Whether large or small, every modern business has become increasingly dependent on technology. However, the global tech environment is in constant flux, and there is also the ever-increasing threat of data breaches and ransomware attacks. While large businesses have the resources to survive the ever-changing tech environment, most SMBs don’t.
That’s why finding a competent and experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP) has become more necessary than ever for SMBs. Given the increasing demand for MSP services, the global managed services market is expected to grow from $223.0 billion in 2020 to $329.1 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.1% during the forecast period.
Chances are, your competitors may have already hired MSPs. If you still haven’t thought about it, here are a few ways how outsourced IT support in San Francisco can help boost your business.
1. Save Your IT Overheads
As you may know, maintaining an in-house IT team and infrastructure is often expensive and challenging, especially for SMBs with limited budgets. You will need to spend money on buying new hardware and software as your business needs evolve. To equip yourself, you may end up wasting money on technologies that you don’t need.
With outsourced IT support in San Francisco, however, you can bring down your IT overheads significantly. Most MSPs are responsible for managing their own cloud infrastructure as well as a team of technicians. So, you don’t have to maintain a full-fledged in-house IT team.
Furthermore, when you work with an MSP, you pay only for the services you use (pay-as-you-go model). So, there is no chance of wasting your limited resources on technologies you don’t need. Your MSP will also optimize your network to bring down operational and maintenance costs. You can use these savings to fuel your business growth instead.
2. Optimizing Complex Business Processes
If you want to run a successful business, you need flexible business processes. Flexibility allows you to adapt to the changing market trends and regulatory environment. An experienced MSP can help you optimize every facet of your business processes.
They can help you create contingency plans, even for the smallest of problems. IT support companies are also well aware of the latest local, state, and federal IT regulations, ensuring infrastructural and operational compliance. They can help you procure cloud-based solutions that can improve your process efficiency.
They can also help automate repetitive tasks such as software updates and network monitoring. Outdated applications are not only an immense cost burden but also a high-security risk for SMBs. With automation, your MSP can help optimize and secure your entire computer network.
3. Ongoing Proactive Maintenance and Support
Your MSP will also provide you with network performance monitoring. Usually, the IT service provider will use tools such as high-end firewall, antivirus, and antimalware, among others, to monitor the performance of your computer network.
The purpose of network monitoring is more than just to protect your business from potential cyberattacks. Your MSP will track your network traffic, system parameters, and accessibility to identify any discrepancies. For example, if your Wi-Fi is down or one of your devices has slowed, the MSP will take the necessary steps to fix the issue.
With 24/7 proactive outsourced IT support in San Francisco, all elements of your computer network will run smoothly. As a result, it will become more reliable and efficient. Round-the-clock support also means you don’t have to deal with the stress of handling an IT emergency at 3 AM.
4. Lower Risk of Unplanned Downtime
Unplanned downtime comes with significant expenses. Every second your system is down, you continue to lose money and leads while your infrastructure overheads continue to increase. For example, although there is no work to be done, you will still need to pay your staff.
Add to that the repair costs, damage to your brand reputation, and the stress of dealing with frustrated customers. All of this will hit your bottom line quite hard. Periodic unplanned downtimes can even cause some small companies to go out of business.
With the help of your MSP, however, it is possible to minimize unplanned downtime. As your tech partner will monitor your computer network 24/7, it becomes much easier to detect issues before they turn into disasters. Your MSP will also have experts to deal with the problems, providing you with viable long-term solutions.
5. Increased Focus on Core Business Activities
When you have reliable outsourced IT support in San Francisco, you can delegate both routine and complicated IT responsibilities to the experts. Your MSP can also help you plan and optimize your long-term IT goals. With every aspect of your IT infrastructure taken care of, your staff will be free to focus on core business activities.
As your service provider will proactively monitor your network, you will have a lot less to worry about. It will help increase your productivity further. As you can focus on your sales, lead nurturing, and discovering new business opportunities, your business can expand rapidly and smoothly.
Robust IT support is the bedrock of every successful business, making it necessary to find a competent and experienced managed IT service provider. However, an MSP can provide your business with a lot more than cybersecurity and time-and-money savings. Hopefully, knowing about these five benefits will encourage you to outsource your IT support to an expert. Do let us know if you find these reasons convincing in the comments section.
The global managed services market, which stood at $152.05 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $274.20 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 11.2%.
This exponential growth may be attributed to the increased demand for outsourced IT services. A rising number of organizations are striking partnerships with managed service providers (MSPs) to fulfill their IT needs.
While companies of all sizes can benefit from an experienced managed services provider, they are especially advantageous for small businesses. In other words, MSPs provide small and mid-sized enterprises with a particularly attractive and pocket-friendly alternative to the traditional in-house IT department.
Small businesses often struggle with limited IT staff and resources, which puts them at risk of cybersecurity breaches, data loss, and system failures, among other issues. Considering the myriad negative impacts of these incidents, startups need to have well-defined contingency plans in place.
A managed services provider helps businesses develop and establish effective strategies to combat unprecedented IT issues. Additionally, they conduct preventative maintenance to prevent issues from arising in the first place.
In this post, we will discuss the basics of managed IT services and consider how to find the right MSP for your business.
Managed IT Services: What They Bring to the Table
Most companies hire a managed services provider to outsource a range of IT-related operations. Simply put, you can partner with an MSP for fulfilling one or multiple technology-related needs as well as aligning your IT with your business goals. A contractual Service Level Agreement (SLA) dictates the performance and quality metrics of your shared relationship.
Generally, a managed services provider helps clients with the following:
The Role of Managed Services Providers in the San Francisco Startup Scene
As a small business owner in San Francisco, you may be wondering why your company needs a managed services provider. Allow us to explain.
Due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, San Francisco is often perceived as a hub for upcoming startups. The city itself is quite small, representing a grid area of 7 miles by 7 miles.
As a result, a large number of well-known brands are concentrated in the same area. For example, Twitter is located in the same building as Square and Uber on Market Street. Likewise, Airbnb, Yelp, Pinterest, and Dropbox have offices in the South of the Market (SoMa) area. This goes to show the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in the city’s business culture.
While SoMa offers cheap rents for young startups, the Mission neighborhood in downtown San Francisco hosts an excellent social climate for budding business leaders.
Additionally, the city is a hotbed for creativity. In 2018, the city graced the top spot in the Global Cities Outlook due to its sustained strength in innovation.
You may find it difficult to carve a niche for your business amid the intense competition. However, in San Francisco, you have technology on your side.
Technology is changing how startups get funded, establish connections, and build their brand. San Francisco’s burgeoning technology landscape can help new startups and small businesses utilize their limited resources in smarter and more effective ways.
If you’re unsure about how to implement the latest technology trends in your business, you can always turn to a San Francisco managed services provider for help.
An MSP in San Francisco usually assigns a team of certified IT engineers to its clients. These specialists use their comprehensive technical and industrial expertise to streamline your IT operations. Their goal is to help you leverage the latest technological trends for business expansion.
Below, we list a few other benefits of hiring a San Francisco managed services provider to take over your organization’s IT processes.
Benefits of Hiring a San Francisco Managed Services Provider
Low Upfront Expenses
One of the reasons why nearly 37% of small businesses outsource their IT management is reduced expenses. Small businesses rarely have the capital to recruit, train, and play an entire team of IT professionals. Also, they are typically unable to procure, maintain, repair, and replace expensive IT equipment as and when required.
When you partner with an MSP, you only pay for the level of service you use. Since the MSP provides all the necessary hardware/software and technical know-how, you won’t have to invest in these peripherals separately.
According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, hackers attack computers with Internet access once every 39 seconds. As recently as June 2020, the Netwalker criminal gang attacked the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and extorted a ransom worth $1.14 million.
Despite these dangers, many small business owners fail to pay attention to cybersecurity protocols, assuming that their business will not be attacked. A study suggests that 43% of small businesses do not have any strong cybersecurity plans in place.
A San Francisco managed services provider can help you develop and establish a potent cybersecurity plan specific to your business needs. Moreover, they can assess your network for security gaps and patch them as quickly as possible.
Expert IT Advice at a Reasonable Cost
Different technicians specialize in different IT disciplines, which is why, a cybersecurity analyst may not be able to help you with data recovery.
Ideally, you should have an entire team of technical engineers catering to your various IT needs. However, this may be a tall order for startups with limited capital investment.
The average base salary of an IT support specialist in San Francisco is $66,289. Add to that the cost of 401(k)s, bonuses, and benefits, and you have a hefty amount at hand. As a result, small businesses may not be able to afford multiple IT specialists.
However, when you hire a managed services provider, you gain access to an entire team of certified IT specialists for a flat fee. They can advise you on various technologies, as well as help you build an efficient IT network.
A 2019 study by Statista revealed that businesses lose $301,000 to $400,000 for an hour of server downtime. This means that one minute of downtime costs businesses about $5016 to $6666.67. In addition, startups have to deal with lost opportunities, data loss, and SLA payouts when their systems malfunction.
A managed services provider can help you avoid this situation. MSPs provide proactive support, i.e., they monitor your IT network and mitigate potential threats before they spiral. As a result, your business is at a lesser risk of experiencing extended downtime due to IT failure.
How to Identify the Right San Francisco Managed Services Provider for Your Business
A capable managed services provider will:
Ask about Your Customized IT Needs
The one-size-fits-all approach is rarely applicable in the world of technology. Even companies in the same industry with similar employee strength can have entirely different IT needs.
A competent managed services provider will ask relevant questions to determine your expectations from them. This will help them tailor their IT solutions to suit your unique goals.
Have Experience beyond Break-Fix
While troubleshooting network failures is an important aspect of managed IT services, you should look for an MSP that specializes in proactive care as well. Maintaining enterprise-grade IT infrastructure requires extensive skill and expertise, far more than what the traditional break-fix model demands.
Moreover, you want to partner with an organization that understands technology and implements it to improve every aspect of your business. They should essentially be willing to look at the bigger picture instead of limiting themselves to occasional system repairs.
Have Strong Market Presence
Understanding your potential MSP’s market presence, portfolio, and experience with past clientele can help you gain a fair idea about their capabilities. You can check neutral third-party customer review sites for honest feedback on their performance.
If any of your friends or acquaintances recently availed of the managed services provider’s offerings, you can ask them about the MSP’s service quality.
A managed services provider should be able to demonstrate how their specific policies and processes translate into different business environments. Additionally, they should also be willing to answer any queries about what they do and how it is effective.
Most experts managed services providers are happy to share their experiences and how their processes have helped businesses. If your prospective MSP fails to answer these questions, you should keep looking.
Have a Technology-Oriented Approach
Although many MSPs adapt themselves to the latest technology, some are still stuck in the past. Such companies seldom offer services other than reactive solutions and legacy system repairs.
This can be counterproductive in several ways. Hiring such a company to manage your IT needs won’t bolster your business. Instead, your business will be left lagging behind the competition.
To avoid these issues, be sure to hire a managed services provider that offers:
As a team of expert professionals, managed services providers can guide your business’s IT policies in the right direction. They streamline your technical policies and practices according to industry standards, enabling you to make the most of your resources. Being fairly less expensive than a traditional internal IT team, an MSP can help you with your technical needs without sending your IT expenses soaring through the roof.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need help with locating a suitable managed services provider for your business in San Francisco.
Most businesses manage emerging technological requirements by utilizing their in-house workforce. However, as they grow, additional help may be required. Professional IT consultation can help in these scenarios.
An IT consultant has expertise in a particular skill set. They can provide you with valuable feedback about your existing processes, guide/train your employees, and help you align business solutions with your company goals.
The low start-up costs associated with IT consulting services are expected to drive growth in the market. It is expected to reach USD 382.65 billion by 2025.
Partnering with a professional IT consultant can be of great help to small and medium-sized businesses with limited funds. Your consultant will be equipped with the necessary in-depth IT knowledge to streamline, simplify, and seamlessly perform everyday activities cost-effectively.
In 2018, the turnover in the IT consulting space was projected to be $48.0 billion. This is expected to grow to approximately $53.7 billion in 2021.
Let us understand how professional IT consulting can help with managing your IT infrastructure.
1. Reduce Costs
Small and medium-sized companies may not be able to afford to hire and maintain a state-of-the-art internal IT team.
Professional IT consultants are the best option in these cases. They will help you address your business goals and improve IT infrastructure resulting in optimal process efficiency.
Your company may need technical guidance and help with troubleshooting as well as IT maintenance when starting work on new projects. Hiring long-term and dedicated technical resources for this may not be cost-effective. You can hire a professional IT consultant on a short-term basis.
The IT consultant can kick-start projects and offer suggestions on how to proceed with the project implementation. This process may not extend for more than a few months. The IT consultant can be hired for this period, without paying the perks given to a full-time employee, thereby reducing costs.
2. Improves Data Security
Data security is among the biggest concerns in every enterprise network. Small and medium-sized companies often underestimate its importance and overlook IT best practices.
If you suspect a data breach and want to check if compliance measures are in place, collaborating with a professional IT consultant will be ideal. IT consultants are well-versed in updated security and compliance norms. They will be able to closely monitor your IT infrastructure, conduct security audits, and identify possible vulnerabilities.
IT consultants will also be able to establish security protocols best suited to your enterprise network. Further, they may analyze your existing network and recommend a disaster recovery solution to step up security.
Training employees on data safety and cybersecurity best practices can reduce cyber-attacks by 34%. Therefore, you may hire IT consultants who can educate your employees about potential risks and preventive measures to deter the entry of malware into the enterprise network.
3. Helps Boost Productivity
Several factors like the lack of proper planning and prioritizing tasks may result in unnecessary backlogs, preventing you from achieving business goals.
Seeking professional advice will help you obtain a holistic view of the status of your enterprise system. IT consulting experts will guide you to efficiently plan, implement, and strategize your everyday processes, streamlining business workflows. When your employees have a clear picture of what they need to do, it will accelerate operations and boost productivity.
Moreover, IT consultants will equip your workforce with tools that enable seamless collaboration and communication. This will help your employees reach out to each other, paving the way for rapid problem-solving and innovation. For example, introducing internal messaging apps in your organization will enable your employees to promptly communicate with each other for clarifications or discussions. This, in turn, will enable the free flow of information and speed up processes, resulting in higher productivity.
4. Obtain a Fresh Perspective
At times, your internal supervisors may not be able to identify bottlenecks in IT processes. This is because they have been working in the same environment and tend to overlook issues. When you seek the help of a professional IT consultant, they act as a neutral third party and can offer a different perspective. Approaching your existing enterprise network with a pair of fresh eyes will help in spotting operational/functional challenges. You may consider working with an IT expert to find suitable solutions.
5. Get Access to New Business Skills
IT consulting professionals use their knowledge to help your business frame strategies based on the latest technological trends and methodologies. Moreover, their assistance will allow your in-house team to focus on core business activities.
So, when you implement changes in your business processes, IT consulting offers you access to updated business skills based on your specific requirements. This proves especially beneficial because they can be deployed as you try to make changes. You may make the changes, and either ends the contract or extend it, based on your requirements.
6. Assist Your Team in Attaining Goals
At times, employees struggle to attain short-term goals. When faced with new challenges, they may feel overwhelmed.
IT consulting services help in keeping your employees motivated. IT consultants also offer tips and tricks to crack these short-term goals. Moreover, they train your workforce to enable them to make the most of trending technologies. This approach will help boost employee morale, thereby positively impacting the growth of your organization.
Undoubtedly, advanced expertise is required to manage IT enterprise networks efficiently. Working with a professional IT consultant will help in improving security and boost productivity in your organization, among other benefits. Hopefully, the above-mentioned points will help you understand the relevance of working with proven IT consultants and how they impact organizational operations.
Precision IT Consulting Help Desk is a team of experienced and certified professionals that provides daily strategic support for businesses.