If you are starting a small business, there are two questions you are likely to be familiar with asking yourself. The first question is, “How can I make money?” and the second is, “How can I save money?” Managed IT services are a form of IT support that produces some of the highest satisfaction among small businesses simply because it saves them money.
Necessity and Cost of Information Technology
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, you’re going to need help in this increasingly virtual world. The need for reliable support is unavoidable. More private operations that require some kind of computer utilization include daily business functions such as accounting, payroll, email and sales reports. Whether outsourced or in-house, computer support will be necessary to protect this information to make sure it is secure and to make sure that it runs smoothly. The fact is that you’re going to have to include computing technology somewhere in your operating costs in your business plan.
Server Rooms are Left in the Cold
That being said There are a few options you can choose from for how you manage this digital information. Established businesses that have been around for a long time are usually comfortable with what has worked for them in the past. They can afford to have their own server rooms that store all of their data on a private, secure network. Although this method is tried and true, it is becoming outdated with the rise of virtualization and cloud technology provided by managed IT services. This method of storing information is expensive not only because it requires purchase of equipment, but it also requires staff to manage and keep these servers running smoothly. If your private server goes down, you need to wait for your IT guy to fix it. If you plan to use a vendor for IT, make sure it employs managed IT services or prepare for even more uncertainty.
Virtualization is the Future
Virtualization and operating on the cloud is really the best thing you can do for your small business. It cuts operating costs significantly by essentially outsourcing your hardware. The rate for outsourcing this hardware costs much less than buying and maintaining the hardware yourself. Managed IT services spread the cost of owning hardware by making it their business to have the highest quality hardware to store information from multiple sources. It’s like leasing an office suite rather than buying the whole building. You are renting space on their secure hardware to store all of your data. Even more accessible is the ability to store your data on the “cloud”, a type of virtualization that stores data on the internet. A prime example of this would be Google Drive. While the benefits of cloud technology is its accessibility, sensitive information like employee and client information should be stored on secure hardware that is either privately owned or virtualized via managed IT services.