What are IT managed services for? Many small businesses assume that they are all about ‘keeping the lights on’ – a valuable activity, certainly, but one that should operate quietly in the background rather than having a substantial impact on business innovation, development and competitiveness.
This is a limited view. The right IT managed services can have a dramatic impact on revenue growth and the business bottom line, in a wide variety of ways. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Business 101 – improve your productivity, and you will increase your revenue. And managed services can enhance productivity in several different ways. Most obviously of all, they reduce application and server downtime, therefore ensuring business continuity and more time spent on productive tasks. But managed services can also enable more flexible and remote working practices, by taking over the management of business servers and ensuring that staff members can access their key applications wherever their work takes them, rather than merely at their desks. Then there’s the data analytics side of things. Sophisticated managed services can provide businesses with intelligent insights as to the performance of their IT infrastructure and enable actions to be undertaken that eliminate bottlenecks and enhance efficiency.
This might seem like a misnomer. After all, managed services are an additionalcost, surely? Ye – but they also eliminate the need for plenty of others – such as unnecessary hardware, or in-house staff whose expertise will now be covered by the outsourced team. Additionally, experienced managed services providers can help businesses to both rationalise their IT spend, ensuring that it is allocated to genuinely essential hardware and software and not wasted on things like unused licenses, and to negotiate the best possible deal with vendors.
Stay ahead of the curve
Managed IT services suppliers are organisational IT specialists. It is their job to ensure that your business has access to the right technology for the job, whether that is a well-established application or a brand-new tool. They can guide you through deciding whether a new technological trend is something you should be getting involved with – particularly important in today’s dynamic IT landscape – and they can provide training as required to ensure that your staff get on board too. An IT managed services provider will also take care of all patching and upgrades, ensuring your IT infrastructure is kept absolutely up-to-date and there operating optimally.
Take care of security and compliance
IT security and compliance incidents, whether due to human error, malicious intervention or technology failure, can be some of the most costly events in any business’s life, and for a small organisation they can be truly devastating. IT managed services greatly reduce the risk of such an incident occurring in the first place, and the impact and cost should the worst happen. They can help ensure that your organisation has the most robust and appropriate security tools and processes in place; their remote monitoring means that incidents can be rapidly identified and responded to; and by delivering data backup and disaster recovery, they can help you get back on your feet faster following an incident. All of these elements can contribute to a healthier business bottom line.
Managed IT services are not merely another cost for your organisation to think about; they can be an active way of reducing other costs and enhancing your revenue. To explore further how managed services could enhance your business line, get in touch with APH today.