Too many business owners neglect to consider just how much overheads and operating expenses can impact their bottom line. While overhead costs like rent, property insurance, and utilities are often established and consistent, operating expenses (or the cost of doing business) can be flexible and budgeted.
Operating expenses include computer equipment and printing materials, employee labor, and equipment maintenance or repair. Any tangible items used to make your product or deliver your services are considered operating expenses, including your business computing, documentation printing, and internet operations.
Today, there is likely no SMB that doesn’t use the power of computers, printers, and other office equipment as the preferred way to manage business operations and streamline workflows. These IT assets can be maintained by an in-house expert IT professional, but they are often provided by managed IT services (or managed service providers (MSPs).
Business IT assets are crucial to your bottom line, and how they are managed, maintained, and upgraded will determine if your business operates efficiently or haphazardly. Old and outdated software and hardware will lower office productivity while exposing your business to a data breach by hackers or a significant loss of saved financial and customer data.
What’s Included in Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are offered at various levels, from managing and maintaining printer equipment and supplies to providing cloud storage that can prevent the loss of information. One of the most important tasks of managed IT services is security and compliance. For example, an unsuspecting employee can easily download ransomware and other malware.
Keeping up with the latest anti-virus software can be difficult for any business. MSPs ensure your systems are always protected with the latest cybersecurity best practices.
Here is what to look for in managed IT services:
- Installation and upgrading of computer operating systems, business applications, and other software
- System performance monitoring, system security, and the establishment of system compliance
- Computer hardware maintenance scheduling, including servers, workstations, and desktop computers
- Tracking of mobile computing devices, including tablets, laptops, and business phone assets
- Scheduling maintenance or repair of full-sized, multifunction printers and desktop laser printer/copiers
- Ordering office supplies, printing supplies, new computers, and system operating equipment
- Management of computer data safety, i.e., regular data backups and off-site or cloud storage
Your company’s bottom line will only increase when you have smooth operations that are not constantly slowed down or stopped by computer crashes or slow networks. Worry and distraction about the safety of your business data can be eliminated when you partner with managed IT services.
The Financial Benefits of Managed IT Services for Houston SMBs
Your computer systems are a financial asset, an investment in your business. Their improved operations recoup the return on that investment. For Houston SMBs and others, the economic benefits of managed IT services are much more than productivity.
Downsize your IT infrastructure – managed IT service providers take on the cost of having a data center. They provide the equipment that removes the cost of computer servers and mainframes, adding up to energy cost savings and giving you precious floor space. You’ll also have no need to recruit and train IT employees or consultants.
Predictable and lower monthly IT operating costs – SMBs that partner with the right MSP know how much they’ll be paying for IT maintenance and monitoring. Also, consider the very high initial investment in computer software and hardware installations. With managed IT, the increased investment in your IT infrastructure becomes a much smaller monthly fee.
Expert IT support and multiple roles – Today, it takes several different IT workers to keep an e-commerce or business system running smoothly and efficiently. This expertise can cost a lot of money. With managed IT services, your company has access to highly trained and experienced IT experts that keep a close eye on your computer systems.
The ability to scale your business and IT operations – As your business grows, so will the amount of data you accumulate and the number of business employees you will need to hire. With managed IT services, all it takes to increase your computer operations is to have a consultation with your service provider to let them know you will need additional services. No matter how many new employees you hire, you will quickly have the bandwidth, hardware, and software to get them up and running.
What to Look for In A Managed Service Provider
Choosing any managed service provider can leave your systems operating slowly, crashing often, and open to cybercriminals or the loss of critical data. When selecting your MSP, look for a company working with your industry type and size of your company. Managed IT services for a medium-sized factory may look different from those needed by an e-commerce company.
When consulting with an MSP, ask for references to get first-hand commentary on how responsive and knowledgeable the company is. Any reputable IT services company should have client testimonials, customer reviews, or industry endorsements.
Finally, pay close attention to the type of questions asked by the MSP during your consultation or business assessment. The MSP should be asking questions that will tell them the kind of services your company requires and what challenges they can help you overcome. And most of all, they should be curious about your goals and how managed IT services can help you achieve your business milestones.
To successfully oversee your technology and grow your business, an MSP needs to know where you are and where you want to go. That process is key to formulating the right IT strategy for your business.
Contact On Demand today to discover how managed IT services can protect your Houston business’s valuable IT assets while increasing your bottom line.