Planning Your IT Strategy with a Managed Services Provider

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A proactive IT strategy is a critical component of business success. But many small to mid-sized businesses often invest their attention in other areas of their business—Marketing and Sales. They only invest in IT as a reactive measure to support other business operations or when things go wrong. These include an expiring warranty, storage on full capacity, or a security breach.

Small businesses understate the real essence of IT. IT supports businesses to communicate, store and access data and manage their relationships with customers. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan in place that supports your business goals and how technology can support them. By planning and evaluating your IT needs, you’re able to thwart unnecessary expenses and prevent problems from happening in the first place.

Many businesses teamed up with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to identify and address several complex technical issues that an average IT specialist may not be able to predict or prevent adequately.

One common misconception business owners seem to have about hiring managed service providers like BlackPoint, is that they cannot co-exist with their current internal IT department. Though some organizations indeed rely 100% on an MSP for their IT infrastructure and support, others do a combination of MSP and internal. The truth is MSPs can be utilized as an IT partner that fills in the support gaps and executes high-level projects and strategies in concert with an already functioning internal IT department. This collaborative arrangement serves to provide a business with many benefits.

1. Fill in the gaps

 Many internal IT departments consist of only a few generalized IT personnel. This puts pressure on those individuals to have a wide range of knowledge for all technical processes, from expertise in simple installs and troubleshooting tasks; to complex Backup and Disaster Recovery and Cloud Solutions. By partnering with an MSP, your business gains a team of specialized personnel, helping to fill in the gaps where your current technicians lack. For example, maybe your company has a highly qualified security specialist, but your help desk falls short. An IT provider or IT consulting company can assist your business by providing a team of skilled help desk technicians.

2. Reduces downtime

Although one person can accomplish a lot, there is an ever-growing list of tasks an IT engineer must accomplish in one day. Tier 1 help desk support tasks like troubleshooting and patching can take up all of their time. Thankfully, an MSP can supplement your current department by handling these repetitive, time-consuming tasks. IT solution providers like BlackPoint can also spend time targeting the root of the problems on a proactive basis, instead of reacting when disaster strikes. Examples of disasters include ransomware, security breaches, natural disasters destroying servers, etc.  

3. Scale your investment

As your business grows, an IT Provider can help combat the increasing demands on your IT infrastructure that challenge your current internal IT staff. This way, the MSP can improve your existing technologies while giving your business access to additional resources and technology features your company doesn’t currently have. The best part is that an MSP is consistent and transparent – no need to waste time and money training a brand new IT employee.  The right planning allows you to see down the road and leave your network’s opportunity for growth. Without preparation, you may unwittingly paint yourself into a corner with the wrong equipment, investments in unnecessary software, or a limited scope of services. A team of IT professionals can help you avoid these limitations and ensure that your IT investments are put on the most.

4. Takes on the responsibility

An MSP is responsible for the items they manage. So if there is a product defect in one of your hardware products, a managed IT services provider will replace it or fix it, no questions asked. Here at BlackPoint, we pride ourselves on our transparency, so our clients have visibility into 100% of their IT infrastructure at all times. We also ensure that your IT is managed efficiently by qualified technical professionals using best practices and the most up-to-date tools and methods. 

5. Free up internal staff

Your internal IT personnel know your business best. By hiring third-party experts, you free them up to become a strategic part of your company’s growth. This gives your internal team more time to spend optimizing your infrastructure and researching new technologies to help you gain a competitive advantage. 

6. Understand and mitigate risks

Business continuity planning isn’t just for big companies. Small businesses are more susceptible to lose and less likely to have the financial ability to weather catastrophe. Planning helps you look ahead and see these potential plights. A managed services provider can help you plan adequate backups and redundancy that keep your business running even when you experience outages or data loss.

7. Access in-depth expertise

Planning your IT strategy is critical, especially when you need to leverage the expertise of an experienced team of professionals. For small and mid-sized businesses, it can be challenging to retain IT professionals who have the skills and experience to work with a multitude of rapidly changing technologies. A lack of expertise in any given specialty can lead to unnecessary risks, undue expenses, and missed opportunities.

8. Identify necessary monitoring and alerts

A managed services provider can help you identify critical components of your infrastructure such as critical servers, and pinpoint where you need to have active monitoring and alerts. These alerts offer real-time information about any issues with support or software, including reports on potential future problems. This way, you can identify and resolve issues before they become a network nightmare.

Key Takeaway

IT is a complex subject that delves much deeper than whether you can connect your printers on your WiFi or what kind of anti-virus software you’ve installed on your PCs. The most important reason to work with a Managed Services Provider for IT planning is to cover your bases. There are a lot of things that happen on your network in the backend. A Managed IT Services Provider can work within your business landscape to plan the safest, surest course to a successful future. Taking the time to develop a highly effective IT strategy with an MSP has helped many businesses realize a much higher return on their IT investments and establish a foundation for long-term success. 

When you are ready to ramp up your current IT strategies, we know a company with over 40 years of business experience, expanding technology partnerships, and a commitment you can count on. Schedule a free consultation with BlackPoint IT experts.

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