Many company owners were quick to adapt to changing circumstances by launching online e-commerce options. Others happened to be involved in the medical or tech industries and found demand for their products soaring.
If your business falls into the second category, you may have experienced record growth since the start of COVID-19. Or perhaps your brand has already been gaining traction for many years. Either way, you might be wondering, “Is it time for managed IT services for your Los Angeles based business?” Here are 11 sure signs that it’s time to take a look at managed IT providers in Los Angeles or any locale.
1. You’re Worried About Cybersecurity
If you run a small-to-medium-sized business, you may not give much thought to hackers and cyberattacks. After all, it’s always the major corporations that land in the headlines for data breaches, right?
Don’t be so quick to dismiss the possibility that it could happen to you. The truth is that hackers and viruses don’t discriminate based on the size of your company. Even if you only have a few dozen employees and clients, their personal information is just as valuable — and just as vulnerable.
Between January and October 2021, over 281 million people were affected by some sort of data breach. Ransomware and phishing schemes continue to be the most popular tools for hackers because (sadly) they continue to work.
Is your company 100% prepared to protect your sensitive data? Have you trained your employees to identify potential threats that land in their inboxes? The problem is only going to get worse as technology advances, so the time to protect your business is right now.
2. Your Infrastructure Is Outdated
Maybe you had the latest and greatest hardware and software installed when you started your company. But how long ago was that?
Last year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Do you even remember?
These days, both software and hardware components evolve with blinding speed. The latest technology is quickly outdated as new updates and models roll out. If you’re unable to keep up, you’re leaving your business wide open to cyberattacks, unexpected downtime, and other potential problems.
Understandably, many small businesses struggle to keep up with the latest changes. They can also be held back by the prohibitively high costs of upgrades.
If this sounds like your dilemma, managed IT service providers have the answer. Managed IT service providers partner with vendors to offer you discounts as well as automatic software updates or patches. This allows you to take advantage of all the latest IT support solutions — without breaking the bank
3. Your IT Costs Are Unpredictable
Do you find it impossible to predict your IT costs from one month to the next?
Maybe the “pay as you go” model worked when your company was just starting out. Maybe you’ve managed to skate by only seeking IT services when you faced a problem. Or maybe you’re working with several different vendors that keep raising their prices or charging for services you don’t need.
If you can relate to any of these things, you need professionally managed IT services. You can consolidate all your IT needs into one service from one provider. Most importantly, you’ll incur a consistent, predictable monthly bill that you can work into your business budget.
Don’t wait for something to break (or worse). Just like routine maintenance for your home or your car, a proactive approach to IT is sure to save you time and money.
4. You Struggle With Performance Issues
You never know what you’re going to get when you enter the office. Some days, your system functions beautifully. Other days, your servers go down and your network has ongoing connection problems.
These issues can wreak havoc on workplace efficiency, not to mention leave you wide open to security threats.
Ideally, your IT department will keep your network operational 99.999% of the time. This concept of “five-nines availability” means that your network will only be unavailable for six minutes or less in an entire year.
This is an amazing goal for every business, but let’s face it — it’s a high bar to set.
If your in-house team struggles to hit this mark (or doesn’t even come close), it’s a sure sign you could benefit from managed IT services. They have the skills and tools required to prevent unnecessary downtime and keep your network running smoothly.
5. You Need More IT Support for Remote Workers
If the world was already trending towards remote work before 2020, the pandemic kicked this trend into high gear.
At the end of 2020, 71% of Americans were working from home at least part-time. Many company owners already have plans to allow remote or hybrid work options in the future — even after COVID-19 is behind us.
Were you forced to transition to remote work environments in the past 18 months? If so, you likely faced a unique set of challenges you weren’t prepared for. It’s harder to keep everyone in the loop and oversee a team when they’re not physically in the office.
Although there are plenty of remote IT tools available, it’s possible that your staff is too busy to use them. They may also lack the knowledge they need to use them effectively. Another possibility is that their home office setup is outdated or otherwise less than ideal.
How can you increase workplace efficiency and communication when your team is spread out across the country (or the globe)?
Again, managed service providers can help. They can recommend and install remote access software for you, as well as provide ongoing support for these systems. There might be other practical steps you can take as well, such as hosted VoIP solutions to optimize communication.
6. You Don’t Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
When you’re first starting out, you’re focused on surviving. You’re so busy getting your business up and running that you may not consider the possibility of everything crashing.
But as your company expands, it’s vital to create a solid disaster recovery plan. In the unfortunate event of a hardware crash or a security breach, all of your essential business data could vanish in an instant. Even a simple staff error, like someone clicking a seemingly innocent link, could spell disaster for your data.
Managed service providers know just how catastrophic a situation like this can become. That’s why they’ll take time to craft a disaster recovery plan tailor-made to the needs of your business. This could include cloud computing and off-site data backups, as well as encryption and blockchain technologies.
Of course, regular data backups are essential no matter the size of your business. But when you consider the risks associated with a hardware crash or cyberattack, you’ll likely agree that you need the help of professional IT services.
7. You Don’t Have Sufficient Local IT Support
In the early days of your business, maybe you were your own “tech support.” As your company grew, you likely onboarded one or two people to create an in-house support team.
How’s that arrangement working for you now? It might have been fine in the beginning, but many business owners quickly find their company growth outpacing their IT capabilities.
Rather than an efficient in-house team, you’re left with a few overworked and overwhelmed employees who can’t keep up with their workloads. Or you could end up relying on service technicians in an endless break-and-fix cycle. As a result, you may lose valuable data, suffer network outages, or experience frequent hardware crashes.
Don’t get us wrong — it’s great that business is booming! But as your company continues to expand, your IT needs will change. It could simply be that you’ve become too big for a small in-house team to manage.
Free yourself from the break/fix mindset and adopt a more proactive approach to your IT needs. Unlike your frazzled employees, managed IT services can provide 24/7 support and monitoring to ensure your IT requirements are met.
8. You Want to Migrate (But You Don’t Know How)
Everyone’s telling you it’s time to migrate to the cloud. Maybe you’ve looked into it but you feel overwhelmed by the process. It’s a daunting prospect for sure, especially when you consider the consequences of doing it incorrectly.
It’s also possible that you need to migrate to a new operating system or start using new software, but you’re not sure how the process will affect your company’s existing data.
For as complicated as these dilemmas are, the solution is simple. Managed service providers are experts in every type of migration. They can analyze your company’s needs and design a custom migration strategy that suits your business.
When done correctly, the benefits of migrating outweigh any potential risks. You’ll enjoy cost savings and better scalability, as well as increased productivity and enhanced security. Look for managed IT services that provide custom cloud migration services so you don’t get left behind.
9. You’re Stressed About Compliance
Do you work in an industry that requires regulatory compliance? Do you get a headache just thinking about acronyms like HIPAA, GDPR, or CCPA?
New data privacy and protection laws get passed each year, and it can be a challenge to keep up with the latest changes. At best, you could get slapped with fines for compliance violations.
At worst, your entire business could get shut down.
Don’t put yourself or your company at risk. The last thing you want to do is get into legal trouble because you (knowingly or unknowingly) broke a rule about customer data or credit card information.
To ensure you’re meeting your industry’s IT requirements, it’s best to partner with a managed IT service provider. They’ll be up to date on the latest laws and regulations that affect your industry. They’ll also keep your network and data as safe as possible to prevent any costly mistakes.
10. You Lost Track of Your IT Assets
What starts out as a simple network setup in a small office can quickly grow into something complex. Before you know it, you’ve lost track of how many PCs you have or which versions of Microsoft are running on which computers.
When’s the last time you took a detailed inventory of your assets? If you don’t know exactly what you have, how can you possibly expect to keep it updated and protected?
It could be that some of your computers are missing critical data. You might also find that some get updated and maintained regularly while others get neglected. Without an effective system for monitoring and patch management, you’re leaving yourself wide open to security risks.
Managed IT services can identify potential problems or threats before they become critical. They’ll start with a complete inventory and assessment of your network. Then they can provide a custom maintenance plan to keep everything in good working order.
11. You Want Peace of Mind
We’ve talked a lot about technicalities, but let’s focus on the bigger picture. If you’re lying awake at night worried about unresolved security problems, it’s time to take action.
Managed I service providers can help you rest easier by taking care of all of your essential IT needs. This will also free up valuable time to focus on the core aspects of running and growing your business.
When you look at it from this perspective, the benefits of outsourcing IT work to professionals are priceless.
Managed IT Services in Los Angeles
If you were nodding as you read this article, outsourcing IT work is the solution you’re looking for.
Simply put, your company can’t afford any unexpected downtime — let alone a cyberattack or a data breach. If your business has grown and your in-house IT department can’t keep up, it’s time to consider managed IT services.
Be Structured Technology Group proudly provides IT support services to companies throughout the Los Angeles area. From 24/7 monitoring and disaster recovery to cloud migration and network installation, we have everything you need to keep your business up and running.
Give us a call at 1-323-331-9452 or click here to learn more about our managed IT services.