A year is a long time in politics, or so the saying goes. The same can be said for IT Support. In February last year we asked, ‘Is it time to Outsource IT Support’. The original article gave four signs that it might be time to outsource. All are still valid, but we think there are other signs that the article didn’t cover and the past year or so have highlighted.
The Pace of Change
Maybe we are just getting old, but does anyone else find it difficult to keep up?
Fully driver-less cars are set to be on our roads by 2021 and that friendly person from customer service is actually a ‘Chatbot’. Science fiction is becoming science fact.
Whilst Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, and other emerging technologies may seem irrelevant to your business now, you may have said the same about The Cloud 5 years ago.
Cloud Based Software
The Cloud has now been around for a number of years. The first mention of cloud computing is attributed to Google CEO Eric Schmidt in 2006. But we think Office 365 has been a game changer. Businesses are now using the cloud without really knowing it!
Office 365 utilises the cloud, allowing easy sharing of files and folders both inside and outside the office. It also introduces software-as-a-service to businesses. Rather than spending a large amount on 20 software licences you simply pay monthly. Paying on a per month, per user basis aids your cash flow and can easily be scaled – up or down.
It also allows constant updating and improvement, without big, buggy releases. You are constantly on the latest version, which improve security and compatibility.
As well as Office 365 it’s likely your accounting package is moving (or has moved) to a similar model. You can also get CAD (Computer Aided Design), Photoshop and practically anything else you can think of as a cloud based service.
If you outsource IT support your provider will be able to manage all of your Software-As-A-Service. At Your IT Department we even liaise with your 3rd party software providers if anything goes wrong, saving you time on the phone with their service desks.
So your software is all up-to-date what about the hardware it runs on? Computers slow down as they get older, but few businesses really plan to refresh their IT regularly. Hardware-As-A-Service means your equipment is paid for on a monthly basis, and upgraded regularly. Again you get no capital outlay, fixed monthly costs which you can budget for and the the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve got the latest equipment, and it’s under warranty if anything does go wrong.
New equipment works faster and breaks down less. This gives you less downtime, which increases productivity in your business.
Again, if you outsource IT support, your provider should be comfortable in offering Hardware-As-A-Service. This can include things such as servers and firewalls, as well as PC’s and laptops.
Data Protection, GDPR & Cyber Security
You wondered how long before we mentioned GDPR didn’t you? But it’s not just about the new regulations. Think about the negative publicity regarding the high profile cyber-attack on the NHS in 2017. And did you hear about the Deloitte breach? Or Debenhams Flowers attack which compromised 26,000 customers data?
It’s not just big companies or targeted cyber-attacks. In 2017, the ICO fined Nottinghamshire County Council £17,000 after individuals personal data was made available online without password protection.
Ponenon Institutes 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study estimated that a business has a 27.7% chance of suffering a material data breach in the next two years. So regardless of GDPR you need to be protecting your data.
Think about data security like home security. If you have window locks and an alarm then a burglar is likely to move on to an easier target.
If you outsource IT support then security should come as standard. Within our fully managed support contracts we provide enterprise class anti-virus, email filtering, software patch management and off-site backup.
I want to outsource IT Support, what next?
For a no-obligation meeting, which can include a free network audit where required, please complete the contact form on the website or call us on 0800 0306520.
We are extremely confident in what we do and so we are happy to offer the first months of a fully managed support contract completely free of charge.
Fully Managed IT Support is the top level of available support. It offers everything an in-house IT department can provide but at a fraction of the cost. This offers business owners really peace of mind.
If you’re not ready for Fully Managed Support we can still help. Our Block Hours contracts offer a flexible pay as you go support option with the high level of service you’d expect from a top MSP.