The managed services secret
IT Systems are a critical part of most business operations. This is at a point where a system outage affecting all users can leave your entire company in limbo until your IT support team can get you back up and running. Not taking into account potential lost productivity and revenue that may be caused by this, it's hard to know how much it might cost to get your IT issues resolved and back to normal.
For businesses operating on time and materials (T&M) for IT services, this is a common story. While on the surface it seems fair to pay for only what you need, when you need it, the hidden costs of T&M – both in hard dollars and in lost opportunities – can quickly mount. It’s money, time and goodwill down the toilet every time something breaks (again), is slow and sluggish (still) or doesn’t (ever) work the way it’s supposed to.
Why pay more for managed services?
The secret? Working with an IT company under a managed service contract. In a managed service arrangement, your provider is responsible for keeping your IT systems and equipment up and running, up to date and performing at their peak. What that looks like specifically will come down to your business and its needs. For that, you’ll pay a set monthly fee.
In simplistic terms, it’s the difference between having your car regularly maintained and only taking it to the mechanics when it breaks down. Not only are issues often more expensive to resolve, you’ll have to deal with the hassle of the break down itself, too. Your car is also likely to perform less well, use more fuel and be less safe on the road. That’s the same with your IT system. When it isn’t maintained properly, it will be sluggish and less efficient, while opening your company up to more cyber-attacks.
While the month-to-month costs can seem high at first, the long term benefits can give a growing business a true competitive edge – and leave businesses still on T&M floundering behind.
However you cut the data, cyber attacks are on the increase. PricewaterhouseCoopers recorded a 38 percent rise in cyber attacks in 2015, and another study indicates that 43 percent of these attacks target small businesses.
Depending on your needs, your Managed Services IT provider may recommend some or all of these security measures – most of which you simply won’t get under a T&M model:
- Risk assessment of your key assets and systems, procedures, policies and controls, and addressing emerging threats
- Remote monitoring is when your provider continuously keeps track of your network, to spot unusual or malicious behavior, and analyses trends to spot weak areas
- Perimeter management, also a remote service, where your provider will install and maintain firewalls and intrusion detection
- Vulnerability and penetration testing simulates hacking attacks and software scans to find vulnerable spots your systems, so they can be strengthened
- Remote compliance monitoring involves software used to constantly scan your network, looking for changes. Abnormal ones or ones that don’t meet your policies are flagged immediately
Enquire below for more information as to how moving to or acquiring a Managed Services agreement can benefit your business.