Managing IT assets for small business presents unique challenges. Not only do small business IT solutions need to be far more flexible than large enterprise assets, but they have to be easy to implement as well.
Small business owners run into a broad variety of obstacles when trying to configure and deploy IT infrastructure. At times, it seems like customers simply ask too much of businesses that don’t have to extraordinary resources large corporations enjoy.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Managed service vendors offer scalable, on-demand solutions that put enterprise-level resources in the hands of even the smallest businesses.
This lets small businesses implement cutting-edge solutions for data security, connectivity, processing, and archival without having to make enormous up-front purchases to do so. By assessing the pain points unique to small businesses, managed service vendors can develop solutions to address those needs exactly.
Obstacles to Success: Small Business IT Pain Points
For large enterprises and institutions, implementing best-in-class technology seems relatively straightforward. Corporate stakeholders demand better margins and visibility, executive board members hire tech consultants to assess their options, and then pour millions of dollars into implementing the most efficient one.
At each level of the process, individuals follow well-defined paths for generating value. For small businesses, “corporate stakeholder”, “executive board members”, and “tech consultants” may end up being a single person: the business owner.
This makes it look like you have to do everything on your own. From this perspective, some clear tech problems stand out among the rest:
- Infrastructural Growth. Small businesses have to choose their acquisitions very carefully. You can’t always afford the equipment with the highest specifications or the greatest capabilities, so you have to compromise and find manageable solutions for growth with minimum exposure.
- Data Security and Business Continuity. Incorporating best-in-class cybersecurity is deeply challenging for small business owners who can’t afford to hire their own dedicated cybersecurity team. Simply managing and maintaining consistent backups for disaster recovery is a full-time job even for a small organization.
- IT Turnover. Getting superior IT talent in the door is difficult. The IT industry has the highest turnover rate of any business sector in the national economy. The demand for IT specialists is simply too high for small businesses to offer competitive compensation.
- Process Automation. Repetitive, low-impact processes can be costly. In the small business environment, they prevent valuable employees from working on higher-impact processes and strategic initiatives.
- Equipment Maintenance. IT specialists can offer incredibly valuable services to small businesses. But when they have to spend all of their time maintaining and repairing hardware, they never get a chance to work on ambitious value-driving projects.
- Managed Print Services. Small businesses that outsource their printing and copying needs to a managed service vendor no longer have to worry about fixing broken imaging equipment. Print process optimization reduces the cost of each page printed, while trained technicians routinely provide preventative maintenance to keep your print fleet running.
- Managed Network Services. Network infrastructure is expensive. Poorly configured on-site infrastructure is even more expensive – especially if it leads to downtime. Cloud computing allows small businesses to use digital infrastructure on demand without having to purchase, configure, and maintain their own switches, routers, and cables.
- Secure Document Management. Maintaining data compliance in the 21st century is no small matter. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber attack because they often fail to effectively secure their documents. Managed service vendors use cloud technology to establish secure document storage and archival locations for their partners.
However, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Small businesses can benefit from expert technological consultation as well. You can even find solutions for implementing state-of-the-art tech solutions without huge financial outlays. Managed IT services are the solution to small business IT pain points.
Managed IT Services for Small Business
In conditions where small business owners find it difficult to retain top IT talent and often have to allocate top talent to repetitive, low-impact work like preventing printer breakdowns, managed IT services offer significant value.
These services interrupt the break/fix cycle and allow in-house IT teams to make the best possible use of their time.
Managed IT services come in a variety of forms. Each of these represents an opportunity to outsource a specific element of your overall technological infrastructure, taking pressure away from your IT team and supplying you with cutting-edge technology solutions as a service.
Invest in Managed Services for Your Small Business
Switching over to an entirely outsourced technology framework may seem like a daunting proposition. However, you don’t have to do it all at once. Outsourcing a single element of your overall IT asset framework – like printing, for instance – can serve as a safe, effective way to test the waters when it comes to managed services.
Contact DSI and have small business specialists identify opportunities for growth-oriented efficiency in your organization.