Springfield area business owners: when was the last time you thought about your I.T. infrastructure? Unless you’re having connectivity and computer issues, it’s probably been a while.
Most business owners don’t consider updating their I.T. infrastructure until it’s causing problems like network outages or lost data. However, with proactive planning and optimization, you can gain a competitive edge by increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
Here are a few ways optimization can put you ahead of the curve:
1.Increased Network Speed & Reliability
One of the most popular forms of I.T. optimization is network management, and for good reason. Most small- to -medium-sized businesses depend on a fast, reliable network to keep them running smoothly.
Managed service providers (MSPs) typically offer 24-hour network monitoring and management services designed to identify and fix network problems before they cause costly outages.
Whether it’s caused by a powerful storm hitting Polk County or a stray bulldozer cutting cables in Ozark, a network outage costs an average of $5,600 per minute, according to Gartner. With so much on the line, it’s no wonder businesses are increasingly focused on network improvements as a means of staying competitive.
2. Improved Website Performance
Your website is often a customer, client, or patient’s first point of contact. It should project professionalism and encourage visitors to take the next step—but slow load times could be repelling users before they even get a chance to learn more about your business.
If lagging website performance is dragging you down, there are several I.T. solutions that can help you reach those valuable viewers.
An MSP can ensure that your web traffic is routed through data centers in the most efficient way possible, while also helping you to make any changes to your website that will help decrease load times. It can also make sure your servers are equipped to handle extra traffic if you are planning to attract more visitors to your site.
3. Enhanced Cybersecurity
Cyber attacks are one of the major threats facing companies of all sizes—even small, local businesses are vulnerable to phishing and malware attacks.
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends securing your network and educating employees about the dangers of cybercrime.
If your company has limited I.T. resources and training, though, it can be difficult to follow through on that advice.
Managed service providers help their clients with more than just optimizing hardware and providing software solutions; they also provide training for employees so they can recognize common tactics employed by cybercriminals to trick business owners into providing sensitive information.
Ensuring your business is equipped to prevent data breaches will help you maintain a competitive edge in 2019 and beyond.
4. Heightened Disaster Preparedness
Disaster can strike at any time, particularly in southwestern Missouri. A 2015 report by Springfield News-Leader showed that the area was at an unusually high risk of flooding. Whether it’s natural or manmade, a disaster can mean the end of a business that isn’t prepared for one.
An MSP can help you to optimize I.T. processes so that no information will be lost in the event of a power failure or data breach. By ensuring that all your vital data is available on secure cloud servers, your company can stay competitive even if your hardware is destroyed.
5. Improved Efficiency
There are several ways I.T. optimization can help improve the efficiency of your business.
For instance, advances in IoT (Internet of Things) technology have enabled new solutions in the medical and transportation sectors and beyond. IoT-enabled sensors can track locations and help you keep track of inventory, eliminating a lot of time spent on status updates, just to name one example.
Partnering with an MSP can help you to eliminate redundancies, especially when it comes to tackling I.T. problems. Thanks to remote help desk capabilities and other useful services, your I.T. department will be free to focus on helping your company grow rather than dealing with mundane, frustrating computer problems.
In addition to saving time by setting up smart devices and outsourced help desk support, an MSP can also make sure you’re getting the most out of existing hardware.
Anthesis Group recently reported that as many as 30% of servers worldwide are taking up energy—and servers require tremendous amounts of energy to cool and maintain—without performing much computing. An MSP can help you consolidate servers, saving money, and reducing environmental impact.
Potential customers will appreciate your commitment to going green—especially if your data center is located in the local Springfield area.
What Are the First Steps?
You can take several immediate steps on your own or with the help of existing I.T. employees to optimize your technological solutions.
Make Your Website Faster
Create a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan
While MSPs provide comprehensive disaster recovery services, you can still take proactive steps on your own to be better prepared for an emergency without the help of a managed service provider.
First, ensure that all data is backed up, ideally to secure cloud servers, so that operations can be maintained. CIO recommends identifying critical functions, determining acceptable downtime, putting a plan in place, and testing the plan.
Small- to medium-sized businesses face growing competition in Springfield. There’s a reason the area has a reputation as a great destination for entrepreneurs. But I.T. optimization can help you gain an advantage in addition to saving money and increasing efficiency.
JMARK is proud to be headquartered in Springfield. It’s the perfect spot from which to serve our nationwide clientele. For more information about how we can help your business remain competitive for years to come, call 844-44-JMARK, email us at jmarkit@JMARK.com or visit the Contact Us page of our website.