There’s a wide range of reasons a business might choose to engage the services of an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP). Not least is the unfettered access to an entire team of experts, passionate about information technology.
Whether it’s everyday services and support around technical glitches that you’re looking for, or the implementation of an entire system redesign, an MSP has the potential to eliminate network headaches and set your business up for future success. The list of problems they can solve is endless. Below we have listed just four …
Start-ups and smaller businesses often entrust their networking needs to a member of the team whose core area of expertise is not IT. However, as a business grows, its IT requirements have a tendency to become more complex. Without expert input, that team member may find themselves ill-equipped to effectively meet the changing demands, meaning a greater risk of technical glitches, costly downtime and security breaches.
This is why an MSP can prove to be such an invaluable investment. They can work with you to provide 24/7 technical support that will see any issue resolved quickly and effectively. All it should take is one quick phone call, and an expert will take ownership of your problem, resolving it with the support of an entire team of experienced IT professionals.
Once resolved, your MSP will take further steps to identify the root cause of the issue, implementing a solution that will prevent the issue from recurring in the future.
Your MSP will also take a more proactive approach, conducting ongoing network monitoring, and suggest improvements that will ensure your infrastructure remains primed for peak performance.
Often as a business grows, it tends to end up with a network comprising various outdated, legacy systems, which don’t necessarily complement each other in the best way. With new innovations constantly becoming available, an expert IT support provider can help you consider the best alternatives for you by cutting through the technical jargon.
And it doesn’t stop there! Tell your MSP where you want your business to be in five years time, and they will work with you to develop a plan that will support this goal.
In 2020, businesses were forced to ‘think on their feet’ and implement new approaches to enable collaboration and data access, due to the sudden requirement for the majority of employees to work from home.
In what continues to be such an uncertain time, business owners have often scrambled to find solutions to see them through periods of lockdown, using a combination of tools and platforms such as Gmail, Zoom, Dropbox, Google Hangouts, Asana, Wrike, and the list goes on.
However, with COVID-19 set to be with us indefinitely, it’s time to ask yourself whether the measures you put in place initially will remain fit-for-purpose in supporting your remote workforce over the long term.
One solution clients have found particularly beneficial during this time is Microsoft Office 365, which essentially incorporates elements of all of the above tools as part of one single platform. In particular, its Teams function offers secure access to business data and applications from any device or location, with a multitude of additional features such as virtual meetings, live document editing and instant messaging.
If Microsoft Office 365 isn’t something you’ve considered already, it’s certainly worth giving some thought to now. Not only does it offer a comprehensive suite of collaboration, storage and access tools, but is also likely to offer a more cost-effective approach by negating the need to pay license fees for multiple different platforms in order to get the same result.
Your MSP can work with you to identify the right platform for your needs – whether that be Microsoft Office 365 or otherwise – before supporting migration, implementation, set-up and user education.
How the situation with COVID-19 evolves from here is anyone’s guess. For that reason, agility will be key. Currently we are in a stop-start period, with lockdowns and their associated restrictions changing on a daily basis. Ask your MSP to help you consider a two-tiered approach – one process for periods when more workers are onsite, and another for implementation in the event of a snap lockdown, with workers once again required to stay home.
That way, your network set-up will allow for business continuity, whatever the current pandemic situation.
In addition to enabling a longer-term approach to your ‘new normal’ way of working, an MSP can also help you rethink your security measures to avoid cyber attacks and data loss. It’s the perfect (and arguably most important) time to do this, given the new and emerging risks associated with the increased demand for remote network access from an increasingly disparate workforce.
Consider requesting a security-specific network audit. This will shed light on any current gaps in protection, and inform recommendations for improvements. Alongside any additional security measures that are put in place as a result of this audit, your MSP can also conduct ongoing network monitoring, detecting and resolving potential threats before they have the opportunity to cause serious havoc.
Alongside all of this, an MSP can make sure you have an effective disaster recovery plan in place, to enable a speedy recovery in the event of a cyber security breach.
The cloud has established itself as the go-to for many businesses when it comes to secure, scalable and affordable data storage solutions. But with so many possibilities – public, private, and all manner of hybrid solutions – it can be overwhelming for the uninitiated to figure out the most appropriate use of the cloud for their business.
Instead of placing the idea of utilising the cloud into the ‘too hard’ basket, why not ask your MSP for their advice on cloud migration? They’ll help you navigate any compliance issues that may dictate how and where certain information can legally be stored, and create a cloud solution with the right mix of elements to fulfil your distinct business objectives.
Fundamentally, entrusting the management of your network and mission critical applications to an external expert means less stress, and more time for your people to focus on their areas of passion and expertise. This will help ensure the delivery of quality products and services, and allow you to concentrate on further evolving your business.
“Essential IT have been an amazing support partner to our company where IT is not one of our strong points. They are extremely knowledgeable and great at explaining things in layman terms. Always on the lookout to ensure we are up to date with IT infrastructure and continuing to suggest ways to improve. The helpdesk responds in a fast manner and our issues are resolved promptly. I am confident we will have a long standing relationship with Essential IT”
“Essential IT have been a great support for our business over the last few years. Being too small for fund an internal IT team, Essential IT have been an affordable solution to our IT needs. They’ve assisted with server upgrades and replacements, cloud backup solutions, as well as remote monitoring of desktops, laptops and servers (on site and virtual). Without their help, I’m not sure where our business would be.”
“Since our early days in 2009 our business has seen substantial change and growth. During this period Essential IT have gone above and beyond in supporting our teams across all states of Australia. Working in a high pressure industry, with fast paced change, it is important that our business has stable and up-to-date technology, and our teams have the support when they need it. Essential IT deliver this every-time, no challenge too small or too big. Their invaluable advice and guidance have seen our organisation transition to new initiatives that have driven greater stability, efficiency, and security throughout all aspects of our business and I would have no hesitation in recommending Essential IT to anyone looking for a quality provider who listens to your needs and delivers what you want.”
“Essential IT are the best team in the market. Quick and efficient service they are always reliable. Their product knowledge and expertise is second to none. We have been dealing with Steve and his team for a long time know & wouldn’t call anyone else to solve our IT problems and provide our IT solutions for the company and personal needs.”
“Recovery Partners have been supported nationally by the team at Essential IT for over 6 years. They offer a full service providing front line help desk services to server provisioning, hardware supply, security and strategic planning. The service is no fuss and consistently exceeds our expectations and delivery is always well inside our agreed service levels”
“Don’s Tiles Australia Pty Ltd have been using the IT Services of Essential IT for 7 years. We find the team at Essential IT extremely knowledgeable, hardworking and professional and they are able to get our IT problems resolved quickly. The small team also allows us to build a personal working relationship with all the staff members and we find them all very pleasant and helpful. I highly recommend Essential IT.”