Protecting your company infrastructure against attack is top priority. But due to the complexity and time demands of IT departments, patches often get overlooked. And given the recent WannaCrypt and Petya ransomware attacks, the need for a well-defined patch management process is more critical than ever.
Thirty-three percent of small business owners place a high priority on technology investment, according to eMarketer. As a small business owner, you seek out new ways to improve your operations, but you may face several roadblocks along the way. By learning about these inevitable IT problems now, you'll be better prepared to overcome them and get more ROI from your technology.
1. Desktop Support
An outage in your infrastructure can cause major setbacks for your business. In fact, 27 percent of small businesses lack desktop support, which means you'll need to take time away from your leadership duties to fix it or find inefficient workarounds for the issue. Even small problems can add up fast when you have to fit it around an already hectic schedule.
Nothing interferes with productivity more than slow or unreliable computers. Think about it: How many times have you or your team members had to reboot your computer or attempt to troubleshoot an issue?
While 10 minutes here and there might not seem like a huge time suck, when you multiply that across your organization, these small lapses in productivity can take a major toll on output. Over the long run, it quickly adds up to thousands of dollars in lost productivity and revenue for your business.
Your company depends on technology to power everything from building security to payroll. While you see excellent productivity gains from a technology-forward infrastructure, you are vulnerable to any situation that takes out your systems. A rogue ex-employee could delete essential databases, a flood could knock out electricity to your data center and emergent mechanical failures are a few ways you could end up losing significant revenue and customer loyalty. A backup and disaster recovery plan is critical for business continuity, as downtime could cost a company millions in direct and indirect losses. When you talk to your managed services provider, use these disaster recovery questions to ask about exactly what you're getting before you sign the dotted line.
1. Add "Do you monitor an off-site and an on-site backup, or do you rely on outdated tape backups?" to your list of disaster recovery questions to ask
Your managed service provider should not put critical backups on outdated tape backups. You could end up losing days, weeks or months of work or data that you can't recreate. Look for a vendor offering on-site and off-site backup monitoring and management. They should provide an up-to-date business continuity system that supports fast recovery in the event of an emergency, even if the backups at the location are destroyed.
Your small business depends on technology to help you get the most out of your available resources. However, you end up in a tricky situation when you need help with your infrastructure but you don't have the budget for a full-time IT professional. Managed IT services can fill this gap and deliver many advantages.
No Need for an Internal IT Team
Your company has IT needs, but you don't need someone around all the time. If you didn't have to worry about bringing on a full-time person to take care of your systems, you could make investments elsewhere in your business. Managed IT services act as your on-demand team, so you don't have to go through the hiring process for IT professionals. If you do have employees on hand to manage your technology, managed IT services can take the burden off of them.
You’ve probably heard the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I couldn’t agree more — and that’s why it’s my sincere belief that the managed IT services approach is, by far, the most cost-effective, smartest option for any small business.