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Startups and small or medium-sized businesses often find that they cannot afford to create and staff an in-house IT department. Yet, with increasing reliance on all types of IT functions from running an entire enterprise network to applying patches when received, the need for IT has never been greater. A great alternative to a company-based IT department is subscription-based IT managed services.
Benefits of Managed IT Services
There are many excellent advantages surrounding managed IT services, but almost always the issue of affordability is at or near the top of an interested company’s list of concerns. So, let’s tackle the cost issues first.
Controlling IT Costs
Typically, IT has three costs:
Hardware and software costs are considered fixed costs, and almost always the expenses for either are enough to require amortization rather than expensing. But, if you contract your IT out through managed services, most hardware and software costs are included in your monthly subscription fee converting these hard costs to expense, allowing you to deduct them in the year they occurred. Your IT budgeting becomes much easier and you only pay for what you use.
Personnel costs become very limited with perhaps only a few people (depending on size) in your organization working within the IT unit. They work with users and business units for handling machines that are balky, setting up email accounts, and general daily troubleshooting that needs an on-premise person to handle.
Many entrepreneurs and managing executives hire IT people but have little if any IT background. How can they be expected to know how to hire an IT person? Relying on qualifying certifications is not the best idea, as they may lack experience. More experienced people tend to solve IT problems and do IT related tasks faster than certificate holders without experience. Managed service providers have a deep bench of specialists who have seen almost every problem related to IT there is and can respond and repair it fast.
Implement New Technology
One of the biggest problems with in-house IT is that departments within an organization are slow to approve new technology and have long lags between approval and implementation. A managed services IT organization has the resources to help you evaluate new technology specifically for your business and once your company approves a new technology, the managed services company can quickly deploy it for you.
You Stay Focused On Running Your Business
IT is a complex unit of any business. Small and medium-sized businesses usually don’t have the resources needed to identify and solve IT issues – forcing management personnel to devote precious time working on making complicated IT decisions. You need these people to continue focusing on your product development, product launches, marketing, client contacts, and all back office functions. When IT is outsourced your firm will no longer get in over their heads concerning IT and can work on things that help grow your business and are in each individual executive’s wheelhouse.
Compliance and Safety Issues
Computer systems are necessary to run a modern business, even if the system is nothing more than a laptop connected to the internet. Many businesses such as financial services, healthcare, and more must comply with privacy laws, including HIPAA. Non-compliance brings with it fines and plans of corrective action with a government agency looking over your shoulder. Managed IT service providers keep your data and system secure helping to alleviate this problem.
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