Three Critical Managed Services for SMBs
IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are an extremely powerful option for SMBs in today’s business environment. Faced with the expectation of immediacy in service among your customers, the requirement for continuous operations and the increasing complexity of available technologies, managing your IT services alone is challenging at best. To best understand what an IT MSP should be doing for your business – and why, here are three managed IT services every SMB should consider in the pursuit of competitive advantage:
- Remote Monitoring and Management of Networks, Desktop Computers and Mobile Devices – No matter the industry – financial services, healthcare, engineering, creative services, light manufacturing, etc. – more and more of the work is being executed, transmitted and stored by digital means. Add this fact to the three factors mentioned earlier – expectation of immediacy, requirement for continuous operations and increasing complexity of technology – and any system downtime at the network or device level could be a business threat.
- Data Backup and Disaster Recovery – No credible IT MSP would promise to prevent any and every type of potential disaster, but a good one will provide a backup and recovery plan that minimizes downtime and lessens damage to your business. How fast your systems are restored and how soon your operations return to full capacity could mean the difference between keeping and losing customers. The digital world has shortened all time cycles in the minds of customers, and he whose business bounces back first usually wins.
- Unified Communications – Gartner, the world’s largest information technology research and advisory company, “defines Unified Communications (UC) products (equipment, software and services) as those that facilitate the interactive use of multiple enterprise communications methods. This can include control, management and integration of these methods. UC products integrate communications channels (media), networks and systems, as well as IT business applications and, in some cases, consumer applications and devices.” That’s a very deliberate and detailed way of saying that all types of communications, including voice traffic, are carried on data networks, not the legacy telephone network. UC is not a new concept. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the global IT market intelligence firm, the worldwide UC is fast approaching $30 billion.
These three managed services are critical for the same reason. Every big corporation invests heavily in each of these IT services. And market-leading SMBs are following suit. Every company will need to leverage each of these services at some level to compete successfully in any market before the end of this decade.