When you’re a small to mid-sized business (SMB), technology challenges are all too familiar. Technology and its use have expanded at such an exponential rate that only the largest enterprises can keep pace internally.
If your SMB has in-house IT, the team probably spends nearly all their time executing needed damage control, and there are more help desk tickets than they can keep up with.
Sometimes SMBs outsource much—or all—of their IT but treat it as a budget line item rather than a strategic service that can propel their organization forward. That’s a natural inclination: It’s difficult to envision any outsourced service provider as being a partner in your goals, especially when you don’t have the same resources easily available to large enterprises.
But the common approach of separating IT from business strategy isn’t going to get you where you want to go. When the right strategies, people, processes, and technologies aren’t implemented in the first place, you stay in reactive IT mode: dealing with IT crises that bring your business to a grinding halt. You already know you can’t afford that.
Our dream was that our technology would work like our electricity, and it never did. As we’d grown, it had been kind of pieced together with paper clips and glue.
– Jenny Peters, Chief Strategy Officer, Damar Services
Why the Break-Fix Model Falls Short
Unlike enterprise-level organizations, SMBs don’t have the resources for a vast, expert, proactive IT team in-house. And let’s face it, IT is an ever-expanding set of responsibilities.
SMBs often choose to bring on an IT managed services provider (MSP), but usually the arrangement uses the so-called break-fix model: You call only when something’s broken; they come only to fix it. The problem is that model sets you up for more crises, much like skipping regular dental checkups creates more dental emergencies.
Reactive IT Isn’t the Answer, Either
Reactive IT means your IT team—internal or external—is involved only when something isn’t working the way it’s supposed to.
The hard reality is that a small in-house IT team is fully occupied putting out fires. There’s no big-picture assessment, no integration of IT with business strategy, and very little peace of mind.
Nobody likes living in reaction mode. It’s an accelerator for employee burnout.
External IT managed service providers frequently use a la carte pricing and have additional costs involved for specific tasks, troubleshooting, visits, or number of calls per month—and that may influence your criteria for reaching out.
It’s common to have a different technician respond every time. They don’t know your people or your business; they don’t know your IT ecosystem. You’re probably not at the top of their priority list and every moment you’re dead in the water, you’re losing money.
Make Your IT MSP a Strategic Partner
IT is far too complex to be an isolated entity and still effectively serve your organization. Unless your IT is part of your business strategy, you’re creating situations that will allow more metaphorical cavities to form. Enterprise-level organizations know this already and strategically integrate proactive IT with business objectives throughout their companies.
When you’re smaller and paying for external services, integrating strategies is a point worth embracing. An IT MSP who truly views their service relationships as partnerships will far better serve your organization with proactive IT strategies. And after all, the enterprises already practicing proactive IT are, in fact, your competitors. They understand how costly downtime is.
We really wanted to build a relationship. I was nervous moving away from having someone in-house. I didn’t want to be nickel-and-dimed. Resultant brought a team of professionals with different types of experience that I couldn’t get in-house. I had an entire team I could rely on and an all-in price whether we call once a month or 100 times a month.
– Tina Allen, Chief Executive Officer , Eye Surgeons of Indiana
Opt for Proactive IT Managed Services
Proactive IT managed services start with a big-picture view. Before the right partner can see that picture in focus, they take time to get to know your business, your people, how your teams work, your IT ecosystem, and what your goals are—not just for IT but for the business at large. Only then does that big-picture view sharpen and reveal the steps that will get you there and the tools and infrastructure that will support the journey.
A proactive IT managed services partner is actively engaged in your business, monitoring constantly to keep your IT ecosystem secure and stable and prevent problems before they happen. They regularly schedule and perform maintenance to keep everything running smoothly longer—the equivalent of how consistent six-month dental checkups reduce your likelihood for needing a root canal.
The best proactive IT MSPs help you prioritize IT undertakings in agreement with your business objectives. They’ll ensure any changes to your systems are scalable as your organization grows. And they’ll implement in such a way that the changes are embraced by your teams because it makes their lives easier instead of derailing their entire workflow.
Where to Go from Here
What do Wi-Fi outages, blue (or black) screens of death, and security breaches all have in common? They can bring your business to its knees.
Move toward growth and peace of mind with a proactive IT managed services partner who will protect your assets and keep you up and running.