If you are a small business owner and considering whether or not managed services will benefit your company, the answer is almost always- yes. There is little doubt that most small businesses can benefit from managed services, yet that in itself does not always justify the cost of bringing on a third party provider. Accepting that managed services providers can offer solutions to common problems found in small business operation, the real question is when does it make sense to switch from in house IT solutions to the next level which includes managed services.
There is a good chance if you are already considering managed services the time might be near when you are ready to make the switch. Small business owners do not have the luxury of a never ending IT budget, therefore it is very important to recognize when your current IT management is no longer cost effective. For most small businesses this occurs when the business grows to the point of needing either a contract with a local service provider who is “on call” for IT needs or hiring a full time IT person to remain on staff. There is of course another option for small business owners to consider and that is hiring a managed services provider to oversee their IT needs.
If you are still unsure that your business is ready for the switch, ask yourself the following questions;
Do you find IT costs are continually increasing?
Is it difficult to find and retain quality IT staff?
Is your network and workstation performance and speed decreasing?
Are your employees spending more time dealing with IT issues than focusing on job they have been hired to perform?
Do you have problems with viruses, spyware and other security issues that could threaten the confidentiality of proprietary information?
In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, would your network be at risk? Would recovery be a concern?
Do you find network downtime is increasing?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then your business is ready for managed services.
Now that you have determined managed services are right for your business, the next challenge is finding the right provider of these services. This is a decision that should not be made lightly or rushed as the wrong provider can end up costing your company more money than your current situation. Before you begin the search for a managed services provider you should first consider your IT budget as well as issues or problems you want to be addressed. It is important to remember that managed services are not a one-size-fits-all type of solution to business problems. Each business and industry has their own issues to contend with and a qualified managed services provider will work with you to find the solutions that will benefit your company the most. If a potential provider is more intent on selling you services and not listening to the needs of your business, move on to another provider who is willing to listen to your concerns and offer customized solutions that address these needs. The point of outsourcing your IT management is to save money while freeing up time to focus on other business operations. For this reason it pays to put forth the effort to find the best managed services provider to oversee your technology needs.
Content by Managed Services Provider University