IT can be an enabler for your business. In today's digital world, organizations look to technology for ways to enter new markets, quickly test new product ideas, or personalize client engagement. The challenge many organizations face is that IT staff spend a huge percentage of their time keeping current systems running instead of acting as innovators for the business.
Members of a small IT team may find themselves pulled in many directions. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) struggle to make time for ground-breaking projects because they, alone, are responsible for daily tasks like break/fix and customer support. Security and patching are often neglected while a small IT staff struggles to put out all the fires.
A managed service provider (MSP) frees your IT team to drive business innovation by providing monitoring, maintenance, updates, and specialized services.
SMBs have limited IT staff and limited budgets. Each team member needs to be a jack-of-all-trades. Aside from performing regular maintenance, staff members need to know how to monitor data for anomalous patterns that might signal a data breach, as well as how to remediate an attack or outage. The 2017 Cybersecurity Trends Report found that lack of security expertise is a cause of concern for many companies. Of the respondents, 54% want to combat the security skills gap by training their staff, while almost a third of these companies want to supplement this training by partnering with an MSP.
The irony here, if you didn't know it already, is that IBM i and AS/400 have a remarkable track record in the world of security. Is there another platform that can boast that it has NEVER been breached?
In addition to providing security, IT staff must archive data and provide appropriate access controls for compliance purposes. Information also needs to be analyzed for insights so better business processes can be developed.
With an MSP, you get your team back. Your people can focus on regaining your competitive advantage through IT. Let your MSP deal with problems your team may never have encountered. Let your MSP's Certified experts, who are on-hand around the clock, manage, monitor, and maintain your infrastructure.
Monitoring network traffic for possible breaches is a full-time job. Not only that, but IT teams need to keep up with maintenance issues, infrastructure refreshes, security patches, and more.
An MSP can provide 24/7/365 monitoring. A network operations center (NOC) continually monitors your environment to identify and prevent cyberattacks using state-of-the-art tools. The NOC also monitors jobs that fail and escalates when necessary. With an MSP, your SMB has access to resources that only a large enterprise or government organization could afford.
More for Less
Some SMBs worry MSPs are too expensive to be a realistic option. However, MSPs offer a range of a la carte services you can choose from so you only pay for what you need. Many MSPs offer service tiers or flat rates for services that make budgeting easy and predictable.
Hardware and software can be hosted for increased scalability with reduced capital expenses. With a hosted data center, your business doesn't need to worry about keeping up with technology refreshes and software updates. Providing services to so many clients enables MSPs to offer cutting-edge infrastructure and security technology at an affordable price.
Re-envisioning Managed Services
Despite the advantages MSPs provide, companies are still slow to adopt them. According to CompTIA's Annual Trends in Managed Services Study, less than 20% of companies are evaluating or using an MSP. If your business is hesitant to partner with an MSP, now is the time to rethink your impressions of managed services.
Today's MSPs go beyond the traditional break/fix model to provide proactive solutions to your business problems. Along with responding when there are problems, the right MSP will participate in the daily monitoring and maintenance of your mission-critical systems to try to prevent outages from occurring.
As an IBM Business Partner, InfoSystems provides managed services tailored to iSeries environments. We have IBM experts on staff to bring your business even stronger managed support services, including business continuity and cloud migration assistance.