According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a computer and network technician in Missouri is currently just under $50,000 per year. With their tight budgets, small businesses in the Show-Me State tend to settle for an all-around IT technician instead of hiring an entire team of specialists. But just like their larger counterparts who have entire IT departments, small businesses need IT specializations such as security and compliance.
A managed services provider (MSP) has the IT department muscles to support an entire company but operates at a lower monthly rate compared to hiring a team of IT professionals.
On top of 24/7 IT support, an MSP offers an array of solutions that can be scaled up or down depending on your needs. These often include remote monitoring and management, cloud services, business continuity, and network security, to name a few. These service offerings vary from MSP to MSP, but you can expect at least these three.
Data is only valuable when it can provide insights for smarter business decisions or more efficient workflows. Hired IT personnel could be extracting insight from data generated by your business if they weren’t so busy with keeping your IT systems running smoothly.
MSPs possess experts and processing power to track your organization’s data and produce all manner of monthly reports, including:
Small businesses have become a favorite target for data breaches. Security assessments can help you narrow down the vulnerabilities of your network and determine the best course of action to mitigate them.
Ideally, your in-house IT staff prioritizes testing and scheduling data backups. However, they may be occupied with several mundane IT tasks. With an MSP, you’ll receive comprehensive reports of your backups at least every four weeks.
- Infrastructure stability
MSPs can provide monthly downtime reports that give you a clearer view of which systems need the most attention, as well as which hardware, software, or even employees cause the most IT problems.
Over time, these reports and your partnership with an MSP will allow you to develop an IT resilience strategy specific to your business.
Critical updates and upgrades
In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware quickly spread to 230,000 computers worldwide, and locked access to files, disabling hospitals, universities, auto manufacturers, and all manner of enterprise and public service systems. The resulting damage and cleanup costs were estimated at $4 billion.
In anticipation of WannaCry and those like it, Microsoft had released patches. Cyberthreats can be avoided if people updated their operating systems and applications. But people are notoriously timid to do so, likely because of the downtime it involves. But outdated software and hardware are serious vulnerabilities one cannot sleep on.
An MSP takes care of this tedious yet critical task for its partners, keeping a record of all their applications and tracking update releases. What’s more, an MSP often implements an update strategy after office hours, with little to no disruption to business.
Even with an expensive IT professional on your payroll, it would be nearly impossible for them to update everything on time while juggling other IT tasks. With an MSP taking care of updates and upgrades, your IT guy can help you pursue business growth initiatives.
Whether it’s better customer-facing applications, cost-saving cloud-based collaborative platforms, or automated workflows, it’s essential that you invest in improved or more efficient tech. To meet your ever-evolving business needs and stay ahead of the competition, it’s key to consider the latest technological solutions.
An in-house staffer won’t always have the time to properly research new solutions and vendors, nor figure out how to maximize your IT infrastructure. Without a point person to develop these plans for reduced IT costs and increased productivity, your office will fall behind.
MSPs, on the other hand, are IT consultants who have their fingers on the pulse of technology. They can guide you in scaling your technology toward your business goals in the most budget-friendly manner. They also have on-call virtual chief information officers (vCIOs) who can develop an IT roadmap suited to your current technology setup and based on rigorous regular assessments.