Managed IT support and services from companies like Computers In The City are becoming more of a necessity and less of a luxury for small to medium scale businesses.
Unlike large multinational corporations, small companies don’t often have a dedicated IT department to manage their digital needs, and - if they do – it’s a single full-time individual who isn’t proficient in every aspect of the IT system.
Fortunately, with the help of a qualified managed IT service provider, even small businesses like yours can enjoy the service of a specialist for every IT related problem. In fact, IT service providers usually have an entire team consisting of different professionals who collectively work with every client.
Keep Your Business Running Smoothly
Digital security threats, complex IT networks, an online customer interface, and the need to be digitally compliant make it more important than ever for your business to 1) have a sound IT interface and 2) a competent team to keep it running. Operating a business in the 21st century isn’t possible without multiple different types of technology running in the backgroundand foreground.
Everything from your website, social media marketing, digital payments, e-commerce and being able to remotely perform your business operations all require IT digital competency. Along with good digital infrastructure,your business also needs well-trained and tech savvy staff.
Protect Your Company and Clients from Cyber Threats
Small businesses are an easy target for cybercriminals, as they often scarcely employ any security measures - with most SME's functioning without any digital security at all. Not only is there a lack of security, but usually staff haven’t received proper training and education. According to recent research,over 94% of attacks on businesses happen through malware and phishing, in which unsuspecting users open up a compromised email disguised as a suppliers’ invoice or a utility bill, and compromise the security of their system.
In several cases, a cyber-attack doesn’t directly cause your business any damage, but the attacker hijacks your critical data and then exploits your business for money. On the other hand, a cyber-attack could be a simple key logger targeted towards a POS system that’s silently deployed and simply ‘sits there’, accumulating data from all the cards swiped through the machine.
The problem with such attacks is that not only do they cost your business and clients’ money, but they are often very difficult to detect and can easily go unnoticed. According to a study done by Verizon, data breaches that happened within the pool of businesses they observed took several months or more to be detected. Unfortunately, businesses managing their security and digital defense on their own often don't have the tools or the expertise to detect a well-disguised attack. Such kinds of attacks can only be unmasked through regular security audits or requires decent defense software to guard against any oncoming attacks.
Get the Most Out of Your Managed IT Services
Rather than outsourcing your entire IT department, it can be more cost-effective and more efficient to utilize a managed IT service to handle your company’s IT needs.
Here are four key areas an IT service can help your business thrive:
Backup and Recovery
Your business doesn’t just store your owndata, but - more importantly -it stores yourclient information and data.
This latter category of data can often be more valuable than physical assets, as it’s used for many different purposes by your business. Losing client data means losing months and years' worth of effort. It takes a long time to build a strong client list, and one data attack could mean it's all gone. Moreover, other than an attack, a poorly saved version of the data can also easily become corrupted, or the device on which it is stored can also be damaged.
A good managed IT service provider will perform regular data audits and securely back up sensitive data to more than one location, including using different safety measures such as encryption. They’ll also create a disaster recovery solution in case something goes wrong. If done correctly, your data can be safely recovered.
Your business’ network is like the spine of the system. Without it, all other parts are disconnected - and a problem in any one area of the network means that the entire system is out of order.
This is a hurdle not only for your business' internal operations, but it could also mean that your clients are unable to communicate with you through its digital interfaces. Your network consists of both software and hardware such as servers, hardware, cables, and wireless access points.
Without every part of your network properly configured and optimized, overall performance can be slow and even a concern for security if parts of the network are outdated. Your IT service provider will help build a network that best suits your business needs, and will keep it optimized via routine performance reviews to ensure it remains secure and running efficiently.
Government Digital Guidelines
In the UK, there’s the GDPR; in the USA, there’s the NIST compliance scheme, which is slowly rolling out to SMEs in every sector.
These guidelines and regulations are set out by the state to homogenize certain areas of business operations such as data and data transfer between companies. This helps ensure the safety of both your business and your client. To meet the strict requirements of these guidelines, it’s essential for your business to hire a managed IT specialist who’s well versed in these regulations.
With cybercrime targeted towards SMEs at an all-time high, it is ever more important for organizations to have greatsecurity in place. A good managed IT service provider will audit your business processes and tweak them to improve your security. With their knowledge of digital security, they can create a system that is both efficient and secure for you and your staff to use. Rather than having a single anti-virus that provides very little protection,your IT specialist will enact several layers of protection to guard against all kinds of attacks. Moreover, yourIT teamcan also properly train and educate your staff on how to safely use your systems and manage both business and client data. Having the right operational protocols properly implemented is half of your security battle won.
Ensure Your SME Succeeds with Managed IT Services
These are just a few of the most fundamental areas in any business which need proper IT management. This is to ensure your business is secure, efficient, and cost-effective in its operations.
Furthermore, there are other complex areas that your managed IT service provider can look into with a complete audit of your business network, and then either tweak or completely overhaul certain operations and areas to ensure your digital infrastructure is in top shape so your business can succeed.