25 Feb Four ways an IT partner can support your SMB
Owners of small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t usually give much thought to their IT systems until something goes wrong and they can’t access critical files.
When any part of the technology infrastructure that supports a business fails, it can have a devastating impact. Every minute of downtime is a hit to the business’s productivity. A recent survey shows that downtime is not only disruptive, it also decreases employee productivity and can jeopardize relationships with clients. More than one-third of SMBs in the survey group said they lost customers due to downtime of IT systems.
Even minor delays in system responsiveness can add up to major headaches. A five or 10-second lag to access a client management system that’s used daily can result in 20-30 minutes of downtime every day –– that’s 130 hours a year.
Now more than ever, businesses rely on technology –– to gather and analyze customer information, track inventory and sales and manage the bottom line. Having an IT partner manage your infrastructure offers flexibility and can help SMBs ensure the most efficient use of their technology assets.
According to a 2019 survey by Clutch, most businesses work with a professional IT provider to increase efficiency and gain access to expert resources, both of which are crucial for cost-conscious organizations.
Here are four important ways a managed IT services partner can help your organization.
IT expertise at your fingertips
Having an IT partner support your business gives you 24/7 access to experts who can manage software upgrades or security patches and ensure the hardware and software you depend on is stable and reliable.
Managed services can also simplify collaboration among staff by bridging the gaps between team tools, monitoring organizational systems and alerting the business when there’s an issue, reports BizTech.
Running a business is challenging at the best of times, and these are not the best of times. At ProTek IT, our team collectively has more than 50 years of experience helping professional services organizations. From lawyers and accountants to medical professionals and others –– we have helped develop a comprehensive technology strategy to keep their business running smoothly today and evolve as they grow.
With new clients, our first order of business is to conduct a needs assessment of their infrastructure to figure out what’s working and what’s not. We audit everything connected to your network –– desktops, laptops, servers, phones –– and often we discover devices that shouldn’t be there, which can put an organization at risk.
We also determine if older hardware is causing delays in your system’s responsiveness, which can throttle your team’s productivity. We make sure the network is secured and that all your software is updated with the most current security patches.
Managing operational costs is one of the biggest challenges professional services organizations face. When business owners take on the role of IT director, it diverts their attention from their core business.
Hiring a qualified full-time IT professional isn’t necessarily the best route as it can be cost-prohibitive. Outsourcing, on the other hand, gives companies an opportunity to quickly access experts they wouldn’t be able to source otherwise, at a fraction of the hiring cost, reports Forbes.
ProTek IT has built a solid reputation by working with firms in the legal, financial, insurance, real estate and other professional service industries. We offer three levels of managed IT services, depending on the business’s requirements and budget. That means even the smallest organization can take advantage of the latest IT tools and get the specialized support it needs.
Level up productivity, reduce downtime
It’s important to be proactive when it comes to managing technology. Reacting to an IT issue that’s slowing your business down is always more costly than taking steps to prevent it.
By using automated service processes, we proactively reach out to and monitor your systems, install security patches and identify potential problems before they occur. Software alerts let us know if your hard drive is reaching capacity or if an unsanctioned device has infiltrated your network so we can take steps to remedy it.
The pandemic has underscored our reliance on digital tools, prompting professional, legal, and engineering firms to take a new perspective on IT, reports XaaS Journal.
When the global pandemic forced businesses to pivot to remote work, the rush to set up home offices left many vulnerable to potential security threats. For instance, files accessed from a corporate server were then saved onto an employee’s personal home computer, exposing concerns over data protection. There were also reports of lost connections to the corporate systems because the office Internet service wasn’t built to support the number of people accessing it remotely.
Protecting data and assets has never been more important for professional services firms. At ProTek IT, we work with industry-leading vendors like Microsoft, Lenovo and Amazon to ensure that unreliable or outdated technology doesn’t stifle your organization’s productivity. Our team of experts helps you plan and predict your IT expenditures according to your unique business needs.
Selecting an IT partner
By looking outside the organization for IT management and support, SMBs can access state-of-the-art tools that work within their budgets. But how do you find the right IT partner for your business? Here are some tips:
- Ask about the availability of their support services. If you’re in Toronto but work on a West Coast timetable, make sure your provider can support you after hours. We take customer service seriously: every client we work with has my cell number.
- Verify the solutions they offer and their qualifications to support them. Certified IT professionals are the best option for professional services firms. Because technology is constantly changing, it’s important your IT partner’s certifications are current. At ProTek IT, we hold many vendor certifications, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure & 365, Sophos Security as well as management and security certification, ITIL v4, CISSP and CISA.
- Make sure the solution the IT provider proposes fits your budget but bear in mind that you get what you pay for.
Leveraging a qualified external IT partner’s expertise gives you the freedom to focus on your core business while we ensure the technology systems that support it perform flawlessly.
If you’re interested in learning more about how managed IT services can help your business, give us a call. We’d love to help!