Choosing the right level of IT support is extremely important in creating a plan to maximize the level of efficiency in your office among your employees. You might already have an IT guy, which is great, but your system might need more monitoring and a little more IT-TLC.
Moving from Break-Fix to Managed IT Services
It’s great to have someone fix things as they break. You don’t pay much, you can call them when you need and not worry about a salary, and you’re not on the hook for any extra expenses. If you have a single employee, this might be a reasonable option for you. For this break-fix method, keep in mind you’re sacrificing the confidence you would have in being sure that everything is working as it should. Break-fix is simply a band-aid that you put on your IT issues. Operating your business with the ideology that a temporary break-fix method is a permanent fix only hinders your businesses ability to be functioning at peak efficiency. What happens when your "computer guy" is unavailable, or doesn't know how to solve the issue? You're out of band-aids.
An in-house IT professional takes this approach a step further. Having someone on-site or remote who is familiar with your systems means you don’t have to go far or wait long to fix issues that arise. There aren’t extra hours or projects to pay for, and the convenience of it means you’re spending less time tracking them down for essential functions. The cost of a full-time employee is something to consider, though. Is your IT person optimizing your systems, making sure you get the most out of your network and updating security to the latest and greatest on a regular basis? Most of the time, the IT professional is the gatekeeper between you and the network. Do you know what is going on behind your firewalls? Or, if something happens to your IT professional, do you know what to do in an emergency situation?
Enter: Managed IT Services
The ultimate monitoring and managing strategy. More and more, companies are outsourcing their IT services to a professional team rather than an in-house individual. Sometimes this decision comes after a catastrophic event, or it comes when management realizes the IT professional isn’t being proactive in their systems monitoring and updating. The decision can even come when that individual is overwhelmed and can no longer provide the level of support required to run your business. Managed IT Services utilize a team of IT professionals to monitor, update, and proactively maintain your systems. Ultimately, that means the worry is out of your hands. This means you have more eyes and more minds working for you, and more free time to focus on what you need to be doing – which is not babysitting your network. Having an outsourced, dedicated team means that your systems run without you having to lift a finger. And when something does go wrong, you’re notified of the problem and the solution, without having to wonder what the heck is going on in that server room.
This is a “peace of mind” model that stays up to date on the latest bugs and fixes. C-level executives don’t need to spend their days concerned with whether or not their systems are working. Just like with your copiers and printers, you want it to be there, work properly, and not interfere with your day to day operations. Managed IT Services allows you to have a working system that stays out of your way.
If you haven’t considered this option yet because you’ve always done it a certain way, it’s time to take a serious look at the benefits of having a team at your disposal. Don’t let sticker price deter you, either. What you save on the back-end often justifies the front-end cost. Plus, isn’t it better to have total peace of mind rather than wonder? Especially since your entire business relies on your network!
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Originally published December 21, 2017, updated October 30, 2018