Many businesses only hire IT services when something goes wrong with their system. They are repeat customers of pay-as-you-go IT services and often succumb to the break-fix process. Over time, this will cost a lot of money, which could have been saved through a managed IT service.

A break-fix approach to an IT infrastructure will lead to overspending. Worse, you’re not getting the best IT services even if you’re shelling out large amounts. Another fact here is that pay-as-you-go IT providers don’t have any accountability to your system should problems occur in the future.

Why hire managed IT services?

If pay-as-you-go IT providers are intended for quick fixes, a managed IT service is meant for continuous maintenance. The latter offers long-term and guaranteed monitoring of your system. This way, you can prevent expensive downtimes and fixer-upper infrastructures.

Switching to a managed IT approach will give you a round-the-clock system monitor. Even as you sleep, your IT partner will be up and running to guard your business’ network.

Also, the best thing about managed IT is its preventative and proactive nature. The moment signs of a problem occur, they are ready for a solution. This prevents an IT problem from becoming an expensive issue.

Most of all, a managed IT service helps your organization become more competitive. Your chosen IT partner will supply your needed tech as well as updates, so your workstations are always in top shape. Everything will run smoothly and at a specified cost.

Benefits of hiring managed IT services 

Although it may seem intimidating to hire managed IT services, it will actually become beneficial in the long run. The following are some of the advantages you’ll reap.

Full control over the cost

A managed IT service has a contract in place on which the cost of the service is indicated. This prevents the provider from increasing the cost without your knowledge. Aside from that, you can add and remove specific services that you deem unnecessary for your business.

Accountability over your system

Unlike pay-as-you-go providers, you can hold managed IT providers accountable if something goes wrong with your IT infrastructure. As long as the contract is in effect, the provider is responsible for all glitches and downtimes that may occur. They are also compelled to provide immediate solutions to mitigate the losses. This gives you full control of the management aspect of the service.

Better productivity

Managed IT providers remove redundancy and inefficient tech from your workplace. This way, your employees will become efficient in accomplishing various tasks. Over time, the amount you invested from managed IT service will pay for itself.

Protection against hacking 

The best thing that a managed IT service gives is protection against data breaches and hacking. As more and more attackers inch close to small businesses, managed IT becomes a necessity across businesses. Don’t wait until hackers have entered your system. By that time, you stand the chance of being locked out of your own business. It’s best to get a competitive service as early as possible.

Have you heard about IT disasters? It’s not only hurricanes that will ruin your facilities or earthquakes that may shut down servers. In fact, IT disasters are day-to-day mistakes that can become catastrophic for your business. Many aren’t aware of these problems, which could lead to downtimes and potential data breach.

So to protect your business from such disasters, the first step is identifying the IT woes that may cause such a catastrophe.

All businesses are at risk

No matter what industry you’re in, you’re always exposed to the potential risk of experiencing IT disasters. In fact, your business is at risk more than you would imagine.

Vulnerabilities can be anywhere in your organization’s system. It could be lax firewalls or unprotected files that are left in the open. All of these things, although seemingly harmless, can put your business on the verge of a breach.

We’ve seen many businesses fall prey to IT disasters. It’s an expensive and problematic experience. Aside from building your business back up again, you’ll also face the wrath of customers whose data have been compromised.

So to save your business from the wringer, it’s best to be prepared and informed enough to identify IT disasters.

IT disasters can happen anytime

IT disasters can take place when you least expect it. It could be a power surge that will damage your workstation or faulty wiring that will burn your servers down.

Others are more inconspicuous, like an employee stealing data or inadvertent employee errors. You should remember that it’s not always acts of God that are considered disasters. It could be daily errors that are waiting to blow up.

Also, knowledge loss can be considered an IT disaster if a backup is deleted and no one else knows such information. Also, if you get hacked and locked out of your business, you’re going to face a crisis that will put your organization on the brink of losses.

A single error could cause a domino effect of problems. So if you notice that something’s wrong in your system, make it known to your IT department or IT partner. This way, they can mitigate the problem before it impacts your operation.

Make your business disaster-proof

There are some easy ways to prevent IT disasters in your workplace. See to it that your employees are trained to spot signs of problems that could lead to other issues. Also, it’s best to hire an IT partner who will oversee your IT infrastructure.

This could look like an additional expense, but it will actually pay for itself over the years. Besides, such a service will minimize the glitches in your workplace. Also, your IT partner will be responsible for supplying you with the latest and ideal tech for your business.

Aside from beefing up your IT infrastructure, you should also ensure that your premises are suitable for storing your hardware. Always have a backup power source and a power surge controller. Most of all, you should have an IT plan in place so everyone will know what to do when an IT disaster occurs.

 

It’s quite common for small businesses to cut corners on the IT department. They perceive IT as an option they can probably live without. But truth be told, IT is one of the most important foundations of a business. It keeps your organization running and your customers coming back. And since technology is integral for your business, you must have a realistic idea about how much you’re going to spend on it.

An IT partner will be a big help in this respect. That way, you can get advice about what your company needs and doesn’t need and how much money you have to shell out. For starters, here are some points to keep in mind:

Always be reasonable 

Here’s the deal: many businesses spend money on tech their businesses don’t really need. So in the long run, they allot a large amount of money, making them think that IT is a big expenditure. While the latter statement has some truth to it, most of the expenses can be minimized with proper planning.

Always get the bigger picture of your business to set a reasonable amount for your IT. Depending on the industry, most businesses will spend about 20% of their income on IT. However, it can be lower or higher; it all depends on what your business requires.

It’s predictable

The good thing about setting an IT budget is that you can actually predict a large chunk of your expenses. Having a list of what your business needs is a good start. Aside from that, you have to factor in unexpected glitches that may occur along the way. Some businesses would allot about 10% to 20% of their overall IT budget for this part.

The best guess may work sometimes, but it would be difficult to manage cash flow with this method of budgeting. Besides, you don’t necessarily have to spend up to the last cent of your established IT budget. It’s just a guide and security for your business.

It should align with your business goal

Take note that each business would have a different IT budget and plan depending on their goals. If you want to sell your products or services even better, you may need to acquire new tech.

Also, big changes in your company’s goals may mean that your IT infrastructure may also need to shift. There could be a change in customer service strategy, hardware, software, and more.

Before you invest in new hardware or software, make sure that you will earn concrete benefits from it.

What should include in your budget? 

The inclusions of an IT budget will vary company to company. This will include monthly bills for insurance, phone, rent, and the internet. It will also include new hardware or upgrades if your business is expanding.

Final words

Formulating an IT budget is a difficult task. But with proper IT consultation, you can come up with a reasonable and solid budget that will sustain your business’ needs. Just make sure that you define what your business needs and doesn’t need. From there, you can start listing your priorities.

Are you looking for a better backup system for your business? It might be a daunting task, but formulating a backup plan is worth it as it will save your business time and money in the long run. It’s also important to have a backup of your work so you can easily rebuild your business in the event of a disaster. Many things can happen to your business, and if you don’t have a backup in place, your organization is at risk.

When creating a backup recovery plan, make sure that you bear the following things in mind:

Off-site data storage

Aside from the physical backups held in your office, you should also have secure cloud storage. This way, if your hardware backups get damaged, you still have an additional safety net.

Fire, hurricanes, and earthquakes can damage your business premises. With off-site backups, you can easily rebuild your organization without starting from scratch.

Redundant copies of essential documents. 

This is crucial if you’re doing a backup plan. Always save a copy of your important files, both on-site and off-site. Always back up your files daily because you’ll never know when an IT disaster may occur.

Files with sensitive information should be backed up redundantly and in platforms with stringent safety layers. Aside from customer information, you should also backup files that will keep your system running.

Plan to restore technology

Aside from keeping your documents safe and sound, you should also have a technology recovery backup in place. It’s a comprehensive guide that contains a step-by-step process for how your employees will deal with damaged hardware. It should include details on how to configure applications and computers, as well as other infrastructure such as cables. However you record this information, make sure that everything is detailed and easy to understand. That way, your workplace can be up and running to prevent long-term downtimes.

Real-time syncing

The common problem among businesses is they only backup their files when it suits them or when they find the time to do so. So instead of manually doing the backup, make sure that you have your system synced to it.

Nowadays, this is very easy to do with the advancements of various cloud storage platforms. Make sure that everything is configured properly so you won’t be surprised with another problem when you need the backup the most.

Having your backups made automatically is way easier and convenient for you and your employees. This saves them from the extra time needed to backup important files.

Final words 

A good backup recovery plan should include all the files and processes needed to keep your business running. In the event of a disaster, this backup will be your Holy Grail in rebuilding your organization. Aside from setting a backup, you should also brief your employees about how to access or use it safely. That way, you’re not the only one who knows what to do.

Having an IT partner is similar to having a wingman when flying an airplane. The IT provider will guard your business against downtimes and hacking attempts so your operation can soar smoothly.

However, not all businesses realize this benefit. Some put off hiring an IT partner to the point that problems had piled up. At this point, the damages have been advanced, which will impact your bottom line.

There will come a time that an IT provider will save you from expensive tech problems. The following are some of the instances when an IT partner will save the day:

Your current tech isn’t realizing its full potential

If you notice that your existing IT infrastructure isn’t efficient, it might be time to hire an IT partner. Take note that inefficient IT problems can cause delays and reduced productivity. Worse, you’re spending your money on it, and it’s not yielding the best results.

An IT provider can conduct a full audit for your IT infrastructure. This way, they can remove redundant and unnecessary tech to streamline your operation.  Through this process, tasks will be done faster and within the expected deadline.

You’re going to move to a new office

Moving to a new office isn’t just demanding in terms of manpower. It will also be problematic for your IT infrastructure. You’d have to move computers, cables, and other hardware. This translates to downtimes if you don’t have an IT plan in place.

An IT provider can help you by placing a skeleton system that will keep your business running. Also, experts can prevent mistakes in configuring and setting up your system.

Your tech needs are expanding

An expanding business will surely need additional tech. Aside from that, your current system may not be sustainable enough to cover the additional workload.

With the help of an IT expert, you can scale up your IT infrastructure to suit your current operation. In fact, an IT partner may suggest a more sustainable platform, so you no longer have to make big switches in the future.

Your business is shifting priorities 

Is your business adapting to new forms of technology? If this is the case, you’re better off hiring an IT partner. This way, you can guarantee smooth integration of the new tech, both on your system and within your employees.

Also, if you’re at a loss in choosing the right technology for your business, an IT provider can help you out. They can help filter options based on your needs and the industry you’re in.

Your IT infrastructure is experiencing recurrent glitches 

If your system is experiencing multiple glitches within a short timeframe, there may be a problem that you’re failing to address. It’s good if you have a working knowledge of your tech, but the help of an IT partner is indispensable.

Investing in an IT partner will help you save money in the long run. Aside from that, you’re going to receive the best service. As much as possible, avoid pay-as-you-go systems as it costs a lot without providing the best value.

 

Many businesses operate day-to-day without a solid backup of their digital data. This exposes them to the risk of massive data loss, which, in the long run, will cost a lot of money. Regardless of a business’ size, backups are necessary. In the event of data loss or hacking, the lack of backup will cause major downtime. Worse, it will also compromise the quality of your service.

Over the years, the act of performing backups has drastically changed. Floppy disks were phased out, and you no longer have to have large pieces of hardware. The web has offered an option that many businesses can utilize at a very low –or sometimes free – cost.

Why you need to backup now

Back in 2017, data loss is responsible for about 1.8 trillion dollars’ worth of damage across industries. This is a sky-high amount on which small businesses have been at constant risk. Many think that since they are a small-time business, they are not worth it in the eyes of hackers.

However, business owners should know that hackers are targeting smaller shops due to their vulnerability.

Even if you own a small business, data loss isn’t a joke. It will directly jeopardize your business’ reputation and the privacy of your customers. Worse, you may face a lawsuit.

Also, unhappy employees will delete data deliberately as revenge for their bad bosses. If you don’t have a backup, your system is a sitting duck against attacks and potential data loss.

Aside from that, natural calamities can also damage your facilities. This will leave you empty-handed, much so if you keep relying on physical hardware as backups.

With all of these possibilities, you should be ready. Always create redundant backups to secure important information and files that are integral for your operation.

How backup improved over the years

The introduction of data replication made backup a total breeze. Based on an image, this technology can now interpret data and store it automatically. This way, you no longer have to perform manual backups.

Aside from that, you can sign up for auto backups using a third-party online application. Whenever changes occur on your system or files, it will sync automatically to the online repository. However, you have to ensure that the online platform has layers of security.

The advancement in technology removes the hindrance to creating redundant backups. Copying and storing files is now way faster. Aside from that, backup systems can detect duplicate files, allowing you to filter out unnecessary files that may cause confusion.

How to back up your data

Thumb drives, SD cards, and external hard drives are the default backup methods. But as much as all of these are ideal and handy, you should also back up on the cloud. For small businesses, some platforms offer a free storage capacity that’s expandable for a specific cost.

Local and network backups are also necessary. Make sure that you have a physical hardware backup in your facility, an off-site backup, and a system backup within your network. That way, you have multiple safety nets if data loss occurs.

Continual training is necessary to ensure that your business will run smoothly. In fact, such training will save your business operation in the long run. IT training, specifically, is crucial to guarantee that your employees are well-equipped for various situations that may jeopardize your organization.

You don’t have to transform your employees into tech experts. Still, a working knowledge about your system and basic IT needs would go a long way. Here are some of the benefits of taking your time in training your team:

It helps them to spot online scams

Online scams are rampant, and they can compromise the security and integrity of your business. Your employees may fall prey to phishing or ransomware. Take note that these two scams can milk money from your business and cause substantial losses.

But with proper training, your employees can identify the tell-tale signs of potential scams. They will become more vigilant and careful about the pages and files they will open or access.

They will understand how to use tech properly

Companies have their own horror stories about expensive tech being wrecked by employees who don’t know how to use it. Worse, they don’t have an idea about its price tag. Proper orientation will go a long way here.

Even though some mistakes may look obvious to you, it’s not always the same with your employees. It’s best to train them ahead to prevent any expensive and frustrating mistakes.

It prevents inadvertent data breaches

Without proper IT training, your employees may inadvertently expose confidential information. This can be very problematic, especially if it involves customer information. Aside from that, it will also open doors to potential hacking and theft.

Take note that data breaches can escalate quickly. So before it even happens, you must brief your employees about how they should handle information and what to avoid. It’s best to have an IT plan that they can follow.

It saves you money

Although IT training may cost a fee and consume time, it’s worth the hassle. It will pay for itself over time as you will experience fewer losses and expensive mistakes. Aside from that, your employees can keep up with the standards of the industry. You can even use this competency for marketing your business and increasing prices.

No company wants to pay ransomware demands or settlement charges from customers. So before it’s too late, you should act now.

Your IT team won’t be overwhelmed 

The problem with untrained employees is that they tend to rely on your IT team too much. This will lead to overwhelming tasks for your IT guys. Usually, most of these tasks can be done by your employees only if they have the working knowledge to do so.

So as part of your onboarding process, consider integrating a basic IT training. It doesn’t to be very comprehensive. Start with the basics and cover other things later on. That way, you will have a solid foundation and peace of mind that your employees are IT-competent to some extent.

After spending months at work, everyone needs a few days of vacation. It allows you to refresh your mind and get your mind off work. Stepping away from your business for a few days shouldn’t be a dream. With the help of a reliable IT support, you can make more vacation days than before.

IT support experts are certainly no travel agents. Still, they can take over your IT infrastructure, ensuring that your business is operating seamlessly. So how is this possible? Here are some ways on which IT support helps you achieve free days for relaxation:

Communication solutions 

Some business owners can’t totally pull the plug even during a vacation. Still, it doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole time on your screen. An IT support expert can give you communication solutions that you can access on the go.

Through that, you can keep an eye on your business without being chained to your laptop and your phone. This way, you can still enjoy your vacation while being on top of your operation.

24/7 helpdesk monitoring

IT support providers offer a 24/7 monitoring service so you can have a worry-free vacation. This way, you can take your vacation in peace without having to worry about the security of your business. Aside from that, you can also outsource some of your tasks so you wouldn’t spend time on your laptop.

Aside from giving yourself some vacation days, this will also ensure that your business runs without glitches. And if potential problems occur, the IT provider will deal with it right away.

Recovery and backup plans

While you’re on vacation, an IT disaster may happen or something else that can compromise your operation. But with an IT support expert as your wingman, these problems can be resolved. There would be redundant backups and an IT plan should any hiccup comes up.

Because of that, you don’t necessarily have to be there in person to get things done. You’ll have peace of mind that your business can run without micromanaging.

24/7 expertise 

The best thing about having an IT support partner is you’ll get access to a pool of IT professionals. This way, your business will receive premium and expert service while you’re on vacation.

Aside from that, they are available all day long. You don’t have to maintain them in your office, plus they are accountable for any problems that may occur while you’re away. It may cost a fee, but IT support is a great investment that will benefit you and your team.

Effective financial planning 

Last but not least, an IT support provider will guide you toward effective financial planning. Although an IT expert can’t help you with budgeting your vacation, they can help you foresee how much your IT will cost in the long run. That way, you can also adjust your personal expenses and your team’s if you’re planning to take them for a company vacation.

With all these, you can monitor your cash flow better and with little uncertainty.

Let’s admit it: not all of us like the idea of spending a lot on IT services. Since we can’t see the direct benefit, we often cut corners in the IT department. But the matter of fact is that outsourcing your IT needs to a reputable provider will pay itself in the long run. Sure, it feels uncomfortable at first to let someone handle your IT, but it will be worth it, especially if you’re running a busy office.

The key here is changing your thinking. Instead of seeing IT services as added expenses, consider it as an investment. It’s an investment to prevent downtimes and to ensure that your system is always guarded at all times.

So why should you invest in IT services? Here are the benefits you’ll reap:

Better productivity 

The best thing about reliable IT services is that it directly improves the productivity of your employees. Due to reduced downtimes, your employees can accomplish tasks faster and easier.

Take note that an inadequate IT infrastructure can cripple your business. Delays, lagging, and missing components are massive dilemmas that will also ruin the motivation of your organization.

Moreover, excellent IT services will remove inefficiencies. This will put your employees in a better mood.

Reduced management woes

If you keep on making workarounds with your IT, it’s time to let someone handle it for you. This way, you can break free from management woes and you can focus on other things that matter for your business.

You can do more while getting the best IT services possible. Most of all, you don’t have to train a bigger IT team as you’re going to access a pool of experts and advanced IT products.

Get more from your investment

Paying for IT services will boost your bottom line in the long run. This way, you can get more from your investments. Aside from that, you don’t have to purchase tech on your own. By outsourcing it to an IT provider, you can use premium IT products for only a small cost.

Instead of using pay-as-you-go schemes, a long-term IT service provider will give more for less.

Protection against disasters

Disasters are unpredictable and you’ll never know when a catastrophe will hit your area. If a hurricane damages your facility and ruins your IT hardware, a service provider can help you build the system back.

Aside from that, IT services create backups so your business can keep running in the event of a major catastrophe. Take note that IT service providers will also craft an IT disaster preparedness plan for you.

Defense against hackers 

Hackers are lurking on the web. Even small businesses are direct targets. This is one of the reasons why IT services are great investments. IT experts will secure your system with multiple layers of protection. This is much needed if you handle sensitive customer information like credit card info, healthcare data, and financial records.

Remember that data loss is responsible for trillions of dollars lost yearly. You might as well be prepared before things go to worst.

A lot of business owners shy away from IT support and consultation due to the perceived cost. While this is understandable, going without IT support isn’t just harmful to your business; it will also cost a lot in the long run.

The bigger picture of your company will help you see the IT challenges only an expert can overcome. Take note that there’s only so much workaround you can cover. Besides, including for all the IT lapses will consume much of your time, which could have been allotted for more profitable projects.

Sure, you can procure new pieces of hardware or integrate software into your system. But without proper consultation, you’re at risk of purchasing tech your business doesn’t really need. Worse, you risk going past your set budget, which will hurt other departments in your business.

So what will you get from IT support and consultation? Here are some of the perks you’ll enjoy:

Guidance for tech purchases

Many business owners tend to yield to vendors when offered a specific piece of technology. But with regular IT consultation, you can assess if your company really needs such tech. In fact, your IT consulting partner can advise of a better alternative that costs less.

Also, IT support will help you anticipate the future needs of your business. This way, you can get sustainable technology that can keep up with your business’ growth.

Formulating a realistic IT budget

Confused about how much you should spend on your IT? An IT support and consulting company can help you out. An IT expert will help you identify the current needs of your company as well as emergency funds that could be needed should unexpected glitches occur.

Instead of cutting corners on your IT, it’s best to craft a budget plan. This way, you wouldn’t run out of funds when you need it the most.

Security for your customers and employees

Aside from advising you about IT decisions, an IT support expert can also conduct an in-house audit of your infrastructure. This way, you’ll get to see what should be removed or added.

Also, this process will reveal a lot about the security of your system. That way, the IT expert can help put up additional layers of protection that will guard your business against potential attacks.

Reduced downtimes

For large businesses, a few minutes of downtime can translate to thousands of dollars in losses. And if it happens repeatedly, such glitches will start to impact the business’ bottom line.

This is where an IT expert comes handy. Instead of simply getting by, an IT support expert can ensure that your system is in good condition. And if any issue occurs, they can help you fix it to prevent looming downtimes.

Access to expert IT professionals 

Most of all, investing in IT support will give you access to a team of IT experts. The best part is you don’t have to train them or pay their wages. You only have to pay what the contract indicates. That’s a big money-saver while getting the best value for your business.

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