When it comes to small business IT, many lean on family, or referrals from friends for a really great “IT guy.”
If you’re using a break-fix IT strategy for your business, or relying on your uncle's wife's cousin, to keep your computers running, you’re traveling down a risky road and it’s time to re-evaluate.
You might feel like you are getting a great deal, but here are five things your IT guy can’t give you.
It's not the fault of your “IT guy.” But they're just that, one guy (or gal). They simply don't have the bandwidth to do everything your business needs to support all of your IT initiatives.
#1. Cost savings.
In the long run, small business IT expenses tend to be a lot higher than a managed provider because there is no control on spending. With a managed provider, you get exactly what you need now, paired with a rock solid plan for growth, and no surprises along the way. Proactive maintenance means that your network stays up and you stay productive. In a break-fix model, there's no incentive to fix or repair things before they break. Costs can be unpredictable as a fix that should have taken an hour stretches to 2, 3, or more hours. With an MNS provider, there's no hourly fee or extra cost to repair anything that goes wrong.
#2. A secure network.
Security is pretty simple here — you get what you pay for. With a managed provider, they take on the day-to-day defense of your network by monitoring your systems and data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your IT guy, well…he or she is juggling a number of clients he got by word of mouth, putting out fires one at a time. This means patches can lag – which opens up holes in your network security.
#3. Unlimited technical expertise.
Your IT guy may keep up on certifications, but they can be costly for a one-man band. With a managed IT provider, technical expertise is as close to unlimited as it gets with dedicated teams and specialists for all areas of IT support. If one specialist can’t solve a problem, managed service providers have national networks of technical support to call on while your guy is on hold with Microsoft for a few hours troubleshooting your software issue.
#4. A disaster recovery plan.
So you backup your data on a hard drive, right? Wrong. Hard drives are mechanical devices that will eventually fail, it’s just a matter of when. Not to mention if they are stolen. Backing up is not always enough, especially if your business has mission-critical data (which all small businesses do) that cannot be lost. Is your IT guy really looking at the big picture and equipping your business with a realistic, redundant disaster recovery plan or are you just relying on a hard drive backup from last night?
#5. Robust hardware that can keep pace with rapid changes in technology.
IT hardware is two things: 1) expensive, and 2) obsolete just around the time everyone in your office has gotten used to it. That’s why many managed providers offer hardware as a service (HaaS) in most agreements. With HaaS, hardware is included in the monthly service fee that covers all your IT needs. Hardware is a depreciating asset: why would you really want to own it?
While IT can seem complex, small business owners can still make informed buying decisions from a comprehensive managed service provider like us. These are just the things your IT guy doesn’t want you to know! Give us a call today and find out how we can help your small business.