Proactive IT Support Is an Investment, Not an Expense

Proactive IT Support Is an Investment, Not an Expense

There are two ways to make sure your company’s IT network runs smoothly. You can either keep the task in-house by placing full-time administrators and technicians on your payroll, or you can outsource the task to an IT support firm. Which one’s better depends on your situation, but outsourcing may deliver benefits you hadn’t thought of.

Should you decide to outsource the task, there will be one more decision to make. You can either employ the IT support firm on what’s known as a “break/fix” model of support where, once something breaks, your provider will fix it within a contractually agreed-upon Service Level Agreement (SLA). Or, you can employ them on a Managed Services model of support.

Managed Services guarantee proactive oversight of your servers and systems around the clock, ensuring fixes happen before anything breaks. This functions more like an investment in your business than an expense, highlighted by the fact that the near-elimination of network downtime leads to significantly more productive employees.

“Five Nines” Uptime

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) like Charles IT conform to a “five nines” uptime SLA, which refers to 99.999% availability of services on your network when it’s under their watch. Roughly speaking, this equates to a mere five minutes of downtime per year for most small- and medium-sized businesses.

What’s the difference between 5 minutes of downtime per year and, say, an hour of downtime that recurs on a monthly basis? According to Statista.com’s Technology & Telecommunications research, the average cost of downtime per hour for a quarter of their worldwide respondents was anywhere from $301K to $400K.

Expertise & Availability

The precise opportunity cost your business incurs from a downtime event depends on several factors. The time of day, your industry, and the number of employees impacted are all contributors, but Statista’s figures give us a glimpse of just how grim the situation can be if you have no mechanism in place to prevent network crashes.

If you outsource your IT to an MSP, automated systems will track network efficiency and data availability 24/7. Those systems will be monitored in real time by expert technicians in a Network Operations Center (NOC), which is like Mission Control for every hardware device and software application your employees use to do their jobs.

Contrast this approach to staffing an internal “IT guy” who’s prone to sick days, vacation time, and benefits consumption -- then remember that Managed Services come with 24/7 availability -- and it starts looking more and more like an investment in your future than an operating expense, all for an affordable, fixed monthly fee.

Cybersecurity & Compliance

The 24/7 availability that is the hallmark of Managed Services cannot be overstated, especially when the conversation turns to data protection. Hackers are working 24/7, too -- nearly a quarter of Connecticut businesses endured cyberattacks in the last two years -- so network defense has become a sort of cat-and-mouse game that requires adaptable strategies in force at all times.

As with network uptime, cybersecurity & compliance strategies are most effective when they are proactive and hands-on. This means day-and-night scanning of your servers, software apps, and employee devices is mandatory, along with robust firewalls, anti-malware programs, and data backup schemes in line with regulations like HIPAA, SOX, and GDPR.

As with network downtime, cyberattacks can be absurdly expensive -- as in the case of one Connecticut hospital whose $90K penalty we highlighted in our previous post about HIPAA compliance. Which begs the question: Is it worth it to invest in professional protections up front, or wait to deal with the fallout of a data breach after the fact?

More than Protective Measures

Viewing proactive IT support as an investment instead of an expense is motivated by more than how it helps you sidestep issues. There’s a huge labor-saving component -- and therefore, cost-saving component -- to Managed Services as well.

Partnering with an MSP will eliminate the need for your teams to install or upgrade any hardware or software themselves. This goes for servers and computers, operating systems and software applications, WiFi networks and VoIP phones, everything. You won’t lift a finger.

And when that gets added to the list of true “support” functions we’ve discussed -- near-zero downtime, optimized network efficiency and data availability, security, compliance -- it’s clear why Managed Services are so popular among Connecticut’s healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services firms. Call us today for a free, in-depth consultation.

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