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Of the risks your company faces on a regular basis, those associated with your IT department are likely a low concern and priority. The fact is, in today’s world most office professionals are capable of conducting the majority of their own IT work as needed for their individual devices. However, that isn’t their primary job description; their time is better used for the projects they were hired to do. There is also a matter of uniformity and consistency with how work is performed. When these issues are considered, it begins to make sense as to why a designated IT team is generally a worthwhile investment.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Just like employees are specialists in their own job description, IT people also tend to have specialties. Although IT people have the training and education required to work in any field, their personal expertise depends on their individual professional experience. Someone who has worked in architectural offices, as an example, may have a bit of learning curve when dealing with medical software and equipment. That’s not to say they “can’t” do the job and do it well, but they will take longer and likely have to correct some errors after initial setup. Hiring an outside source with specific industry experience for managed IT services is recognized as a solution for these and other problems that arise when using an in-house team.
Budgeting and Accounting for IT Expenses
With an in-house IT department, you know what you pay the employees who conduct the work, but are you aware of how much you’re really spending regarding efficiency? This can include issues with how much downtime the IT team has, and how much time other employees are spending to do some of the work themselves. Many office needs can be provided with an app, but what happens when the marketing department is using one app while the sales team uses a different app? Then you have to consider the time spent when they work together to make their work compatible with each other. An in-house IT team will likely work with each department individually rather than pointing out how efficiency would be boosted if they both agreed to use the same programming. Having an outside managed IT resource is going to be more likely to assure such inconsistencies are corrected.
Maintaining a Secure Network
To the layman, “Secure Network” can vary according to each person’s concerns. Cyber attack is something everyone who uses a computer is aware of, and certainly a threat every company faces. But there are other ways in which a network can be insecure. Imagine the nightmare of having a major system-wide failure and losing important client information. Such an incident might happen from a computer crash due to improper setup, outdated software, or even a natural disaster. It’s important to remember information has to be backed up, securely, as insurance might cover the physical damage of a flood or fire but no amount of insurance payment can cover the cost of lost data when hardware is destroyed in such a scenario.
Keeping a Backup Plan in Case of Emergency
There always has to be a backup plan in place for such an emergency. One of the worst things that can happen to a business is for clients to lose faith in the company’s ability to provide their service, and that’s what happens when you lose data. Think about how you would feel if an investment adviser had to ask you to resupply all your information with an explanation it had been lost in a network failure. You probably wouldn’t feel comfortable continuing to work with that company because even though they might be really good with financial advice, they aren’t completing the job by keeping your investments secure. Likewise, your clients are going to wonder about your professionalism if you lose their information.
Specialized Services for Your Field
Specialized services are the new norm and expectation of every business, and this concept holds true for IT personnel as well. To return to the previous example, the IT person who works with an architect knows how to set up a plotter to make blueprints, and they understand how to use software toward making graphic designs for presentational purposes. They have an aptitude for such things which is why they went into the IT business, but they still don’t have the experience to set up medical equipment and even though some software might be the same or similar, it’s going to be used differently by a doctor’s office. Someone with a specific specialty working with people in your field is merely going to be more efficient for your needs.
Trying to “Figure It Out on the Fly”
Having office workers conduct their own IT work can potentially be even more disastrous toward office morale and overall efficiency. Most people have a familiarity with computers and equipment and can figure out how to get it working, but might take all day or even settle for a less than perfect setup. Have you ever seen someone print a 20-page document one page at a time because they can’t get the printer to print the entire project as a single function? Now imagine that situation with over a hundred pages, and what else they could be working on instead of manually printing each page and then having to put the papers in proper order after spending half a day trying to make it work. An IT person fixes it by spending five minutes to clear old data and restart the printer.
The rest of your company is specialized by department, so should your IT. A managed IT services company can provide for your needs and due to the nature of the work, makes more sense than allowing the job to be conducted in-house. You end up with oversight for your network by specialists not only in IT work, but how it pertains to your business needs.
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