Managed IT services help businesses in a number of ways. First and foremost, they enable teams to perform at their best without being hindered by avoidable IT issues that arise from time to time.
Secondly, managed IT services provide companies with access to expert technical support and cutting-edge software without the stress of sourcing it themselves.
These are just two of many benefits managed IT services offer, but business owners need to be careful when choosing a provider. Why?
Because some are better than others, and you could be paying more for yours than you actually need to.
How do you know if you’re paying too much? Here are four key signs.
Your provider gives you hardware and software you don’t actually use
The best managed IT service providers offer customized plans for every single client. That means you only pay for hardware and software that aligns with your business requirements or goals.
For example, a new company with nine employees might pay for a comprehensive plan designed for a business four times as big without realizing they’re being charged unfairly. Yes, that small start-up will likely grow and expand its IT infrastructure, but the best providers ensure their managed IT services scale to suit changing demands.
Even if a questionable firm claims to offer a customized plan, they can only truly create a unique package for your business based on research. They need to understand your operations, your goals, your processes, your daily routines, your current set-up, etc. That demands research and a commitment to matching client requirements on a case-by-case level.
Make sure your provider has a clear grasp of who you are, what you need hardware and software to do and your budget. Otherwise, they could be applying a one-size-fits-all approach that’s totally unsuitable for your company — and costing you much more than it has to.
Your business has still been affected by cybersecurity breaches
Cybersecurity is paramount for every SMB today, but effective measures are harder to put in place than ever. Hackers have access to increasingly sophisticated technologies and tools, combined with ruthless techniques, enabling them to find backdoors into countless networks.
Sadly, 2019 was a particularly tough year for data breaches in Canada, with ransomware, scams, and other types of attacks responsible for major disruptions.
Small- and medium-sized businesses must take cybersecurity seriously to stay safe from expensive breaches. But if you’ve still been affected by hackers or incidents that your managed IT service provider should have helped to prevent, you could be paying them too much. You might even be throwing your money away and leaving yourself open to further risks.
Reputable, reliable providers review a client’s existing IT infrastructure to identify potential vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. They’ll consider the possibilities and create a bespoke solution suited to your business perfectly. This plan will complement your processes and requirements to ensure you only pay for what you need.
You can’t access technical support as and when you need it
Technical support via a dedicated helpdesk is just one of the solutions managed IT service providers offer. This gives you the peace of mind you need when you encounter an issue that slows your business operations to a crawl — or brings them to a halt altogether.
Your provider may claim to be available when you need them but become hard to reach when your network goes down. That leaves you with a major problem and, possibly, no in-house experts to solve it.
Your employees won’t complete work on time. Your customers will be frustrated. And you could miss out on generating revenue while you wait for your provider to return your calls.
Sounds familiar? You’re probably paying too much. You need a provider operating a 24/7 helpdesk with a fast-response policy that prioritizes client satisfaction.
When you know you can contact the professionals at any time, day or night, no disruption feels too big to handle. You can focus on reassuring customers that a difficult situation is in hand while the experts get to the root of the problem. If the provider monitors your network, they might even fix IT issues before you notice them.
You have no idea if your data is backed up for disaster recovery
Every company, regardless of size, should take advantage of cloud storage to back-up data and decrease their risk of losing crucial files if a disaster strikes.
Relying on local storage only can be incredibly dangerous. What if your office is flooded or a fire tears through it and your hard drives are destroyed?
Years of work could be lost. Completely.
Client information. Employee data. Financial records. Product plans. Service pitches. So many crucial files — gone.
But with cloud storage and continuous backup, you can rest assured knowing that your data is available online at any time. It’s safe, it’s secure, and it’s accessible through almost any device (provided you have the necessary logins, of course!).
So, if a flood, fire, or natural disaster does hit your business premises, you can still keep working from any computer with an internet connection. This helps you avoid downtime and cuts the risk of fractured client relationships.
And if your managed IT services provider doesn’t offer cloud computing and data backup but you’re still paying a lot of money each month? It may be that you’re handing over more than you should.
Again, it comes down to the power of tailored plans and quality service: the best providers understand the importance of cloud computing and data backup. It should be included in your package, along with other solutions of value to your company.
NETWORTH is dedicated to creating customized plans based on your business goals, IT infrastructure, and processes. We invest in cutting-edge technologies to deliver the best managed IT services across the Greater Toronto, Southern Ontario area.
Our 24/7 helpdesk with guaranteed 30-minute response time, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and tailored packages can help your company perform at its best.