Managed IT services provide solutions which are continuously in transition. Technology moves forward exponentially, and there comes a point where tech providers can no longer service old IT. This point seems to come sooner than many expect it. If you don’t keep pace with the market, your operational “sky” may very well fall.
Avoid Fallout of Outdated Technology Issues
For an idea of how updating technology is fundamental, consider the recent Windows 7 End of Life Issue. Windows 7 became generally available to the public in October of 2009. As of January, 2020, it reached it’s EOL, or End Of Life. Support from Microsoft ended for this product. Now that’s a lifespan of just over ten years. There are plenty of automobiles on the road today from the eighties that can still be repaired, serviced and kept in use without any serious problems.
Because we have products that can last for many years, it can lead us to expecting the same lifespan from other products, especially expensive ones. It can actually be dangerous and ruinous for businesses to apply this logic to IT infrastructure.
If you get behind on your IT infrastructure, you could be opening yourself up to legal fines. On top of the larger dangers of neglecting this issue, it can be expensive and cumbersome to try to keep old tech gear functioning at all. Can you imagine trying to get someone to provide tech support on a nineties floppy-disc drive? You’d have to seek out a niche specialist, and even if you found someone who can do the work, the time you spend on such a mission is a hidden cost. It’s even more tricky if you’ve got additional issues to deal with, like regulatory compliance and compatibility with other software and devices.
Managed IT service providers generally advise, and can help you apply, several courses of action to protect your organization’s IT environment:
- Maintain legal compliance; know which regulations apply to your business in order to avoid fines
- Be sure backup and recovery plans are taking compliance and sustainability into account
- Keep pace With IT changes for cost-effectiveness, competitive viability, along with compliance
Maintain Legal Compliance
Managed IT services can help you navigate through different compliance demands regarding your IT environment. However, recommendations may vary based on different industries, which may not be held to the same criteria or legal standard. For example, if you’re in manufacturing, you may not be liable to the same data protection laws HIPAA enforces on healthcare institutions.
You could be required to maintain a certain standard pertaining to notification of affected parties in the event of a data breach. Breach notification law exists in most states, and the way such law is worded tends to include any business dealing with what’s defined by tech lawyers as PI, or Personal Information.
If you’re dealing with information that isn’t of the PI variety, you may not be required by local law to comply to breach notification procedures. Complicating things further, different states have different definitions for PI. They’re all similar, but some are more inclusive than others. Working with an MSP helps ensure you’re always legally compliant without having to devote too much time to following all of the changes that come along.
Backup And Recovery Plans For Compliance And Sustainability
Managed IT services help businesses large and small backup their data, retaining compliance in this area. Here are the backup laws pertaining to HIPAA, as an example.
BDR, or Backup and Disaster Recovery, is a common collection of protocols and protection practices which are fundamental to preserving data even if you’ve got to wipe primary systems as a result of a data breach. For those who must retain HIPAA compliance, having BDR is key. It’s also a great way for general business operations to help facilitate their own compliance.
You’ll need solutions here that are extensive enough to cover your infrastructure, and also retain compliance. One substantial incident can destroy your company. Managed IT services providers help you identify the steps you should take and implement a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that includes layers that address even the smallest of potential hazards to your business IT environment.
Keep Pace With IT Changes For Cost-Effectiveness, Competitive Viability, And Compliance
One continuous issue that every business must face relative to information technology is its exponential rate of growth. Presently, Moore’s Law is reckoned at eighteen-month intervals, and it’s expected to continue being applicable to technology for an indeterminate time. What this essentially means for you is the rate of technology innovation doubles on itself every eighteen months.
As a business–large or small–you need to respect this pace. If you lag behind, parts of your technology structure could gradually stop working efficiently or increase your vulnerability to cyber threats. In addition to reducing your risk of something catastrophic happening to your business, gradually addressing changes along the way fits into your normal operating costs. Reacting to a forced change once it becomes critical will have a serious impact to your cash flow with required, often large, unplanned purchases. MSPs are the best solution for small to mid-sized businesses to manage these constantly changing technology and compliance needs.