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Common Technology Problems Solved By an MSP

In today’s digital world, technology plays a big part in driving business growth. However, many companies are facing technology challenges that they aren’t always prepared to address on their own. That’s where a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can be a gateway to increased growth, revenue, and profitability.

What is a managed services provider?

A managed services provider remotely manages your IT and end-user systems. It is a term that encompasses many IT services that focus on providing the best IT support possible. At the same time, working with an MSP can solve many of the common technology problems facing businesses today.

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The Problem: A need for improved security

Cybersecurity is a high-priority issue for every company today due to the increase in the number and severity of recent cyberattacks. No company is exempt – and the impact can be devastating. In 2017, cyberattacks cost SMBs an average of $2,235,000.

Company leaders are looking for cost effective ways to protect themselves to increase their peace of mind, avoid downtime, and to comply with regulatory requirements.

Working with an MSP gives you:

  • Access to more sophisticated cloud security systems
  • Access to highly-trained security specialists
  • Complete cloud backup services
  • Proactive services designed to protect you from cyberthreats

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The Problem: Backup and disaster recovery

As companies depend more on technology to complete normal business processes, the thought of extended downtime or losing all of your data is frightening. Therefore, developing an effective disaster recovery plan is a high priority for many companies.

Your data is arguably your most critical asset. The results of losing access to that data can be devastating. According to the experts, approximately 25% of businesses won’t reopen after a significant disaster. The statistics get worse for companies that experience a disaster, but don’t have a recovery plan. Forty-three percent of those businesses won’t survive.

Working with an MSP, you’ll tap the expertise you need to:

  • Identify all the possible threats you face
  • Identify an emergency communication plan and a recovery team
  • Develop an evacuation strategy
  • Develop a business continuity plan

Once your disaster recovery plan is in place, an MSP can provide the capacity for backing up your data, the resources to implement your recovery plan, and help you stay in business if a disaster does strike.

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The Problem: Avoiding downtime

Downtime is always a threat. The result may be the postponement of an important client presentation, or a delay in filling orders.

Equipment failures happen to everyone. Networks go down, and a hard drive crashes every 15 seconds. Besides that, almost 40% of SMBs don’t back up their data. There is no option for switching over to a redundant system, and many SMBs don’t have the budget to put a redundant system in place to begin with.

Working with an MSP, you’ll have highly-trained technicians who make sure your systems are operating at peak efficiency. An MSP can offer the type of redundancy that will keep you working even if technical failures occur.

MSPs will also quote guaranteed uptimes. With the resources at their disposal, they have the horsepower they need to meet those guarantees.

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The Problem: Need to get better at identifying root causes

It’s not always possible for SMBs to develop an IT department with the resources to take care of regular maintenance, support users, and spend the time to analyze a system problem and identify the root cause.

The result is that the unsolved root cause continues to cause problems repeatedly. Users get frustrated and the IT staff waste time correcting symptoms of the same problem.

An MSP has the resources and knowledge required to take the time to drill down into a symptom to find the root cause and fix it.

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The Problem: IT staff doesn’t have time for strategic work

Since technology is so integral to a company’s growth, it’s critical that the IT staff focuses on driving innovation. Unfortunately, for many SMBs, that’s nothing more than a pipe dream. The day-to-day requirements that keep your systems running and your users happy don’t allow the staff to spend a great deal of time on value-added projects.

MSPs offer an easy way to resolve that problem. With an MSP managing your systems, your staff will have the time they need to continue innovating. In fact, industry experts have found that of those businesses that work with an MSP, only six percent eliminated its IT staff. Fifty-three percent of those businesses kept its IT department as it was originally.

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The Problem: Finding ways to reduce IT costs

Every business wants to reduce costs, but it’s often more important for SMBs. A lean SMB doesn’t have many places where cost cutting is reasonable.

Working with an MSP is one way to reduce costs without reducing the benefits the business gets from using technology. An MSP can achieve economies of scale in terms of acquiring software, hardware, and experienced IT staffers.

The fees paid to an MSP are typically fixed, which provides you with predictable monthly costs. And, those fees are typically accounted for as operating expenses vs. capital expenditures.

In the end …

These are just some of the problems an MSP can solve for you. In the process, you’ll be able to redirect internal resources to continue the growth and profitability of your business.

If you would like to explore the specifics of how an MSP could contribute to the long-term health of your business, contact us today for more information.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Partner with a Managed Service Provider

During the crucial growth stages of any business, it is an inevitable reality that internal team members will eventually start to feel the pressure of adapting to new processes that support the company’s ability to scale. For many departments, these feelings are short-lived. Other branches of the company may continue to struggle to meet the new demands of their organization.

So what is the first sign of growing pains that most companies experience?

Their IT team’s inability to keep up with the company’s changing infrastructure. Due to this fact, many organizations have explored hiring managed IT services to help design a more sustainable IT solution for their corporate growth strategy.

But how do you know if your business is ready to invest in a different IT solution?

Here are 5 signs to look for that might mean it’s time to partner with a managed service provider.

Your Network is Constantly Experiencing Downtime

One of the first signs to show that your IT department is falling behind is constant network downtime. This becomes extremely costly over time since a company’s revenue, and credibility are directly aligned with their ability to have fully operational systems in place.

That’s no longer the case when you partner with a managed service provider. Together with them, you’re able to drastically reduce your downtime by maintaining a proactive IT environment.

The Business is Looking for Better Cost Savings

Consistently relying on an in-house team to manage your IT support can be a costly venture. Companies may eventually find that pulling resources away from their core competencies is a wasteful and inefficient way to achieve their priorities.

Managed service providers employ a team of experienced IT professionals. These professionals know exactly how to develop the systems your company needs while reducing the costs for implementation.

In-house Teams are Understaffed

As businesses scale, it may be challenging to balance hiring budgets between multiple departments. This issue may cause in-house IT teams to become understaffed and incapable of working at full efficiency.

By using a managed service provider, you’ll have a sizeable on-demand group at your service for significantly lower costs than hiring dedicated bodies. These teams are available to help your team 24/7  and can address issues outside of your core operational hours.

You Need More Advanced Technology and Better Cloud Solutions

Outdated databases and inadequate software is the grim reality for companies that have outgrown their systems. Upgrading newer technology and migrating to cloud-based systems can prove to be overwhelming for understaffed IT departments. It’s where the help of managed services can shine.

Service providers can ensure your systems are always up-to-date and that large-scale digital transformations go off without a hitch for the organization.

You Need Better System Security

In today’s fast-changing digital landscape, more and more importance is being put on better system security to protect companies digital assets. Keeping up with the latest cybersecurity threats and system recovery methods can be overwhelming for many organizations looking to balance this importance.

This is where managed service providers can provide a tremendous benefit.

Professional IT teams are well-versed and up-to-date with the latest cyberthreats and security countermeasures. They help ensure your systems are protected around the clock. They also proactively prepare for data recovery solutions in the event of possible breaches and catastrophic outages.

 

Choosing to outsource your IT needs can provide many benefits for organizations looking to scale their operations. By partnering with a managed service provider when early signs of inefficiencies develop, your company can benefit from the cost savings and professional experience they provide while ensuring your systems are securely maintained for years to come.

 

8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

Operating a business is a daunting task. Ensuring that it will continue to grow and be profitable is even more daunting. But you’re not alone – you can take advantage of the many benefits of managed IT services. They can save you time and money and help your business grow.

Here are 8 you can business benefits you can leverage for yourself.

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1. Ability to Scale

When your company grows, you need to have your IT support keep up with the pace. You can dynamically use managed IT services as you need them to help you through your growth process, adjusting how much help you need along the way.

You can scale to the level of support that best fits your needs and accommodates the growth stage you’re at. If you require a lot of IT support to accommodate a spike during holiday seasons, you’ve got it. If you want to go into low-maintenance, day-to-day mode, that’s okay too.

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Related: What Does an MSP Actually Do?

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2. More Time to Focus on Strategic and Innovative Projects

With managed IT services, your staff will have more time to concentrate on projects that help enhance your bottom-line profits, including strategic and innovative projects. Since managed IT service providers act as partners rather than replacements for your existing staff, you can rely on them to take on smaller projects and processes when you need your core IT team to work on more important tasks.

In essence, your company can focus more on doing business rather than administrative tasks or training.

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3. Streamlined IT Business Processes

A managed IT service provider can provide a streamlined process for your company to help you save time. All your problems are resolved quickly, thereby speeding up your business processes.

No more waiting around for the IT guy to get to your tickets. A dedicated team of IT pros can handle your requests in mere minutes.

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Related: 5 Ways Managed IT Services Help Growing Businesses

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4. Reduced of Cost of Labor

Employee benefits can easily consume a business’s budget. However, a managed IT service team helps to reduce labor costs through contracted services.

In practice, you won’t have to worry about funding the fringe benefits of an IT team, such as healthcare insurance. You’ll save on training costs, too.

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5. IT Support 24/7

Managed IT service providers offer more flexibility because they are able to leverage a dedicated team that can provide help any time of the day, any day of the week.

That’s because many managed service providers (or MSPs) have teams at the ready that can connect to your systems remotely from anywhere at any time.

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6. Control and Reduce Costs

Managed IT services can provide insight on bottlenecks that may be hampering operational efficiency and provide you with control, which can help you reduce costs over time.

In other words, managed IT services team help you minimize unexpected costs.

You can use that predictability to craft better IT budgets. In turn, you can better plan out your business expenses, which gives you the freedom to reallocate capital to wherever you need it most.

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7. Leverage Qualified Experts With Experience

When you hire your own in-house team, it’s up to you to choose the “right” people. But what exactly does “right” entail? It’s anyone that meets your current needs, and the ones in the foreseeable future.

For example, you might want to hire a desktop support technician now to handle daily tickets. However, you probably don’t want to hire a cloud architect for a single project.

The beauty of managed IT services is that you can get both, on demand. You can have the full support of a dedicated IT team, and still get the expertise you need from a senior engineer for occasional projects.

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8. Enhanced Security and Compliance

Making sure you’re in compliance with regulations and local laws can be a difficult and costly task. That’s because adhering to compliance regulations often means implementing and maintaining a robust security infrastructure and following a stringent protocol.

But, with the help of managed IT services, you can reduce these costs and ensure compliance thanks to the enhanced security expertise and tools the team uses. This helps reduce liability and security risks and their associated costs.

Moreover, if you lose critical data to a breach or leak, it could lead to huge lawsuits and a damaged reputation. That’s difficult to recover from – just look at what happened to Target in 2013.

Managed Services for Your Own Benefit

Managed IT services offer a whole host of benefits that you can leverage to enhance your enterprise. From being able to help your company quickly scale as needed to keeping up with security and compliance regulations, there is much to take advantage of when it comes to managed IT services.

While recognizing the benefits of managed IT services is important, it’s also important to consider reputable managed IT service teams.

Appsolute has the expertise and experience to unlock all the benefits of managed services for your business. By leveraging these benefits, you’ll be able to provide your business with the qualified IT support it needs and be on your way to a better bottom-line.

 

What Does an MSP Actually Do?

In the IT world, MSP stands for “managed service provider“. It’s a fairly generic term, so if you’re a bit confused about what an MSP actually does… you’re not alone.

The basic answer is that an MSP manages the IT infrastructure & systems for a business. However, they can do so in many different ways.

Here are some of the important specific services most MSPs offer.

1. Tech Support

The first thing that comes to mind for many businesses when thinking of IT is tech support – and that instinct is correct. An MSP should offer 24/7 tech support to keep your business up and running at its finest.

Even if your MSP is not in near your location or even your time zone, you should make sure that this is something they offer. It helps to keep your website, online databases, and IT infrastructure up and running at all times. Downtime results in lost productivity for your business and employees, so this aspect is of the utmost importance.

2. Recovery

You hope that a big crash would never happen, but in the event that it does, an MSP should help you get back up and running quickly. That doesn’t just include getting your system back up and running in a timely manner. It also means having reliable backups of the information that you need to keep your business going.

Whether you lose your data from a cyberattack or from a disaster, swift recovery is key. The more time you can’t access your data, the more your business suffers reputationally and financially.

3. Security

Digital security is now more important than ever. Hackers are exposing new weaknesses in systems all the time. Your MSP should stay on top of all the latest security updates and make sure your hardware and software are up to date, so that security updates are put in place as soon as they come out.

Additionally, managed service providers should perform general IT support security tasks like installing firewalls and anti-virus software to protect your data.

4. Strategic Future Planning

A good provider of MSP services will keep up with the latest technological trends and “futureproof” your infrastructure. They’ll know what’s just around the corner and will strategically plan craft a technology roadmap to account for tech evolution.

Your current IT systems likely aren’t going to be there forever. A great MSP seeks the smartest system upgrades that could help your business function even more smoothly as your needs change.

They’ll make the path to IT upgrades easy and clear to see.

5. Cloud Services

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term around. Though it may seem like just another technology buzzword, cloud technology innovation is really the future. It’s less costly, more flexible, and allows your team to access information easily from anywhere in the world.

It’s also more environmentally friendly because it creates less physical hardware waste. An MSP will help you get your data into the cloud for easy access and safe storage.

Small businesses can do these things on their own, either by training existing staff or hiring a dedicated IT staff. However, working with an MSP saves time, money and other resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your business.

 

5 Ways Managed IT Services Help Growing Businesses

Growing businesses face a multitude of challenges. From managing change to tackling network challenges, the myriad details of keeping an SMB healthy can appear insurmountable.

One strategy that can help relieve the pressure of juggling technology concerns and containing expenses is turning to managed IT services to help support your business.

It’s an increasingly popular option for SMBs. The global managed IT services market grew to $149.1B and $166.7B in 2016 and 2017, respectively. By 2021, it’s expected to grow to $256.5 billion worldwide, with more than 39% ($94.5 billion) concentrated in the United States. This increasingly rapid expansion attests to the strength of managed IT services as an effective solution.

Here are a few ways these versatile, affordable services have been able to help growing organizations meet their goals.

Managing Costs

Perhaps chief among the benefits of managed IT services for smaller businesses is cost control. In addition to making IT costs predictable, improving system integration, and maximizing cloud solutions, managed IT services helps businesses cut back on labor costs associated with hiring and training internal IT staff.

Just remember not to “bargain shop” for an MSP (managed service provider), as CIO puts it, as a proven track record should always be your priority.

Enhancing Security

Security is an issue at the forefront for most businesses, particularly those handling clients’ personal information. One mishap and a good portion of an SMB’s data could fall into the wrong hands. That could potentially cause irrevocable harm to an organization.

Managed IT services devotes the time, expertise and resources to help your business improve its security efforts and stay ahead of potential security concerns. From firewall configuration and anti-malware software to network monitoring and education on cybersecurity best practices, MSPs focus on full-service protection.

Mitigating Risk

Closely related to boosting security is an MSP’s capacity for mitigating the risks of downtime and data loss from potential system outages. Disaster recovery plans are designed to help your network bounce back from natural disasters, data breaches and catastrophic tech failures that can disrupt operations. DR plans are part and parcel of most managed IT services plans. They’re critical for maintaining business continuity under extreme and unexpected circumstances.

Scaling for Change

Managing technology resources as an organization evolves and grows is an especially challenging aspect of running a business. Overestimating need can lead to wasteful spending of critical funds. Underestimating can leave you without adequate support for employees and customers.

Managed IT services help simplify this balancing act by supplying exactly what you might need based on your business demands. Whatever you need more or less of, MSPs scale your service to accommodate.

Maintaining Competitive Edge

The constant changes in technology can prove too much for any organization to keep pace with. That’s especially true when growth demands focus on making your business better and beating the competition.

Dedicated and knowledgeable Managed IT service providers can help make sense of technological shifts, recommending and implementing what works best for your business situation without additional legwork and distraction for your team.