Managed IT Services: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This time of year many of us are on the hunt for presents. Toys and games for kids, sparkly jewelry for the ladies in our lives, gadgets and sports gear for the guys, pictures of the grand-kids for the grandparents… a little something for everyone. It feels good to bring joy to your loved ones.

While your small business isn’t a person, it can certainly feel like an animated presence in your life. After all, you worry about its growths and ability to sustain itself, just like you do with your kids. So, maybe this year your business deserves a present, too.

One of the most caring and forward-looking things you can do to help your business is to retain an expert team of IT professionals to secure your network, your servers and the work stations your employees use. Considering the sheer volume of known cyber threats out there, no enterprise can afford to short shrift its network security. And while an in-house IT person is certainly capable of managing some of your IT needs, the truth is, it takes a full team to provide the kind of protection a successful business requires.

Benefits of IT Support Services

Time is an important and valuable resource. For small businesses with tight margins, it is imperative that employees allocate their time to required tasks efficiently. A wasted couple of hours here and there could have a dramatic effect on the bottom line.

Smart business owners build contingency plans into their project timelines to minimize disruption. However, even contingency plans can’t account for a cascade of network or computer-related issues.

Most of us know from experience that figuring out network problems or dealing with software updates gone wrong can suck up tons of time. Even if your IT staff is there to help, their attention is taken away from other scheduled IT projects.

Having a team of professionals at the ready to solve whatever problems come up takes the burden off the shoulders of your employees and the in-house IT staff. It should also give you peace of mind to know that your issue is being taken care of by a capable and dedicated group of people, trained specifically to resolve the problem you are experiencing.

It pays to contract an IT services company that is in relatively close proximity to your business. The best managed IT service providers have the capability to respond quickly to emergencies, providing in-person, on-site assistance when needed.

Prevention = Cost Savings

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin

While the original quote by Benjamin Franklin was about fire safety, the axiom applies equally well to network security. Managed IT services can help your business avoid a number of problems that could lead to downtime and loss of revenue without tying up your in-house resources.

More than a few businesses succumb to ransomware attacks or other nefarious intrusions to their network every year. You can’t predict when such attacks may happen, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid being targeted. What you can do is be as prepared as possible.

The best way to do that is to have an experienced and reliable team set up your defenses. A robust firewall and data backup solutions protect your business network from cyber criminals. But, if the absolute worst happens and your defenses are compromised, a good managed IT service provider will help you activate your emergency response plan, isolate the threat, transfer your data to a secure server or cloud, and keep your downtime to a minimum.

Preventative maintenance of your company computers, including software patches to guard against the latest security exploits, also contributes greatly to business continuity. So, it makes sense to place this responsibility in the hands of trained professionals, too. After all, you hired your employees to be experts in their subject matter. The less time your team spends on routine maintenance concerns, the more time they can devote to doing the job they were hired for.

Beacon Knows IT

So, while we’re still in the midst of shopping season, don’t forget to get your business something nice. Give BITS a call. We’ll be happy to put together a custom solution for your business and make 2019 your best year yet!

By | 2018-12-20T06:35:29+00:00 December 20th, 2018|IT Services|

Why Locality Matters for Managed IT Services

Many companies rely on managed IT services to help them keep their computers secure and in peak performing conditions. It isn’t too difficult to find a provider that can keep your software up to date, make sure the latest security patches are implemented, or execute regular data backups.

The decision to “farm out” the upkeep of a company’s digital infrastructure is a smart one for many businesses. After all,

if technical/computer know-how has nothing to do with your industry, it doesn’t always make sense to devote an entire department to a skill set you know little about operationally.

That said, your organizational digital infrastructure is an important part of running your business. You want to make sure that the vendor you choose to hire has both, sound technical capabilities and trustworthiness.  Undoubtedly, these are very important decision points.

However, one thing that some decision-makers may overlook is the location of your IT support providers. In fact, in today’s ultra-connected and shrinking world, it may seem old-fashioned, maybe even uncool, to base a  vendor selection criteria around the concept of locality.

With the ever-expanding cloud economy, you may assume that IT is the last industry where physical location matters. After all, a tech can fix a problem on your work computer in seconds via remote access from anywhere in the world.

This is, of course, true. So, why does locality matter?

Face-to-Face Interactions Are Still Important

Knowing your clients is another old-fashioned business value.

Most businesses that rely on vendors for IT security and support believe that the less they hear from the vendor the better. No news is good news. Much like your favorite football team’s offensive line, if you’re talking about it, it’s probably because there’s a problem.

At BITS, we take a different view. Our aim is to develop and maintain close working relationships with all of our clients through regular conversations. We know that an offensive line can only protect your quarterback if it knows the game plan. Moreover, if the defense calls a blitz and you need to change the play at the line of scrimmage, the new play will only work if your linemen know the audible calls.

Football analogies aside, communication is still an important aspect of managing your vendors. And, as old-fashioned as face-to-face meetings and onsite visits may seem, they still offer the best methods of ensuring that the team you hire to protect you has the necessary information and understanding to do the job properly.

We believe you should treat your IT vendor as a full member of your team, and include them in pertinent business discussions. We want to be in the huddle with you.

Project Planning

Close integration with your IT vendor fosters operational familiarity and increases efficiency. But, it can also help your provider anticipate your needs and help you with project planning.

If you’re expanding or moving offices, for example, it makes sense to involve your IT services team in the planning stages. Such a project is a logistical monster. Your vendor can provide valuable advice by recommending the best types of equipment, an efficient computer network setup, and a new emergency response plan.

No matter what kind of project you’re undertaking, the more your managed IT services vendor knows about your operational cycles, technology use patterns and future goals, the more they can do to move your projects forward quickly and efficiently.

Beacon Knows IT

If you want a closer, more responsive relationship with the team responsible for your IT operations and security, give us a call at 336.546.6660. See what you’ve been missing.

By | 2018-11-27T08:59:13+00:00 August 16th, 2018|BITS Team, IT Services|