Every business utilizes technology in some form or fashion. Whether software or hardware, technology is everywhere and it makes our lives more efficient and effective. But sometimes, small/medium business owners (SMBs) find themselves wearing so many hats just to manage their operations, that their tech needs fall by the wayside.

Experts estimate that there are major technology advances every 28 days. At this speed, only dedicated IT professionals can keep abreast of the changes. But hiring a full-time, in-house IT professional could require a significant (and often times unnecessary) investment.

A wiser, more cost-efficient solution most SMBs pursue is outsourcing their IT needs to companies that specialize in tech. This frees up their budgets to focus on operations and marketing. This is called managed IT services.

Here’s how SMBs benefit from managed IT services.

How Managed IT Services work

According to CompTIA’s 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services report, the global managed services market is expected to grow to up to $193B by 2019.

Managed IT service providers use remote monitoring and management systems to keep track of the systems that power your business. They also provide suggestions on the software and hardware that will most benefit their clients.

Regular maintenance, data backups, and periodic software checks for viruses and malware are also handled by IT service providers. Many provide access to a support desk as needs arise, serving as an extension of your in-house team. Compensation structures vary with many utilizing a fixed fee interval.

Proactive vs. Reactive Approach

The peace of mind that comes from using an IT service provider cannot be quantified. Clients do not have to worry about their day-to-day IT operations. Many potential problems are prevented (a proactive approach), instead of dealt with when they arise unexpectedly (reactive).

Unfortunately many SMB use a reactive approach. This can cause significant downtime in operations, or damage important internal systems and data. Having an IT service provider who is familiar with your business also adds to increased incident resolution time (versus someone coming in who is unfamiliar with the system)

Increase Productivity

Utilizing a provider specialized in IT increases your team’s productivity. Now your employees can focus on doing what they do best, whether that is finance, marketing, or operations. You risk less downtime and expenditures (that would be used for in-house IT staff) when time can be allocated to other parts of your business to drive revenue.

Quick Response Times

As the old adage says, “time is money.” SMBs benefit from managed IT services because their support team is working remotely, and your customers get support no matter where, when or what time the needs arise. Support services can be reached 24/7, 365 days a year.

Save Money in the Long Run

In the long run, calling in a technician every time your system breaks down could cost your business more over time (not including the loss of operation time).

For budgeting purposes, SMBs benefit from managed IT services, because you will have a handle on what your IT costs will be month to month. Together, you and your managed IT services provider will arrange a flat fee to include coverage during normal business hours, and after hours.

For SMBs, Managed IT services are a cost-effective solution for the long run. By outsourcing your IT needs, your employees can stay focused on doing what your business does best.

Prevent problems before they arise, and start a relationship with a professional who keeps attuned to the latest tech developments to keep your systems running well. Using a Managed IT Services provider who focuses on SMBs, like Harrington Technologies, provides critical day-to-day support and maintenance of your network.