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We have reached a point where accessing information is crucial to the success of our businesses. Without a reliable and efficient way to access data, productivity comes to a crawl. Surprisingly, most small businesses still rely on a reactive approach when it comes to being able to access business critical information. Typically the only time small business feel the need to address technology concerns is when information is not available. This “break/fix” model can be very expensive. Not only is there the price of finding and paying a qualified engineer, but also having to absorb the cost of company down time, lack of productivity, and the loss of sales. Unfortunately it seems there is not a positive correlation between the value of information and the resources available to keep that information secure and accessible.
Even though a small business may need an internal IT staff position to adequately keep business information available, often the cost of employing a full time position can be even more expensive than operating under a break/fix model. A relatively new option for small businesses is to engage with a Local IT Managed Services Partner. As opposed to traditional IT outsourcing, which typically utilizes off-shore help desks and relies solely on remote technologies, a local Managed Services Partner provides the value of onsite resources without the high cost of staffing a full time employee. An MSP’s approach to keeping business information available is proactive versus reactive. By understanding a clients’ business goals and learning their IT environment, the MSP prevents problems from happening as opposed to reacting after information is affected. The focus shifts from how quickly a problem can be solved, to how well a problem can be prevented. By providing ongoing services such as monitoring software updates, backing up critical data, protecting information from intrusion, a local MSP combines remote tools and onsite support to keep a clients’ environment up and running 24/7/365. This unique combination allows for a team approach, where the MSP and the client work together to allow technology to become an asset to growing the business. A local MSP can truly become an extension of the client’s organization by learning their business model, helping alleviate technology pains, and getting to know employees.
As information continues to grow in importance the reliance on technology becomes more critical. Small businesses can no longer afford to experience downtime or technology failures. Although there are many different approaches to ensure access to information, partnering with a local MSP seems to provide the most efficient way to keep the business running.