Unexpected IT and Computer Problems
You sit down at your desk, coffee in hand, and fire up your computer to start your day. Except… you find you’re logged out of your office-wide instant messaging program, and try as you might, you can’t get logged back in. You request a temporary password to allow you to go in and reset your account, but find you’re still locked out.
By the time you’ve gone through every available tactic at your disposal, your coffee has gone cold, and you’re no closer to being logged in than before. What next?
If your business subscribes to managed services, help can be as close as a phone call. Dialing into a help desk will put you in touch with a living, breathing human being who can help you reset your password and get your day underway.
What are Managed Services?
“Managed Services” is a broad term for IT services provided to your business by an outside party. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) remotely monitors and manages your IT infrastructure and end-user systems (like your company email or office-wide instant messaging), and proactively resolves problems with your systems.
Types of Managed Services
The “services” part of managed services can be different for each business, depending on the types of services that a business uses. Some of the more common services provided by MSPs include:
- Help desk support
- Data backup and disaster recovery
- Network security
- Server management and security
- Hardware maintenance
- Remote network monitoring
- IT planning and implementation
- Custom software solutions
The Advantages of Managed Services
You might think managed services are just for big businesses, but I would argue that it’s the small-to-medium business that benefits the most. Small to medium businesses are less likely to have a dedicated IT person on staff to oversee the multiple systems necessary for businesses to run efficiently and profitably. By subscribing to the services provided by a managed services provider, a business can limit downtime, keep abreast of changing technology, and be proactive in meeting technology-related challenges – all while being respectful of their operating expenses.
Using a managed services provider allows your business to have:
- Controlled IT costs
- Reduced labor cost
- Knowledge base
- Increased data security
- Reduced downtime
- Advance IT planning
More Than Break/Fix Response
Before the advent of managed services, businesses without a dedicated IT staff often only addressed IT issues whenever something was broken and needed to be fixed. But as the technological landscape has evolved and issues such as data security and disaster recovery have become more and more important, businesses are recognizing that there is more to IT than just handling issues as they arise. New and updated technology, protection of critical data and operational processes, and improved employee productivity are all within reach through the use of managed services.
What do managed services providers do?
One of the best aspects of managed services is that it’s not one-size-fits-all. There are a wealth of different businesses across a variety of industries, and they each need different things in the IT sphere. Managed services can provide a tailor-made service agreement designed to provide your business with the IT assistance it needs.
Some of the services provided by MSPs include:
- Remote support
- 24/7 monitoring
- Remote diagnostics and troubleshooting
- Management and monitoring of desktops, servers, and networks
- Installation and management of software updates and patches
- Installation and management of virus, spam, and malware detection software
- Backups and restores of servers and workstations
- Installation and management of firewalls
- Hosted email
How much downtime can your business afford?
Cold coffee and unproductive mornings aside, the question you must ask yourself is this: how much downtime can my business afford? It’s one thing for one person to be locked out of a critical piece of business software, and quite another for multiple employees to experience technical difficulties.
Chances are, your business moved beyond the simple setup of a couple of PCs and a Wi-Fi connection quite some time ago. Business nowadays operates in the realm of remote servers, cloud computing, hosted email, 24/7 connectivity, and unrelenting security threats. Your business data can be vulnerable to hackers, your email could harbor viruses and malware, and the lifecycle of your business hardware is increasingly short. The combination of any of these factors could put your business at risk for disruption and downtime.
In the interest of minimizing downtime, many small to medium businesses have elected to work with a managed service provider to protect their business processes and control IT costs. Today’s modern business technologies have the potential to positively impact small and medium businesses in numerous ways, provided they can be monitored and managed to the benefit of each individual business. Managed services can help businesses reduce risk, diminish downtime, and boost productivity and profits.
If you’re ready to improve the security of your business data and enable your employees to be more productive, managed services can be the answer to your needs. Contact us here at Comer Computer Services to start the conversation – we can tailor a plan to meet the specific and unique demands of your business.