Do you ever have trouble finding the time to push a big project forward? Despite the project’s importance and your desire to do the tasks involved, it just never gets off your back burner.
Because the project never gets your attention, you don’t move forward towards your goals.
That’s what it’s like in your business when your internal IT team gets locked into day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that completely take over their time and attention. Unfortunately, in this situation, the technology innovations you envision never see the light of day, and no matter how determined you are to reach your goals, they remain out of reach.
Business leaders aren't happy with this situation so they're looking to managed IT services to offload some of their IT department’s responsibilities. That way, their internal IT staff can focus on activities that will have the biggest impact on their business. This makes a lot of sense because when it comes down to it, no matter how big or small your business is, you need everything that a comprehensive IT department can provide.
Here’s how managed IT services can help.
1. Network Management
Control the IT Environment
Network management is about controlling your IT environment.
If you know a little bit about this area of IT, your thinking might go to monitoring tools and scheduled maintenance. These are definitely areas where a managed IT services company can help by bringing best practices and sophisticated tools to proactively manage your network.
However, there’s another area of network management that might not occur to you, but it’s equally as important. We’ll introduce it to you with this story.
A manufacturing company was experiencing intermittent slowdowns in their production line. As they sought out the root cause, they determined that all of their equipment was working fine. Their IT company deduced that it was their internet that was causing the problem, and with network visibility tools they pinpointed a location on the property that was consuming a large amount of bandwidth.
What they discovered was that there was a video game console hooked up to the network and a person playing video games was causing the manufacturing line to lose connectivity.
Internet Connectivity Gets Forgotten in Network Management
The ability to connect to the internet is absolutely mission-critical to most businesses. We’re all using more and more bandwidth because more of our tools are cloud-based. When your internet connection wavers, it impacts business. And sometimes, as in the case of the manufacturing company in this story, it will stop you in your tracks.
If your internal IT is stretched thin, there’s a good chance they’re not looking at how to use network management to control internet bandwidth. They also may not have the tools to do it.
It’s not just your equipment that needs to connect. If you permit your employees to connect their smartphones to your Wi-Fi, then that might also be an area where you’re sacrificing productivity.
A managed IT services partner could help you get a better picture of the devices connected to your network and provide recommendations for better management that will cut waste and improve productivity.
2. Cyber Security
Close the Doors and Windows that Make You Vulnerable to Attack
Surprisingly enough, many internal IT teams are having trouble managing the risk of cyber attack, but it’s not all their fault.
Executives are making decisions that unknowingly increase their risk of experiencing a data breach. The IT department isn’t responding with a better recommendation because the internal staff either don’t have adequate knowledge about cyber security, or they decide not to create a potential conflict by standing up to a management decision.
A managed IT services partner could help by bringing deep cyber security expertise so you can make better-informed decisions.
When your internal IT team doesn’t have the capacity to keep up with software updates, you’re faced with additional security risks. For example, Microsoft has announced that the Windows 7 and Server 2008 operating systems will not be supported after January 14, 2020. An important repercussion of this is that security holes in the software will no longer be patched and any machines that are not updated to the newer versions will be prime targets for cyber criminals.
Depending on how many machines are affected and what is connected to them, it could be a very huge task to get your company’s equipment updated. Partnering with a managed IT services company could not only take the upgrade project off of your internal IT team’s plate, it could also give you a less disruptive and less stressful experience while you’re going through the process.
Cover Both Sides of Cyber Security
The way you manage security is going to mean the difference between keeping your business open – or not.
If you have a data breach – and many security experts say that everyone will at some point – it’s likely to take down business operations. To prevent this, you have to make sure that you have the technical components of cyber security – like firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion detection, etc. – and you have another side of security that involves processes, practices, and behaviors.
When your internal team is focused on solving problems, these areas of security can easily get neglected because they’re not on fire.
A managed IT service partner can bring you effective tactics to help you govern access to data and systems, improve password management and even give you suggestions for physical security. The net result is that all areas of security are addressed so that there aren’t any unlocked avenues for cyber criminals to enter.
Outcomes for Your Internal IT Team and Your Business
What happens when you augment your internal IT department with managed IT services? Your staff becomes free to focus on areas of IT that can have a game-changing impact on your business.
Offloading network management and cyber security responsibilities will also enable you to control costs because it pays to be proactive instead of reactive.
What's more, when your operations are running on a predictable IT framework, and you’re improving the way you use technology, you’ll find that you’re able to move faster towards your goals.
Managed IT Services for Southern California Businesses
Accent helps Southern California companies dramatically improve the way they use technology, whether they have an internal IT team or not. If you're wondering if what we do is a fit for your business, we'd love to have a conversation and offer you a free IT assessment to help you get a better picture of your IT lay of the land. Get in touch today.