Aside from birth, death, and taxes, creating a budget might just be one of the most universal human experiences. That goes double for business owners. Each segment of your company has a set amount of resources dedicated to keeping it running efficiently, but you’ve probably noticed one department in particular whose piece of the pie chart keeps steadily growing: I.T.
This creates a dilemma for many companies. Technology is an important resource, and a business is only as successful as the tools it has at its disposal. That being said, you probably can’t afford to siphon off the necessary funds from your marketing, production, or finance departments. What is a moderately-sized business organization to do?
Here are some signs it’s time to find more cost-effective technological solutions:
Your Network Is Unreliable
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of a fast, reliable network, whatever your line of work may be. Every minute of downtime results in lost data and revenue, and if your network infrastructure is out of date, you probably experience your fair share of outages. At that point, you should probably weigh the cost of replacing your network against the hours of work lost every month to unforeseen network downtime. A managed service provider (MSP) can help you build and maintain a network capable of handling the demands of a growing company.
You Handle Your Own I.T. Needs
While it makes sense for large corporations to have dedicated I.T. departments, this solution is often difficult for small to medium-sized businesses to achieve. Often the result is a few overworked people rushing around putting out proverbial (and sometimes literal) fires. Ideally, you should be able to handle technological problems proactively before they arise, but many smaller companies simply do not have the resources to devote to anticipating future issues. This results in a costly break/fix cycle, meaning that the company waits until something breaks and then patches it up as best they can. As a result, every time something goes wrong, costs go up and the overall infrastructure becomes less reliable. Outsourcing some of your maintenance can go a long way towards saving you money.
You’re Not Utilizing Cloud Services
Cloud computing allows everyone in your organization to share important files for instant collaboration, which saves you valuable time. Having data backed up remotely also keeps you from having to worry about information losses should your network go down or become compromised. Scalable, accessible cloud services are essential to any business interested in increasing productivity and connectivity, but you might not be sure of how to go about implementing them on your own. A reliable MSP can get you started on the cloud and lower the cost of storing and sharing data across the board.
Your Budget Is Unpredictable
This might sound familiar: January was smooth sailing, but when February rolled around, a power surge fried your important hardware, resulting in thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Companies that handle their I.T. solutions in-house often experience these budgetary rollercoasters, which are certainly frustrating for any CEO who needs to replace a cooked server on Valentine’s Day. If you are tired of watching problems explode into emergencies, consider augmenting your I.T. department with a service that will provide data backup and constant monitoring.
You Have No Way of Gathering and Analyzing Data
Collecting data on your customers’ habits and behavior over time is hugely important—it allows you to better address their concerns and shows you what to focus on in the future. Services such as Google Analytics can give you a useful snapshot of website performance and conversion rates, but there are many other relevant metrics to consider. As many as 50% of companies question the validity of the data they receive, according to Advanced Network Systems. A managed service provider can collect relevant data and present it in a clear report, removing the guesswork and providing your company with a clear set of actionable insights.
You Rely on Manual Processes
If your I.T. infrastructure still depends mainly on human control, you are leaving yourself open to a whole host of problems, from security breaches to errors in data input. Automating processes such as data backup and system updates takes a significant amount of busy-work off the plates of your existing staff and reduces the error rate. This will free up your I.T. department to direct its energies where they are most needed: helping your business meet its goals by creating unique technological solutions.
You Pay a Monthly Fee, but Receive Little to No I.T. Support
If you already use a managed service provider to help with technological solutions, you have probably encountered some of these problems in the past. However, not all MSPs offer equivalent services—some are responsive, while others tend to drag their feet when getting back to clients about their concerns. In addition, your current MSP may not provide important services like around-the-clock monitoring and support. If you feel you are not getting your money’s worth, consider revisiting your service agreement and researching competing managed service providers to learn about other options that might be available in your budget.
So, How Many Companies Actually Save Money With MSPs?
Online research can leave business owners a bit vague on the details of exactly how the cost/benefit numbers break down, but a recent survey by CompTIA provides some specific insights. Out of 400 businesses surveyed, 184 indicated that they had reduced I.T. spending by 25% or more. That’s almost half of the total participants who noticed significant savings. In addition, 58 of the respondents saved over 50%, and 89% of the companies reported that they were very happy with the overall experience of working with their MSP. Those numbers add up to a pretty positive response to managed services among organizations that have tried them.
For more in-depth insights about how switching to an MSP can improve your company’s bottom line, or to learn more about how to get started, contact JMARK today at [email protected] or call 844-44-JMARK.