Perhaps you’re finally contemplating getting some better IT management in your small business after years of dealing with break-fix services or an aging in-house team.
You made the right choice, though you’ve probably noticed how many managed services are out there.
No doubt it’s a little overwhelming finding the right service provider, especially when they all look the same to you.
In reality, they have key differences, depending on the tools they use. You’ll find a few managed service providers that try to cut corners and only give you limited security or strictly in-person repair services.
The more comprehensive the tools available, the more thorough the protection in a time when virtually anything can happen. Removing just one essential tool can place you at risk of something slipping through and potentially making any managed service worthless.
You simply can’t afford any downtime if you’re a small business. Once you see the statistics of what downtime costs small business, you’ll understand how any managed services provider not giving you at least five essential tools becomes a waste of money.
So what are the five key tools every managed IT service provider should be using? They range from security to remote assistance.
#1: Monitoring Your Systems
A vital part of managed services that you can’t do without is having 24/7 monitoring of your systems. If you ever see a provider only monitoring in the daytime or neglecting weekends or holidays, they aren’t worth your time. The reason is things can happen any time of the day or night, regardless if you think otherwise.
Having a technical issue or an attempted hacking on a weekend or holiday could mean your systems going down for hours or days without someone there to help you. Relying on a break-fix team is impossible because they aren’t available, or charge you extra to do an emergency fix.
With 24/7 monitoring, things get caught in the act and taken care of immediately, no matter what day it is. Many preventative measures are already put in place so the worst problems don’t happen in the first place.
#2: Remote Access Capability
You can find utilities like Secure Shell that allow remote access to computers so a managed services provider can fix things without visiting in person. Every provider should have this capability, even if they can also use your remote assistance feature built into your operating system.
When you give them the power to do remote work, they’ll fix most problems within a reasonable time. If you’ve been irked having technicians physically hijacking your computers to deal with repairs, you’ll appreciate having remote repair without disrupting your work.
#3: Virus and Malware Protection
The greatest aspects of managed services is that all your hardware and software can get stored in the cloud for access anywhere you have an Internet connection. With a decent provider of managed services, they’ll automatically update everything and provide the latest virus protection software.
Having automatic updates to your virus software helps you focus on your own work to eliminate unneeded burdens. Otherwise, you’ll likely forget to update your software and make yourself vulnerable to today’s worst Internet threats.
#4: Security on Your Network
Along with viruses and malware protection, you need firewalls to prevent hacking attacks. Without having monitoring, you could be hacked and not even know it until finding out weeks or months later. A good managed service alerts you immediately to any intrusions and blocks them before any damage occurs.
This is especially important if you gather and store extensive private information about your customers.
#5: Backup for Your Files
Having a backup system in place isn’t always the best if you have your own server. Yet, good managed services help back up all your data for easy retrieval when a disaster occurs. The cloud is an amazing tool when it’s properly monitored, and it’s a real gift when you need your data back in a hurry.
Here at Stanfield IT, we offer an excellent managed IT service with all of the above five key tools in place, plus more.
Contact us to find out more about how we can keep your small business running efficiently at all times.