Managed services is a proactive approach to technology for businesses. The classic approach for small businesses would be to pay someone to setup your network and get their recommendations for software, hardware, antivirus, backups, or do it yourself. Then, once everything is setup, treat it like you would any other appliance –when something breaks, get it fixed. Today, when most businesses can’t run without their computers and more complex technology supports their business, this model presents a few problems:
1. Waiting for something to break means downtime for most employees, and leads to customer frustration. Also, if you know you’re going to have to pay hourly to get a problem fixed, you might spend a few minutes trying to fix it yourself. The goal of managed services is to monitor for potential issues and minimize downtime through preventative maintenance. By eliminating the “meter running” problem, there is no reason to waste time trying to fix an issue yourself.
2. Evaluating technology & security solutions can be a full time job, and without setting time aside to evaluate your current solutions and plan for the future, you can miss out on more efficient tools – after all that is what technology is supposed to provide.
3. The reactive “break fix” approach creates an un-balanced relationship between the technology provider and your business. The industry gets a bad rap because of this – when a business is only getting paid when something is broken there is an incentive to only fix what is broken and take as long as they can doing it. While there are many reputable companies out there, this question of “Are they really providing the best fix or are they just fixing it enough so they can come back when it breaks again?” can cause a lot of friction.
That is why we try and take a proactive approach to IT and work as a member of your team instead of waiting for problems to happen. Even for larger businesses that may have enough work to hire a full-time expert to manage their IT, it may still make sense to outsource for a couple reasons:
1. An internal IT manager can only help one person at a time, so it can potentially take longer to get everyone back up and running for an issue that effects multiple employees.
2. While an internal technician will certainly be an expert about your operations and tools, they are still only one person – staying up to date on all the available solutions, and security issues can be a challenge. With a managed services team that provides these services across multiple businesses you can benefit from that collective knowledge.
A managed service provider can solve these problems by working alongside an internal team, or provide the service of an internal expert, without the expense of one. This model may not make sense for every business but contact us if you’re interested in getting proactive about your technology.