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By Dexter Duncan

Many small business let their IT network (servers, routers and back-ups)  “run until it breaks” which is a recipe for disaster.   We’ve seen it often, as we get called to “fix” the problem.      There is a very high cost in “run until it breaks”, both in lost data, staff productivity and large one-time costs.      The loss of data could put you out of business.     Many mid-size companies make similar mistakes by hiring/using an IT generalist to look after their staff AND their complex network, including:

  • Compute/Storage Capacity and Scalability
  • Network Reliability
  • Business Continuity Readiness
  • Network Security
  • Configuration and Changes

You might say: “I got back-ups!”    But back-ups are useless if the back-up has corrupt data, are not working or are destroyed by a virus.

You might say: “I got virus protection.”   And virus protection be inadequate, especially free ones.

You might say:  “Joe {insert staff name} can fix it!”  And maybe he can, really?

Avoiding Pain

Okay.   How does Managed Services contract with a company that has IT as their core business help me avoid pain?     Here are three:

1. Risk.   Getting someone whose seen most of the problems before and knows by experience how to provision and manage properly lowers the risk of down-time to your business.

2. Best Practice. Someone with knowledge of IT best practice is able to inform you of options from a business perspective.   They ensure your IT is set-up properly, get to the root of problems and don’t waste your time or money.

3. Cost.  It’s less expensive to outsource than to hire the team of full time specialist needed to achieve the same.  Managed Services gives you the benifit of in-house IT team without the cost.

Risking Your Business

Although the generalist may be reactive in fixing problems, they are very often just band-aiding the problem. Do you REALLY think your business can grow and thrive with IT being maintained by a casual apprentice? How much lost productivity is happening across your company from things not getting fixed properly? With break/fix attitude and no planning, you are adding unnecessary risk to your business.

How do you know if your network is reliable? How do you know if your IT person is doing a good job? The best way to check is to pay a small price of an IT audit of your network. An IT audit will look at a number of factors (mentioned above) and provide a report showing your risk.

When you wouldn’t use Managed Services

If you have a software package or application that is critical to your core business, you should keep the IT function of looking after it internal.    The stratagic element of your business should be in your full control.    However, most proactive maintenance, infrastructure management and user support functions are not part of your core business and should be outsourced as a proactive managed service with Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Recommendaton

There are a number of solutions which can lower your risk while not shelling out money for a full-time IT team.    Here are two: that are the most pro-active and have fixed monthly costs:

Managed Services Solution 1:  For small and mid-size businesses

Have a fixed cost solution for unlimited support of your users and IT network.    The proactive support includes planning and monitoring of your compute, storage and network reliablity.   Monthly patching, checking and adjustments are combined with unlimited user support.     You have access to specialist in supporting the latest Microsoft and printing dramas who have seen your problem before.    And the cost of this solution is cheaper than hiring full time staff.

Managed Services Solution 2: Mid-size to Large businesses

This solution allows you to have an on-site IT generalist to fix users issues, add new users/PCs and other basic issues.     The IT generalist can escalate problems to a managed services team who handle more complex issues.     Similar to solution number 1, your monthly maintenance, planning, back-up management, checking and adjustments are handled by people who solve IT issues everyday.    And the cost of this solution is usually a small fraction of your revenue, especially when compared to hiring full-time staff.

We can provide these solutions or give an audit or your network and services.    Empower IT has provided IT support and managed services to clients located in Australia/NZ since 2004.

Give us a ring at Empower IT Solutions or visit our website.   1300 797 838

www.EmpowerIT.com.au

 

 

 

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