Aug 21 2020

Now’s the Time for SMBs to Consider Managed Services

Partnering with a managed services provider allows IT to keep an eye toward the future.

If there is one major lesson that can be learned from the disruption of 2020, it’s that business agility is critically important. Whether it was a tight transition to widespread remote work or pivoting a business model, organizations have had to be light on their feet to stay productive.

Now that the initial rush to transition has mostly passed, businesses have turned their attention to the future — and that doesn’t just mean preparing the office for the potential return of employees or incorporating remote work realities into HR practices; it also means building resilience in case the unexpected strikes again.

This presents both challenge and opportunity for small businesses. It can be difficult for organizations with limited resources to fully focus on their pivot or transition while maintaining their current business operations. But remote work has forced organizations to make changes to their IT infrastructure, enabling them to do things they perhaps didn’t have the time or resources to implement earlier.

Now that those changes have been made, small businesses have the opportunity to take another look at their long-term strategy and assess what is working and what needs to be adjusted. That reflection has led many organizations to turn to managed services. 

MORE FROM BIZTECH: How small businesses can get the IT support they need.

How Managed Services Can Help SMBs Right Now

Resourcing is a consistent problem for small businesses. The right IT talent can be hard to come by for any organization, and it can be particularly challenging for small businesses to compete with the compensation offered by their larger counterparts. 

Now that some businesses have had to cut staff or otherwise adjust resources in the face of pandemic-related economic hardship, that challenge is even greater. Some organizations have had to downsize their IT departments in the midst of transitioning to long-term remote work, or while implementing new products or services. The turnover can lead to overworked employees or undertrained workers, both of which can put a drag on operations.

This has pushed many organizations to take advantage of managed services. Small businesses that have just a handful of IT workers can outsource design, orchestration and implementation of the services that are now a necessity in the world of remote work. Things like networking and security can be handled by experts who specialize in those areas, freeing up IT to handle day-to-day business and the seemingly constant help desk requests that come with a large-scale transition.

Keeping human resourcing low isn’t the only way that managed services can help small businesses save. Having experts orchestrate solutions can provide organizations access to things like automation, allowing small businesses to optimize the networking they already have. These are tools that might ordinarily be out of the reach of small IT teams.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: How small businesses can benefit from a comprehensive security service.

Services That Keep Remote Workforces Connected

One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses and their IT departments is enabling widespread remote work for the long term. In this environment where organizations may have some workers in the office and others working from home, connectivity is key, and supporting that network is essential for maintaining productivity.

One option for small businesses to achieve this is Cisco Meraki, which allows organizations to integrate their applications and systems into one dashboard, creating greater visibility into the network and simplifying management. But with current budget constraints, organizations may not have the resources to implement the system.

This is where managed services can come into play — services like CDW Amplified™ Networks featuring managed Meraki. Field experts can orchestrate, implement and monitor the network 24/7, allowing in-house IT to focus on other needs to keep daily operations running smoothly. 

At a time when businesses have to concentrate on long-term stabilization, having a partner to handle current network management can take the weight off of the IT staff’s shoulders. Simplifying workloads while increasing IT efficiencies can help small businesses focus on growing into the future of work.

This article is part of BizTech's AgilITy blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #SmallBizIT hashtag.

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