It’s 11:40 p.m., and one of your company servers has a file system that becomes corrupted. Normally, the information technology manager would get an alert and have to head into the office to fix the problem before employees arrive. But even if he or she is able to solve the issue quickly, they won’t be as efficient the next day.
You want your IT staff to be available when your employees are in the office, and not overburdened from lack of sleep or an excessive workload.
By monitoring systems and servers 24/7, this is just one of the many ways managed IT services can enhance an existing IT staff without replacing it.
“We want to help them do their job better,” says Paul Sems, general manager of Blue Technologies Smart Solutions. “And it’s more than just having an extra IT guy. When a company joins up with a managed IT service firm, they are getting the experience of a team. They get experience and best practices from different industries, and are able to tap into a large pool of resources.”
Smart Business spoke with Sems about how managed services can be designed to help existing IT staff be more productive and efficient.
Why do some IT directors and staffs feel threatened by managed IT services?
They are worried that someone is going to come in — without any context of the constraints and budget considerations — and find problems everywhere. They also are concerned about job security because they fear managed services will lead to the business completely outsourcing IT.
How are these misconceptions?
While some small businesses outsource all of their IT, it’s not the best option for many companies, depending on their size and needs.
Managed services should be something an IT staff benefits from because the company is making an investment in their department, which allows them to do their job better.
Managed IT services are about creating a partnership with the existing IT person or staff, where there is communication anywhere from daily to weekly. Managed IT can even help coach the IT staff to the next level.
What are the main benefits to adding managed services to your existing staff?
You can maximize your existing resources, and free up your team’s time to focus on high-level tasks. If you picture a bell curve, managed IT can help out on both ends — with the routine, time-consuming, straight-forward tasks that can be automated like backups, patches, security, etc., as well as complex tasks in an emergency situation.
You proactively reduce risk, as well. An outsourced partner will provide 24/7, proactive remote monitoring and maintenance to reduce downtime, mitigating impact on your operations. Your IT staff won’t have to waste time reactively dealing with crises and putting out fires, and the rest of your staff’s workday doesn’t get disrupted. Improved security is good for everyone.
Managed IT also promotes a healthy schedule, by freeing up your IT teams to work a standard workweek. An outsourced partner will proactively monitor your network and address any issues during nonbusiness hours, such as evenings and weekends, as well as business hours, so your staff doesn’t have to stay late or come in on weekends to address issues.
When employers are trying to do more with less, why does it make sense to spend more money on IT with managed services?
If your company is growing, you may be able to save money because managed services can be more cost effective than hiring additional staff. The outside firm has extensive experience with computer systems as well as additional automation tools.
Even if you’re not growing, your IT employee understands your business, such as your customer base and how you go to market. It’s not something that can be replicated. The managed IT service firm provides IT knowledge that is relatively generic and standard, allowing management to focus employees in a more strategic way as innovators and entrepreneurs.
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