Business technology is increasingly complicated. You have all types of hardware and software just to provide your employees with the kind of work environment they need to maximize the time they are at work. Unfortunately for business owners, however, this technology isn’t cheap. If your business is having a difficult time staying current with your technology, considering services that stretch your company’s available technology budget is a solid practice.
For the small or medium-sized business, the situation hasn’t always been so forgiving. Only a few short years ago, if you wanted to take advantage of the latest and greatest technology solutions, you were going to pay through the nose. Nowadays, almost every aspect of an SMB’s technology can be outsourced at a much more affordable rate through a managed IT service provider. Here are three services every business owner should know about today.
Hardware as a Service (HaaS)
The traditional technology budget makes large allowances for hardware; without servers, workstations, routers, or switches, a business couldn’t have a computing infrastructure. Typically, hardware expenses have a tendency to dominate a company’s IT budget; so much so that many organizations are left without proper IT support for their computing infrastructure because they simply can’t afford to hire a full-time technician.
Hardware as a Service provides businesses the opportunity to get the network components they need, billed monthly. It differs from a traditional leasing agreement in that if a piece of hardware malfunctions or becomes unusable because of obsolescence, the HaaS distributor will provide new pieces of hardware at no additional cost. By providing a way for small businesses to get today’s best computing equipment, HaaS providers can deliver excellent value.
By now, you are probably tired of hearing about “The Cloud” as it is seemingly everywhere. I guess that’s the point. Cloud computing isn’t a new concept, but it can do some pretty amazing things. A business can purchase access to storage, software, security solutions, hosted desktop environments, and even complete computing infrastructures in the cloud. This presents organizations that might have had trouble affording multiple servers, the ability to pay monthly for a hosted environment where their data is secure and available anywhere. Since these services are billed monthly, it gives an organization much more flexibility in their technology budget.
As mentioned previously, it is difficult for smaller organizations with limited revenue to justify spending a large chunk of their IT budget on a technician’s salary. The reality is that “you get what you pay for.” If you have to hire a “discount” technician because that’s “all you can afford,” perhaps one who doesn’t understand industry best practices or compliance regulations, it can get your business in hot water. This is where a managed services provider can bridge the gap. Your organization can pay a company with certified and knowledgeable technicians in a variety of areas a monthly service charge. In this model, you’d have access to a number of IT services, including:
- Proactive system monitoring, management, and problem-resolution
- Network and Server maintenance
- System security
- Hardware support
- 24/7 help desk support
- Vendor management
- Data backup and recovery
Even if your organization has in-house IT staff, these organizations can support your company by handling the more mundane IT tasks; allowing your technicians to focus their efforts on more dynamic initiatives that can bring about organizational growth. Keeping your networks, servers, and endpoint computer systems up and running properly is a key component to avoiding downtime, and all of this can be outsourced to a Managed IT service provider for a simple monthly fee.