If you own a small business, it can be tough to know when to enlist expert help. But the right IT services partner can not only ensure your cyber security and small business IT support, but also enable it for future growth.
Often small businesses think they are too small to consider outsourcing IT services. The truth is, no business is too small. Even a business of fewer than 20 people can benefit from having the right IT partner. It really depends on how many devices and users you manage and how sensitive the business’s data is. The trick is finding the right IT service provider.
First, outline your current technology needs. You don’t have to do this alone, many IT service providers will give you a free consultation to help. Then decide if managed services or a supplemental approach will best serve your small business IT needs.
Identifying Small Business IT Support Needs
No two small businesses are alike, but most will usually have technology needs related to:
- Accounting services
- Inventory management
- Credit card processing
- Customer service/management
An IT support partner can help by:
- Directly managing accounting, inventory or credit card processing vendors.
- Making sure services “talk” to each other.
- Continuously updating software or devices owned by your company, including computers, VOIP phones, mobile phones and servers.
An IT support partner should also be highly qualified and experienced in cyber security so they can advise you on what tools your company needs, and then implement and manage those tools. A good IT partner can provide training to your staff on how to keep everything, including personal data, secure from the most clever hackers.
You don’t ever want to have a breach. It’s not only extremely expensive in staff time and money, it also does damage to the reliability and integrity of your company. Small businesses are no longer protected by being small or obscure. They are the easiest targets and criminals feed on them.
The average cost of a data breach for businesses with fewer than 500 employees
MSP for Small Business IT Support
A managed service provider (MSP) takes on all your IT needs for a monthly fee. This gives small businesses the benefits of a large internal IT department without the cost. Those benefits include:
- Constant coverage. There is always someone watching your back. MSPs offer service 365 days a year 24/7.
- Cybersecurity. MSPs are proactively working to prevent any disasters. Many use a flat fee service which means it’s in their best interest to keep your business from crashing. By monitoring for problems, the MSP helps you determine if your systems need changing or updating. They should also offer security training for your team to learn how to keep data protected.
- Disaster recovery plan. Losing a server or having to isolate your staff because of something like COVID, is not a problem. In conjunction with you, the MSP will create a disaster recovery plan for your business and your staff.
- Cost-effective. MSPs bring a team of IT professionals to work for your business and the cost is usually less than having one in-house person (with benefits, sick time, vacations, etc.). Plus, you save the time spent on recruiting, hiring and training an internal IT employee only to have them leave (typically within three years) and you have to do it all over again. Your time would be better spent growing and improving your business.
- Partnership. Many MSP leaders are small business owners themselves. They will provide their knowledge base, experience and insights to give you the best IT for YOUR company.
Supplemental IT Support for Small Business
Supplemental IT support is another option to meet your small to medium-size business IT needs. Where an MSP acts like your internal IT team, supplemental support acts like your internal IT team’s best friends. Whether it is a specific expertise or just an extra pair of hands, supplemental IT services fill in the gaps so your internal IT team can stay focused on your company’s goals.
Supplemental IT service is a great way for small businesses to keep their internal IT superstars from burning out by providing after hours and vacation coverage. Supplemental support can provide specific ongoing support, such as:
- Assistance purchasing new hardware and software
- Patch management to keep software secure and up to date
- On-demand helpdesk support
- IT automation
- Proactive system monitoring and cyber security expertise
Whether you choose managed services or proactive support, an IT services partner can help you achieve your vision for business continuity and growth. Strategic IT outsourcing can help your small business balance the cost of technology with the benefits to your business.
Intrust IT offers both managed IT services and supplemental support to small and medium-size businesses in the Cincinnati region. Contact us for information or book an appointment for a free consultation.