Is entering into a managed service contract with your IT professional a good financial decision for your company? Until more recently the most common mode of service offered by IT companies was an hourly “pay as you go” service. Granted, it will always be important to fix problems as they arise but the question that most IT companies try to answer is could they have prevented the problems from happening in the first place.
This question has driven a wave of innovation that has changed the way that IT companies view their services. Undoubtedly, with the technology that is offered today, IT companies are able to resolve most network issues before those issues cause their clients down time. As this technology was created, the potential for a new kind of business emerged. This kind of business became known as MSP (Managed Service Provider).
As great as being an MSP company is, it comes with its own share of challenges. Being an MSP company means that we are now able to take a preventative stand against problems that, a few years ago, we could only fix after they had already done their damage. The problem that has emerged from preventing problems is that it is difficult to calculate what would have happened had that problem gone unnoticed.
No business owner likes another monthly payment! As a rule of thumb it usually a good idea to keep the monthly expense to a minimum. Why pay your IT professional a monthly installment to do something that you usually can’t see and the better they do their job the harder it is to see they they are doing anything at all. Right?
The blessing and the curse of preventing problems from arising is that it’s hard to know the full scope of what that problem would have cost you. On the other hand, historical data has given some interesting insight into what is more cost effective. For our non-managed service clients we have found that if you look at the average amount that those business’s spent across the course of a year on their network and what they would have spent as a MSP client, the difference is usually minimal. What a managed service can offer is a degree of reliability that “break fix” services cannot.
The technology that your company relies on to operate is the lifeblood of everything you and your employees do. When your network is not operating as it should and your team is unable to be productive, it costs you. This is the cost that makes a managed service valuable to your company. Although you cannot calculate how much your company will save by having productive employees, the cost adds up quickly even if your network is only down for a few hours.
As a managed service client you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of active monitoring of your entire network. Automated monitoring is the first step to ensuring that your network will run smoothy. In this process your computers will go through a daily check to make sure that there are no red flags that need immediate attention. These automated processes are largely comprised of making sure that your back ups have run, your anti-virus is up to date and making sure that there are no obvious threats to attend to.
The second step in ensuring the stability of your network is a weekly, in-depth, assessment of each work station and server. If the daily automated checks haven’t raised alerts there can still be problems such as storage optimization, advanced virus removal and other general optimizations to attend to. By having a technician manually asses every work station to make sure that your computers are in their optimal running condition, we are able to ensure the long term health of your network.
Thirdly and perhaps the most important step in ensuring network stability is making certain that your exposure to outside threats is as small as possible. Aside from maintaining current anti-virus and patch software we want to reduce the risk of malicious attacks by minimizing the potential for human error. No anti-virus can protect your network from user error. If someone in your company were to visit a website that housed a virus, your anti-virus would be almost useless. To combat this problem, a web monitoring strategy is implemented to greatly reduce the risk of exposure and increase productivity. This allows you to not only block certain websites but also see what web pages are being viewed on each computer. By restricting access to known malicious websites we are able to greatly reduce your risk of infection.
Finally, the last step is peace of mind. In a service where value is often hidden, our clients enjoy that benefit of reassurance through quarterly reporting. All too often this is the step that goes missing in any managed service. We understand the frustration that comes with paying for services that you can’t quantify the full value of. Through our quarterly in depth analysis’, you are able to examine what we have accomplished and how managed services have been valuable to your company.
At eTop Technology, Inc. we believe that our clients should have a worry free environment, where their technology is a seamless part of their company and not the bane of their existence. In order to create a stress free network it is our goal to offer a service that utilizes technology to its fullest potential. We understand that managed services may not be right for everyone. In order to understand the full scope of how a managed service could benefit your business we’re happy to provide consultation that will help you navigate the technology world. If you feel like a managed service plan might be right for you, please feel free to contact us and we will happily build a custom plan to meet the needs of you and your company.