It’s time to look at this month’s cash flow. If you are a business owner, it’s rarely a pleasant task. There always seems to be something that was outside the budget. This month you weren’t counting on buying a new desktop or having someone come out to set it up and install it on your network.
Maybe, it’s time to look at an in-house IT person. At least, cash flow would be more predictable. Do you really need a full-time IT manager? Is there such a thing as a part-time manager? Are there other options?
What is IT Management?
An IT manager oversees your company’s technology infrastructure and end-user systems. That doesn’t sound like much until you start taking an inventory of your IT equipment.
How many desktops do you have? Printers? What about firewalls and routers? What about software? Do you know if you have enough licenses for the software you use? Do you know if any of your equipment should be replaced? What about cybersecurity?
Suddenly, IT management seems a lot more involved. Maybe an IT manager costs more than you thought. Perhaps, a managed IT service provider could help with that cash-flow problem.
What is a Managed IT Service Provider?
A managed service provider or MSP delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure, and security services. They may do this through ongoing and regular support and active administration on-site or in a data center. An MSP takes care of the infrastructure and devices as well as provides continuous, regular management, maintenance, and support.
All companies are different, and so are their networks. That’s why MSPs meet with you to determine the size of your network, your projected growth, and your immediate needs. They will help you identify mission-critical devices and critical data. Of course, they will discuss cybersecurity.
After collecting needed information, an MSP presents a plan for proactively keeping your network and its devices operational. It may include keeping your software current and applying all updates and patches.
Fixed Monthly Costs
MSP services are offered through subscription plans which identify the services to be rendered and the cost per month for those services. Equipment and software purchases are outside the scope of most subscription plans.
As you review the subscription plans, consider business continuity and disaster recovery options. How quickly do you need to be up and running after a system failure? Maybe a backup system would ensure the continuity you need.
Disaster recovery is a part of business planning that no one likes to think about. But, you can’t exist in Alabama without considering severe weather such as tornadoes or flooding. How long can your business operate after a disaster hits? MSPs can help with a disaster recovery plan.
Whatever services you require can be a part of your subscription plan, making it easy to know what your IT costs will be from month-to-month. You no longer have to worry about those unexpected IT expenses.
Managed IT providers proactively keep your network and its devices operational. They keep your software, including your operating system, up-to-date with patches and upgrades. They can assist with testing equipment and software before placing it into a production environment. Because MSPs monitor and maintain the devices on your network, they can identify potential equipment failures before they occur, giving you the ability to budget for the added expense before it happens. This means less impact on your cash flow and your business operations.
Fewer Business Disruptions
The MSP subscription plan provides you with predictable IT support costs, making it easier to budget. It also minimizes the impact on cash flow by having a set, monthly, support cost. Using an MSP also means fewer business disruptions. By proactively monitoring your system, MSPs can keep your network running as smoothly as possible. They can also minimize business disruptions by scheduling routine maintenance after normal business hours. Examine how you can improve your IT support structure today.