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Small and medium business owners have a lot to do. Because of this, it’s all too easy for IT to become an afterthought, rather than a top priority.
However, in today’s business environment, IT must always be at the forefront of SMB operations. Of course, many SMBs lack the time, knowledge, or resources to effectively manage their technology needs on their own. As Abigail B. Grunwald, president of Beartech Inc. As he explained in a recent interview, working with managed IT services can drastically transform the way an SME can use technology.
1. Enhanced data security
Malware attacks and phishing scams don’t just target large companies; in fact, 61 percent of SMEs reported experiencing at least one cyberattack in 2021, with 43% of all breaches affecting SMEs. These data breaches can be incredibly expensive, with the average cost per breach in the United States reaching $9.44 million in 2022.
“Managed IT is crucial to ensure that all of your network security systems are fully up to date,” says Grunwald. “Not only do you get 24/7 access to the latest cybersecurity and network monitoring tools from a team of experts to reduce the risk of a security incident, but you can also set up backups of data and a full-scale disaster recovery plan. This way, even if a breach were to occur, you could restore your data and resume normal operations sooner rather than later.”
2. Minimize network downtime
Cyber attacks are not the only problem that could result in network downtime. Software and hardware issues, network connectivity issues, and user errors can lead to situations where a business is unable to access crucial data or programs for an extended period of time. When 37 percent of SMBs report losing customers due to downtime, it’s clear this is something to be avoided at all costs.
With managed IT, the scope of these issues can be significantly limited. “Constant network monitoring means that when a problem occurs, someone works on it right away,” explains Grunwald.
“Managed IT can also help take preventative measures, such as ensuring all software is up to date with the latest bug fixes so your team doesn’t have to deal with service interruptions or extended downtime. Fast, reliable support will help your team be more productive because they won’t have to deal with lengthy technology outages that keep them from working.”
3. Scale your network
As your business grows, so will your technology needs. “This is an area where many companies struggle,” says Grunwald. “Even something as simple as not upgrading your cloud storage capabilities or upgrading your network equipment can result in a technology infrastructure that can’t keep up with the growing demands on the business and its employees. This can result in lost productivity and unexpected downtime when you suddenly find yourself needing to upgrade your system.”
To prevent this, managed IT services perform a variety of tasks, such as monitoring software licenses to ensure that a business makes necessary updates before reaching its limit. Some can even provide advice to help align software investments with growth goals to ensure that an SME makes purchases that well meet its needs over the long term.
4. Save time and money
At first glance, working with managed IT services may seem like just another cost of doing business. But as Grunwald points out, outsourcing this crucial task will ultimately help SMBs save money over time.
“When you outsource to Managed IT, you get a complete set of IT services at a much lower cost than if you hired a full-time employee for the position. You only pay for the services you need, and quite often you can enjoy savings on software and hardware through exclusive vendor contracts. You can rest easy paying a fixed monthly budget for IT and avoiding financial setbacks from unexpected repairs or other issues.”
In addition to the direct financial savings, SMB leaders can also benefit from simply having more time to devote to their other day-to-day responsibilities. By entrusting IT to the experts, they can focus on their own areas of expertise to keep the business running smoothly.
5. Stay up to date
Technological change is happening at a faster rate than ever before.
From 5G networks to the growth of multi-cloud management technology, the scope of technology upgrades that will hit the business world in the coming years can quickly become overwhelming. This is especially true for SMBs that may lack the financial resources or technical knowledge of a larger corporation.
As Grunwald explains, this continuous change is perhaps the strongest argument for working with a managed IT partner. “A managed IT provider gives you a real competitive advantage as businesses increasingly turn to digital. Your partner can help you understand which technology trends will have the biggest impact on your business operations and how to implement them in a way that best meets your needs.”
With the right tools, your SMB will be equipped for whatever the future holds.
Get the most out of your technology with managed IT
In today’s digital-driven world, few things can be more important to the long-term success of an SME than fully embracing technology. Managed IT can make it possible.
As these examples illustrate, managed IT services can go a long way in streamlining and improving an SME’s operations, ensuring that it is equipped to make technology a competitive advantage that will enable it to better serve its customers.