While larger enterprises usually have the resources to employ multiple full-time IT staff, SMEs often don’t have the budget to employ even one full-time person, let alone specialists in areas like security or desktop support. As a result, many SMEs outsource their IT.
But no small business can afford to work with just any Managed Service Provider. It’s vital that SMEs work with a Managed Service Provider that understands small business IT. Small businesses need a Managed Service Provider that knows how to work with a small business budget while at the same time providing a great level of service.
What is a Managed Service provider?
Managed Service providers (MSPs) provide proactive IT support and consultancy. They can help SMEs work out which software and hardware is right for their business, and which features and tools can help make the business more productive. Small business IT support offered by MSPs can also include:
A helpdesk – so that users have someone they can call about any IT issues.
Security advice – how best to back up data and ensure it is secure from malicious threats.
General advice on small business IT – what ISP to use, the type of connection, and how your business might use a VoIP solution for telephony.
Small business IT pain points
In 15 years’ experience providing small business IT support, IT Smart Solutions has identified five major small business IT pain points:
Low budget Sometimes SMEs don’t allow enough budget for fundamental technology and can, for example, end up trying to run a business with cloud solutions on an inappropriate internet link.
One go-to person This is usually the business owner or office manager trying to do all the IT themselves, but not having the expertise to set things up properly.
Limited understanding of options Sometimes business owners or leaders don’t fully understand the differences between the cloud and on-premise solutions available.
No expertise Often staff have no expert help to turn to if they have IT issues.
Strategy is key
With so much choice available in terms of cloud offerings, SMEs need to understand the different options so they can make an informed decision about which software is right for their business. SMEs are a target for cybercrime, so it’s also imperative that they have the right strategy in terms of security to enable them to protect data and reduce downtime.
It’s also important to make the right choices regarding hardware for users and in terms of connectivity to make sure productivity isn’t compromised by slow internet speeds.
Small business IT support from a Managed Service Provider can help SMEs work out their strategy and make the right IT choices for their business.
How improving IT helps SMEs
How can improving IT help an SME run their business more smoothly and service their customers better?
1. Having the right IT solution and investing in the right technologies increases productivity. That’s because employees can get on with their jobs rather than wrestle with computer problems.
2. Having efficient staff and demonstrating appropriate use of modern cloud technologies enables companies to service clients better. It also makes a business look like a modern, forward-thinking organisation.
3. With the right IT, SMEs can benefit from flexibility in a way that larger enterprises can’t. It can be quick to adopt new technologies and change strategy to adapt to a changing environment, whereas larger enterprises often require years of planning and implementation for a change to take place.
The good news is that small business IT support from a Managed Service Provider isn’t expensive. There are options to pay by the hour if a business has relatively low IT needs on a day-to-day basis. Alternatively, as a company grows they can fix their budget for a simple monthly payment per user of as little as $2 or $3 per day.
Work with a provider who understands small business IT
Many MSPs focus on the mid/enterprise share of the market and aren’t always interested in providing small business IT support. So it’s important to work with a provider that understands SMEs and is familiar with the daily challenges and pain points faced by small business owners.
IT Smart Solutions have been helping small businesses since 2005 and have built up a reputation in this space. We have a team of engineers who deal with other small businesses every day and are used to resolving problems quickly. We look after clients from all sectors including accountants, lawyers, fashion, recruitment, engineers, designers, hospitality, software developers etc.
Interested in finding out more about how IT Smart Solutions can support your small business? Start by taking our Small Business Modern Workplace assessment to see how your business IT is performing currently.