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Your internet is down again, and you’re having a hard time getting a hold of your managed IT services company. Where’s your IT help? Isn’t it their job to monitor your network anyways, to make sure they can fix these issues before you even know they exist?
If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, or ones similar to these, it might be time to seriously consider what your managed IT services team is doing for your company. Or, what they’re not doing.
Whenever you outsource any of your business obligations, it’s essential that you're getting all the services your company needs to perform at its best. After all, isn’t the point of outsourcing to make your job easier, allowing you to focus on the tasks that specifically apply to your business goals?
It can be tricky choosing the best managed IT services company for your individualized needs, and you might even feel trapped in a contract with a company that really isn’t benefiting your IT infrastructure in the ways you thought they could.
Fortunately, we’re here to help give you some great insight into some common IT problems you could be facing. It might just make you think twice about the managed IT services you’re paying for!
Top 5 IT Problems: Can My Managed IT Services Team Fix Them?
As we mentioned earlier, there may be some flaws within your IT infrastructure that your managed IT team should be responsible for monitoring, managing, and fixing. However, if you feel they’re not, now is an excellent time to make a list of those problems and present them to your IT team.
Remember, your IT outsourcing team is intended to make your job easier, and to take away some of your technology frustrations you’re experiencing on a weekly or even daily basis. Don’t be hesitant to voice to them if you feel your needs aren’t being met. Remember, this is your business that your responsible for—- it’s your livelihood.
When it comes to the needs of your SMB, it’s always a good idea to have options. To learn more about IT options, read an article published by Business.org, Managed IT Services vs. Break Fix: Which is Best for Your Small Business?
Take a look at our list of some of the most common IT problems we see company’s experience within their IT networks. You might even need IT help more than you think. Keep in mind, all these problems can be handled by a managed IT services company that is experienced and proactively servicing the systems of you and your employees.
1. No IT Roadmap or Plan
What was one of the first things you and your managed IT team discussed? If your answer is not, “We created an IT roadmap,” then they’ve got some explaining to do!
Have you ever heard of an IT roadmap? An IT roadmap is a document or report created to serve the specifics of your business by communicating all technology initiatives. It’s basically a plan designed for technology to support your business in the future and reach your goals.
An IT roadmap illustrates the implementation of specific strategies, the need for implementation, and the solutions or tools used for the completion of all tasks. All in all, an IT roadmap is a plan—and who doesn’t want that?
We feel that before you can assess any IT problems, you first have to become aware of all of them, and how these problems are affecting your employees and your customers. Once you have a list of your information technology pain points, you can then begin prioritizing and finding the best solutions for each.
Like most things in life, navigating without a plan can feel like driving with a blindfold on, or going for a run with two left feet. It’s confusing and misleading to not have an initial IT plan in place and hard to accomplish your most pertinent goals.
If you have yet to meet with your managed IT team about an IT roadmap, now is the time. In fact, it’s never too early to start planning. You can even begin doing so yourself before you even meet with your IT provider.
To learn more about IT road mapping and planning, read an article published by HuffPost, The Value of a Technology Roadmap.
2. No Data Backup Plan
You might be sensing a theme here, and that’s planning! Just like a technology roadmap plan, it’s also essential your managed IT team have provided your business with a data backup plan. If this is unfamiliar to you, your data and files could be at risk.
Losing important customer and employee data can, unfortunately, happen a lot easier than you think. Can you imagine walking into your office after a long weekend to find valuable business information completely wiped out? Problems like this can happen from overloaded routers or a lack of a weak backup system.
What would you do in a situation like this? You get IT help, right? Or, if you have a reliable and robust backup strategy, you'll be back in business sooner than later. However, If you're like 65% of SMBs, you don't have a backup strategy or plan. Meaning, the downtime you could face would be detrimental to your business.
No matter the size, location, industry, or type of company, every business should have a powerful data backup plan in place. If your managed IT services team hasn’t ensured your business has this, call or meet with them immediately! There’s no time to waste when it comes to backing up the data that helps make your business run.
A solid back up plan will go over what data is backed up, when it’s backed up, and where it’s stored offsite; so you can be ensured that when you need it in the future it’s easily accessible and ready for use.
Also, another point to consider is that failing to back-up your data can actually be correlated with costing your business money. The costs associated with a data breach can leave you thousands and thousands of dollars in the hole.
I think we can speak for every business owner here when we say no one wants to deal with a situation like this, especially if it’s preventable.
Learn more about data backup by downloading our SMB Backup Checklist, here.
3. Your Business Is Losing Money Because of IT
Speaking of money, there’s nothing better than saving it, right? It’s even better when you can directly see the benefits of what you’re paying for. Have you ever read your cable bill and thought, “Why on earth am I paying $200 a month, and what are all these extra charges?”
If you’re having problems with the costs of your services, or not sure exactly what you’re paying for, your managed IT services provider is lacking in customer and technical support. You should receive a break down each month of every charge you’re paying for as well as detailed summaries of the services your business is utilizing.
When a company outsources IT, it also doesn’t need to invest in the equipment or software necessary to do that particular job. A benefit of a managed IT services company is that they can either provide their tools or include the cost of acquiring the equipment in their fee.
This method costs less than if your company bought the equipment outright for each of their in-house IT employees.
4. Lack of Remote Monitoring
We can’t stress enough the importance of your managed IT services team monitoring your IT systems remotely. Just like saving money, the network security of your business should be at the very top of your list when it comes to current and future business goals.
If you're partnering with a great managed IT services team, they should be receiving messages and alerts as changes occur or problems arise, around the clock. The solutions that remote monitoring and management provide allows immediate work to take place to fix the issues the minute they occur.
One huge benefit of remote monitoring is that many times, issues can be resolved by the managed IT team prior to you even knowing there was one. Now if that isn’t great customer service, we don’t know what is!
When it comes to security, the sooner your managed IT services team learns about a cyber attack or security breach, the quicker your business can be back up and running. Close monitoring helps eliminate your office’s downtime you and your employees might face when any technology issue surfaces.
5. Outdated Software and Hardware Leads to Frustrated Employees
You and your employees might not know that some of the IT difficulties you’re experiencing are due to slow or outdated hardware or software. Just like humans, technology ages, no matter how top-of-the-line it might have been at one time.
Even if you think your computer or phone system is functioning well, it might actually be able to perform much better or at faster speeds to keep up with the work you’re producing. This is when we say you might need IT help more than you think. You might be used to a slow computer that it doesn’t even seem that slow anymore!
Unfortunately, when your business technology does break, a simple reboot or restart doesn’t always fix it. If you don’t have the necessary resources present to replace and repair the software, you’re looking at a significant loss, possibly even company-wide.
Learning and understanding the life cycle of all IT devices is something that a great managed IT services includes with their services. They take away the guessing work you typically have to do, allowing you to focus on more relevant tasks.
One of their main goals should be to standardize your hardware components and software applications so that you never have to experience downtime due to hardware failure.
If your IT outsourcing provider isn’t doing this for you, ask them if they can. A great managed IT team should be dedicated to keeping your entire IT infrastructure up to date and running smoothly.
Want to learn more problems associated with IT issues and your business? Read our article, Top 10 Most Common IT Problems For Businesses (With Easy Solutions)
If you find yourself experiencing any of these IT issues, it’s time to have a conversation with your managed IT services provider to see how they can better assist you. If you get the sense that they can’t, it could be time to start searching for a new team who can cater to your individualized needs.
For more resources on managed IT services for your business, visit our Managed IT Services Ultimate Resource Page.
At AIS, we look for ways to better inform all our readers to help them reach their unique and specific business goals. Every business is different, and we’re here to walk you through every step of the way when it comes to technology and the services that come along with it. If you’re interested in learning more about managed IT services for your business or the best ways to tackle your IT issues, contact one of our business technology consultants, here. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.