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By: karim on July 14th, 2014

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Small Business Owners Have 99 Problems but Technology Should Be None

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Technology makes running your business a whole lot easier…until it doesn’t. It’s integral to the success of every business but remains one of the most challenging aspects of business operations to manage. Technology’s evolution means small business owners aren’t just dealing with a bad fax connection that can be fixed by simply reconnecting cables and restarting the machine – instead, owners attempt to parse slow internet connections, file storage and disaster recovery with little to no technological knowledge.

What is a MSP?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company which offers small to medium businesses the ability to outsource the management of their day-to-day technology and IT needs.

Basically, a MSP is essentially an outsourced IT department. If something technology-related breaks, we fix it. If you want to upgrade hardware and software, or take a look into virtualization, we can help there too. The right MSP should effectively act as a business partner to help increase the effectiveness of your business operations, and achieve your overall goals.

Do You Need a MSP?

While there are a wide variety of IT partners out there, you might be unsure whether you actually want, or need, to work with one. To help make the decision easier, we have come up with a list of five signs that your business could benefit from outsourcing your IT management to an MSP.

1. YOU DON’T HAVE A DEDICATED IT DEPARTMENT OR STAFF

In a small business, employees often wear more than one hat and become jacks of all trades but masters of none. Typically, the more tech savvy employee tends to get tapped to look after the company’s IT needs which can lead to overall gaps in knowledge of the latest IT developments and also become a challenge to balance IT needs while remaining productive.

Technology changes every day. In some cases, having a knowledgeable tech person look after the IT on top of their main job can work but chances are high they aren’t planning for the long term IT needs of the company and may not be able to carry out complicated upgrades or even ensure the security of your systems in the short term.

Instead of hiring a full-time IT staff member, a MSP can offer the same services but at a fraction of the cost. This allows all of your employees to focus on their main roles, while also allowing you to rest easy knowing that your IT needs are simply bandaged together but are being looked after by experts.

2. YOU HAVE CONTINUOUS TECH PROBLEMS

Many of the systems we use on a daily basis are deceptively simple. It’s not until technology breaks down that we realize just how complex the inner workings can be and really, that realization helps no one when the entire internet system is down for the office.

Complexity aside, all technology will eventually break. Before it does, you need to factor replacements and repairs into your budget. If the technology systems incorporated into your business are constantly experiencing problems there is a good chance this has a negative impact on your profits and productivity.

By partnering with a quality MSP that looks after your technology, you can be assured a team of experts are running your technology and systems efficiently and that you are able to meet IT demands and scale to meet future needs. Decreased maintenance and replacement costs can help improve your overall productivity and even profits.

3. THE PEOPLE LOOKING AFTER IT ARE OVERWHELMED

Any growing business needs technology to be able to scale to meet and support growth. This often overwhelms even the most seasoned IT professionals. Even if your business has a dedicated IT role or team there’s a chance they can become overwhelmed.

When the pressure is on, important issues may not be addressed and corners cut in an effort to meet current demands. This can lead to increased costs and problem issues down the road, resulting in an even more overwhelmed Technology department.

The great thing about awesome IT partners is that you often don’t have to outsource all of your IT needs to them. If, for example, you have an employee who is a whizz with building computers but does not have the time to oversee the whole of your technology needs, then outsourcing some functions can free up their skills or allow them to work more effectively in their main roles.

4. YOUR IT BUDGET IS UNPREDICTABLE

Since technology changes every day, so too does the pricing of equipment and service. Some months you may have to replace a computer while others may see a new server needed or a security issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. Because of this, actually budgeting for technology is incredibly hard, especially for small businesses.

An expert MSP will act as a virtual CIO. We’ll look at your current business needs and weigh them against the future to determine a budget that will scale with your ambition without leaving a dent in your wallet.

5. YOU HAVE TROUBLE PRIORITIZING YOUR IT NEEDS

Should you update a server, or look for a new email solution first? What order do you need to implement updates? What type of telephony system will seamlessly blend several locations together minimizing cost but provide excellent service? What should you do if your firewall system is down?

It’s not always obvious what the answers to these questions are, especially when every problem seems urgent. If you outsource the management of your technology to a MSP, their experts can take the time to get to know your company’s needs, demands and prioritize accordingly. Overall, this will make your organization more efficient and better able to reach business goals.

If you’re struggling with technology – contact us today to see how Framework Communications can make your technology work for you. Problem Free.