If you run a small or medium business without a dedicated IT department, you are probably painfully aware of the costs associated with keeping your computers and servers up to date with security patches and updates.
Whether you are paying an IT company to perform preventive maintenance, or if you or another staff member are taking time out of your day to handle it, it can be frustrating and time-consuming. You can suffer from downtime during your workday, and if you do handle it yourself, it is possible you can run into issues where a professional has to be called, leading to even more downtime and expense.
What if I told you there was a better way?
Instead of having preventative maintenance performed by someone else, usually in the middle of your work day, or even after-hours at a premium cost, you could consider using a Managed Service Provider, or MSP.
The MSP handles things a little differently than just offering a hands-on approach. Instead, they rely upon a suite of software that is loaded on each computer and server, and that software does all the heavy lifting.
The MSP will then monitor all the computers using sensors and logging that will let them see system health at a glance:
- Component failure – such as a hard drive, or fan.
- Resource issues – high processor usage, high ram usage, hard drive filling up.
- Updates – What updates need to be installed.
- Security issues – Firewall and Anti-Virus up to date and working correctly?
The list of actual monitored factors is too vast to go into in this short blog post. Suffice it to say, an MSP will likely know about a problem before the end user does as alerts can be set to inform them of a developing issue.
The provider can also approve updates and patches during an agreed upon window. No more reboots during your lunch hour. They can be scheduled for 3AM or any time you wish. The provider can also disapprove updates if they are aware of conflicts that might occur within your environment, such as a patch that breaks your custom software application.
Many services and tasks can be rolled into one tidy package: Patch management, backup, anti-virus/anti-malware, system maintenance and more!
Another advantage of using managed services is the convenience of instant support! An MSP can connect to your desktop, laptop, tablet or server very quickly, and can share the screen if you wish so you can demonstrate a problem while communicating with them. Many problems can be fixed in real-time. Software can be loaded onto your computer, as if by magic, logs checked, resource usage monitored, all without even interrupting what you are doing!
And amazingly enough, the cost is generally more affordable than having a scheduled maintenance plan with an IT company, and far less expensive than downtime!
If you would like to discuss our managed services offerings here in the Upstate of South Carolina, and whether it is right for your business, please use our CONTACT FORM, or give us a call at 864-990-4748.
We can provide managed services anywhere in the United States, but would prefer to work with local clients so that we can form a more personal relationship.