Success in today’s technology-driven world, means exploiting Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Most big companies have IT departments dedicated to selecting, maintaining and integrating this technology across the business. For many small businesses, however, hiring in-house IT staff is costly and out of reach. So, how can small businesses stay competitive and manage ICT with their much smaller budgets? Using managed service providers (MSPs) that deliver some ICT services remotely, could be the solution for many small business owners.

Companies that try to go it alone with “DIY” ICT management find that they face a range of problems that can have serious impacts on their effciency and the quality of service they provide to their customers.

In a typical situation, a small business owner may buy and install the technology themselves or perhaps assign an untrained tech-enthusiast employee to manage their IT system part time.

This can quickly become overwhelming as the IT infrastructure grows or when day-to-day management of the system conflicts with the employee’s main duties.

Failure to keep up with updates, backups, patches and security could lead to IT outages and spell big problems for the business. Loss of access to important financial data or hacking of private customer information, for instance, could damage trust in customer relationships and lead to loss of revenue.

Another challenge for small business owners comes when making ICT purchase decisions. In the absence of in-house IT sta , who chooses ICT technology and how are these choices made?

Once the purchase is made, they would also need to consider installation and training sta to use it. To ensure they select the best technology they can afford to match their needs, small businesses need someone with knowledge and expertise to analyse these issues and make recommendations.

Some small businesses hire IT consultants to purchase and install their systems as well as to provide support in the event of an outage or malfunction. Besides the sometimes high cost, using a consultant for IT management could leave small businesses vulnerable to long downtimes during an emergency depending on the consultant’s response time. This is especially noticeable when using small IT firms or individual consultants servicing several clients across a wide area.

Another possible management solution for small businesses is to outsource certain ICT functions to an MSP. Many core tasks can be managed remotely, over the internet, including maintenance and security. For a monthly fee, a small business can subscribe to a service package that removes many of the difficult decisions and maintenance functions that would be managed in the IT departments of their big business competitors. This not only decreases their ICT costs, but could improve their efficiency as well

How can owners choose the right MSP for their business?

Here are just three things to look for:

  1. Strong service level agreement (SLA)
    Make sure that the MSP provides a service agreement that clearly outlines what services are, and are not, included in your service package. The SLA should also define expected results, such as uptime and average response time.
  2. 24X7 backend support
    A good MSP will have a well-trained, professional support team available to respond to your questions and resolve problems as they arise. They should also o er remote monitoring and onsite support.
  3. Reliable technology
    While the various technology brands available on the market o er different features, overall, your MSP should be using trusted hardware and software vendors. Recognisable brands with long track records for performance and quality are likely to be more reliable.

C&W business created Workspace Solutions to provide reliable core IT services and expert round-the-clock management to address the ICT needs of local small businesses. The service bundle includes high-speed Fibre Internet, Hosted PBX with phones, local and international calls included, Managed IT Security and Managed Wifi.

Customers have no upfront equipment costs, since all hardware is supplied and managed by C&W Business’ team of experts. Support includes staging all equipment before installation, testing, providing training material for all end users, remote troubleshooting and monitoring, and replacing defective devices where necessary.

C&W Business partners with leading technology vendors and all technicians are certified in the solutions we provide. Our service agreement guarantees customers 99.8% uptime so they can spend time managing their business and not their IT.

To learn more or, reach out to the experts at C&W Business who will be happy to help you understand how Workspace Solutions can transform your business.


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