Cybersecurity Risks
Cybersecurity is a big issue for businesses, and it is an issue that is only going to get bigger. It doesn't matter what you do or what industry you are in, as securing your digital assets and infrastructure is always essential. The size of your business is irrelevant, too – cybersecurity risks should be a top priority for all businesses.
Here's the problem – if there is one area of IT that is near impossible to deal with alongside everything else that a small IT team must deal with, it’s cybersecurity. The threat landscape changes too fast, and incidents happen on a daily basis.
What you need is the cybersecurity expertise and best practices of an MSP, as well as the software-based solutions the MSP can implement to harden security, detect unusual activity, and deal with active risks.
Whether you are in a highly regulated vertical or have an increasing compliance requirement, the role of IT is becoming more and more important. The world is going digital, so demonstrating and maintaining compliance now has a substantial digital component.
An MSP can help with your compliance responsibilities, configuring systems, developing standard operating procedures, and helping with the creation and maintenance of other compliance documentation. An MSP can also undertake many of the tasks required to ensure ongoing compliance, and they can provide support during regulatory audits.
6. Improving Response Times and Generally Having Your Back
An MSP can help ensure your IT department runs the way you want it to run, with fast response times, proactive maintenance, and the ability to scale and adapt as your business grows.
However, a good MSP is not just about ensuring IT runs smoothly, as enhancing your infrastructure, making improvements, and driving your business forward are also important.
You will be at the forefront of this transformation, providing the leadership your business requires. While doing so, you can have confidence that your MSP has your back and will provide the support you need when you need it.
This includes strategic IT support, roadmap development, creating digital transformation business cases, and more.
Augmenting, Not Replacing
The reality for most businesses is that functioning with just an internal IT department or just a managed IT provider is not possible. The best approach is to have both – an internal IT team fully aligned with the needs of the business and an MSP that can bring specialist expertise and processes.
As an IT manager, this means hiring an MSP on the basis of augmenting your existing team, freeing up your time to concentrate on adding value to the business. If this sounds like something you’d like to achieve, contact us here and we can talk about the best solution for you.