Posted On: August 20, 2013
The Top Reasons IT Managed Services Make Sense for SMBs
Many small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) are exploring the possibility of outsourcing their enterprise resource planning (ERP) maintenance and support functions to an IT managed services provider (MSP), with good reasons!
Here, we’ll look at the top benefits SMBs can realize by outsourcing their information technology (IT).
Reduction in IT Costs
Reducing IT costs is one of the most compelling reasons for outsourcing IT to a managed services provider. ERP hosting helps small and mid-size businesses control capital expenditures, especially during the first few years of business operations.
IT services within an organization make up a significant portion of fixed costs for businesses that choose not to outsource to an IT managed services provider (MSP). Businesses that opt to outsource IT to a capable service provider are able to convert fixed expenses to variable costs, freeing up capital which can be used in other areas of the business and making the business more attractive to key stakeholders.
Easy Access to the Latest Technologies
Access to the latest technologies can represent an insurmountable challenge for small-to-mid-sized businesses. In order to implement new technologies as an in-house project SMBs are required to spend weeks planning for implementation, hire IT personnel with appropriate certification and training, and then provide the necessary support during the process of implementation and after the new technologies are in place.
By outsourcing IT to a competent IT managed services provider, SMBs can have easy access to the latest technologies while saving time and money on acquiring IT professionals that have the necessary experience and expertise. This helps small and mid-size business remain competitive while reducing the costs associated with implementing new technologies.
Security and Compliance Requirements
The modern consumer is digitally oriented when it comes to making purchases. This means that small and mid-sized businesses must raise the bar in terms of security and compliance in order to win customer trust and continue to increase revenues.
Accepting many different forms of payment requires technology which is secure and meets compliance standards. This can be a costly proposition for SMBs in terms of technology implementation including making sure the firewall is up to date, the potential installation of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) which prevents outside access to sensitive data on a company network, installing the necessary infrastructure to meet PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) which ensures proper handling of cardholder information, and much more.
By outsourcing this area of IT to a managed services provider, SMBs can minimize the risks associated with securing customer data while saving on IT expenditures required to meet security and compliance standards.
Improved Risk Management
Every small-to-mid-sized business carries a specific number of risks due to the ever-changing markets, technologies, government regulations and standards, and financial conditions. Protecting and managing risk typically requires a comprehensive risk management strategy in order to minimize the impact of changing business conditions.
SMBs that choose to outsource to an IT managed services provider can place risk management in the hands of professionals who are experienced in many different facets of business. An MSP will assume and manage many of the risks associated with running a small-to-mid-sized business by offering comprehensive industry knowledge and experience with security and compliance regulations, reducing the possibility of unexpected expenses which can result from unanticipated risks.
Access to IT Expertise
Most small- to-medium-sized businesses are unable to afford the expense of hiring an entire team of IT support professionals. When a problem arises with the infrastructure, SMBs are left to try to solve the issue in-house, which can result in loss of productivity and revenue due to downtime. ERP hosting presents the solution to this dilemma, providing immediate access to a team of experts without the costs of employing an in-house team.
Tech Support 24/7
Small-to-mid-sized businesses that choose to maintain their infrastructure in-house often have difficulty finding a competent IT professional that offers tech support around the clock. This could mean waiting several days to find someone with the appropriate knowledge to solve the IT issue. It also adds costs to business operations while sacrificing productivity and revenue until the problem is solved.
Outsourcing IT guarantees access to a team of dedicated and readily available IT specialists. As soon as an IT issue is detected, it can be examined and fixed immediately, regardless of whether it is day, night, or over the weekend.
Reduce Labor and Training Costs
Small-to-mid-sized businesses that opt to employ their own staff can spend a lot of time and money on salary, benefits, and training to bring employees up to speed with business operations. This can take a huge chunk of money out of company revenue and profits. Depending upon the nature of the business, it can also prevent the business from moving out of the ‘break even’ stage into profitability.
Outsourcing labor and training means SMBs can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing there are skilled and dedicated IT professionals working on-call.
Small-to-mid-sized businesses opting for an in-house IT infrastructure often face exorbitant IT expenditures as the business changes or grows. Deploying technology and applications each time a change occurs can be a daunting task and one that doesn’t exactly level the playing field for SMBs to compete with large corporations.
SMBs that use ERP hosting pay only for the services that they use. As business needs change or expand, the managed service provider can add or remove resources and perform new configurations at a moment’s notice.
Focus on Core Requirements
In today’s economy, businesses that are leveraging the latest technology resources are the ones that remain competitive. This requires the leadership and guidance of specific technology professionals. If IT leaders are busy maintaining in-house IT, this not only drains IT budget resources but also diverts the IT professionals’ attention away from core business requirements.
Outsourcing IT helps businesses stay focused on core initiatives instead of spending unnecessary time and energy on complex IT matters.
An increasing number of small-to-mid-sized businesses are outsourcing IT not only to reduce costs but also to provide their business the opportunity to have access to highly skilled IT experts and the latest technologies.
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