September 7, 2018
The future is here.
Isaac Asimov wrote a science fiction book called “Foundation” in 1951 as the beginning of a series predicting the future of humanity among the stars. It began with a library that contained the sum of all human knowledge. Today, we are closer than ever before to achieving that goal of shared knowledge with the expanse of the internet and specifically with the concept of cloud storage and services.
With the incredible rate of hardware innovations of the late twentieth century, some have been been disappointed with the slower growth of new physical technology of the 21st century. What has grown up has more than surpassed our previous technology, though. We are no longer inhibited by the need to purchase large sets of up-to-date technology to be competitors in the global market. Today, through the use of digital and cloud technology, you can run your company with most computers and often even just your smartphone.
The downside is, of course, so can everyone else. With the digital realm flooded with sales and business opportunities, it is increasingly difficult to stand out. This is why successful companies today are hiring managed services IT companies to help them get ahead of the crowd.
Cost associated with own managed IT infrastructure
From a business standpoint, it makes more sense to outsource your IT services until you become a large enough firm to hire your own full-time team of IT personnel. Why? Because Information Technology is not a small side team in your business. It is more akin to Health Services or Property Management. These are people who need to be on call 24/7. If your technology goes down, your company goes offline and you begin to lose clients and customers immediately. If you cannot afford a full-time team, you will save money by outsourcing this work so that you only pay for service you need. You don’t have to be responsible for insurance, coordinating schedules, and most importantly, coming up with work for them to do when nothing is broken.
Are you concerned about the security of your company’s data? You should be. Corporate leaks have caused waves of outrage among their customer base, damaging the company’s reputation an costing far more in legal and recuperative costs than is often even stolen. Why is it such a big deal? Because you cannot put a price on trust. When it comes to personal information, customers will pay top dollar for a company that makes them feel secure.
Working with managed services IT companies, you get access to the top digital security on the market at a tiny fraction of the cost of doing it on your own. The hacks and viruses get harder to fight every day and it is overwhelming trying to keep up with everything. With managed services IT companies, you don’t have to. You let the experts work within their expertise and share their results and services with you.
The second benefit of utilizing managed services IT companies is that it allows you to transition smoothly through growth. If you are an expanding company, how do you know when to hire additional IT staff? What happens if that expansion is only temporary, like for a big 6-12 month project? Can you hire temporary IT workers with enough skill and ability to match full-time IT staff? Probably not.
By outsourcing your IT work through managed services IT companies, you do not have to worry about hiring additional staff. You simply purchase more hours of work. The managed services IT companies will work to ensure that you are receiving top-quality workers for your money. Also, if it is a temporary expansion, you can simply reduce hours when the project is finished without the worry of people losing jobs with you and the digital community perspective that shows.
One of the biggest pet peeves of customers today is the inability to talk to a real person when they call for customer service. We are inundated with phone directory extensions, chatbots, and lists of FAQs that sometimes deal with our problems quickly, and sometimes leave us without access to the help we need.
Customer service is one of the most important factors in retaining customers. Managed services IT companies offer software and platform customer support help desk solutions that will keep your customers coming back for great service without the hassle of hiring and training a customer service team. Whether you have live representatives or software customized to meet your customer service needs, manage services IT companies are the simplest solution to giving your company an excellent digital help desk.
When most people think of the cloud, they think about storage. That was one of the first foundational uses of the cloud, after all. Storage has grown significantly in the last several decades from cassette tapes, to 5.25 “floppy” disks to 3.5 disks that held just 1.44 megabyte each. Laser discs, CD-ROMs, and DVD-ROMs blew floppy discs out of the water and made way for the USB and external hard-drives today as portable media. Internal hard drives have consistently been on the high end of storage performance, but portable storage has nearly caught up with them.
The downside of these hardware innovations is that with every step we take toward greater storage, we take another step in the fragile nature of the storage device. 5.25 floppy discs could be thrown across the room, stepped on, spilled on, dried off, and often still work correctly. Our modern multi-terabyte external hard drives today will often compromise their data if they are unplugged from the computer incorrectly or suffer the slightest fluctuation in electricity.
The cloud has become a solution to all of this. It allows you to keep real-time backups of information stored in secure locations so that you no longer need to fear power surges or inept computer users that might cause data loss. Managed services IT companies will take care of your storage needs today.
Performance can be another tricky subject. It is simultaneously a dream come true and a terrible nightmare when a potential client hires your company for a big project – one that will pay your bills for months, and yet, upon further investigation, one that you do not have the IT capacity to handle well. Do you update your servers and processors for one client? What if the deal falls through? All of these complicated details make doing business and using technology a real gamble with your livelihood.
It does not have to be, though. With managed services IT companies, you can upgrade or downgrade your subscription packages as needed, so you are only paying for the work you need done. Some clients may only require document storage and access and only need a small amount of space and processing power. Others may need large amounts of space and processing for video storage and editing. By outsourcing your IT needs with managed services IT companies, you can be sure you are getting what you pay for, and not hedging your bets on technology purchases you may or may not need for the future of your business.
Additionally, with the use of virtual servers, you no longer need to worry about the maintenance of hardware servers. You truly get the benefit of their use without the responsibility of their upkeep.
Data Recovery and Business Continuity
Along with cloud storage, one of the most important uses of managed services IT companies is in data recovery for the sake of continuity in your business. The days of pen and paper receipts are gone and even the days of printed documents are on their way out. Searching for paper copies of invoices, memos, and correspondence can take hours, even in the most well-maintained and organized office. Digital notes can be searched in seconds with the right platform, processors, and digital storage.
You always need a backup though. Power fluctuations, computer viruses, and sometimes good old-fashioned human error can cause the loss of millions of pages worth of data in just a few seconds. The best cure for this is prevention. Managed services IT companies can maintain backups of your information and can re-download any lost data back to your system just as fast as your internet connection will allow. This provides an absolute minimum amount of disruption to your business.
Additional Cloud Services
The power of cloud technology has almost eliminated the need for physical technology other than an input device (such as a keyboard or mouse) a screen to view, and a device to connect to the internet, and enough memory processing speed to handle your needs. The storage and often the software itself can be run entirely from the internet.
Managed services can create PaaS or platforms-as-a-service that allow you to have custom-made programs for your company to run their business on. As long as you have internet connections, these services can be run from any computer, tablet, or phone, by any employee or client, anywhere. SaaS (software-as-a-service) works the same way with specific software applications run from the internet. This means you do not have to worry about buying sets of software for each new employee. You don’t have to worry about purchasing multiple sets of licenses. One subscription with managed services IT companies takes care of all your computing and software needs for your whole company.
There may come a time when you grow into a multinational corporation and it makes more financial sense to create your own IT department for your business IT needs. Until you reach that point though, managed services can reduce your financial risk, increase the amount of IT resources available to you, and allow you the smoothest scalability as you reach new clients and grow your business into the future.