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Maximize Small Business Success with IT Support Services

IT Support Services: A Critical Investment for Small Business Success Reliable information technology (IT) support provides the foundation for small business productivity and growth. Yet […]

IT Support Services: A Critical Investment for Small Business Success

Reliable information technology (IT) support provides the foundation for small business productivity and growth. Yet many owners underestimate the value of proactive IT maintenance. This article explores why managed IT services are an essential expense, cost factors to consider, and tips to control spending.

Maximize Small Business Success with IT Support Services

Maximize Small Business Success with IT Support Services

Why IT Support is Crucial for Small Businesses

Operating without adequate IT support would ultimately cost more than partnering with IT specialists. Business leaders cannot realistically handle every tech issue alone. Managed IT services ensure employees consistently access the technology resources they need to work efficiently.

  • According to Aberdeen Group, the average hourly cost of IT downtime is a staggering $250,080. A single hour of downtime can have devastating financial consequences for a small business. Lost productivity, sales, and revenue rapidly add up.
  • Ongoing monitoring, maintenance, and support from IT providers increases uptime and prevents costly outages. Proactive management of systems averts crises before they occur. IT experts can promptly respond to emerging performance issues or security vulnerabilities.
  • IT experts also defend against cyber threats targeting small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In fact, IBM estimates the average cost per lost record from a data breach is $150. A data breach can wreck customer trust, halt operations, and require substantial recovery efforts. Robust IT security solutions mitigate risks.
  • Additional benefits of continuous IT support include faster resolution of everyday tech problems impacting staff productivity, guidance optimizing business software and systems, and regular technology upgrades to boost performance.

Without managed services, SMBs struggle to deliver reliable technology. Internal staff rarely possess the breadth of expertise needed to handle everything from network infrastructure to cybersecurity. DIY maintenance also distracts from core business priorities.

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Key Factors Impacting IT Support Costs for SMBs

The investment required for IT support varies substantially based on each company's unique requirements and service models.

For example:

  • In-house IT staff - Costs depend on department size and salary expenses. This model best suits larger SMBs that need full-time, on-site tech support. Small teams may lack specialized skills. Fully staffing IT can be cost-prohibitive for many small companies.
  • Independent IT consultants - Consultants typically charge $50-$150 per hour, based on project complexity. Periodic use can be cost-effective but lacks continuity. Each incident requires explaining the business and systems again. Consultants are also unavailable for real-time support.
  • Managed service providers (MSPs) - MSPs offer packaged services with clear service level agreements (SLAs) outlining included services and monthly fees. Contracts enable predictable IT budgeting. Packages can be customized to specific needs. MSPs provide ongoing monitoring, maintenance, and support.

Additional key determinants include:

  • Number of locations - Supporting multiple sites adds complexity.
  • Age of existing infrastructure - Legacy systems require more maintenance.
  • Rate of growth - Fast-scaling companies need flexible, scalable IT services.
  • Industry - Heavily regulated sectors like healthcare and finance have specialized needs.

As a general estimate, this formula calculates potential annual expenses:

(Number of devices + Number of servers) x

(Hours of support needed annually) x

(Hourly rate)

So for 10 devices and 2 servers, with 50 hours of support annually at $100 per hour, costs could total $60,000. Actual expenses vary based on SLAs.

4 Tips for SMBs to Control IT Support Costs

  1. Adopt software subscriptions covering upgrades to control spending. Subscription models provide access to the latest features and patches for a predictable fee rather than large, sporadic upgrade purchases.
  2. Migrate to cloud data storage, reducing on-site infrastructure needs. The cloud allows consolidating servers and simplifying management. It also enables anywhere access and built-in redundancy.
  3. Prioritize proactive maintenance over recovering from outages. Preventative monitoring and system optimization is cheaper than emergency repairs. Slow performance and impending failures can be addressed before causing downtime.
  4. Partner with MSPs for remote monitoring, support, and security at fixed monthly rates. Bundled managed services enhance infrastructure at a defined cost structure. MSPs can remotely handle many tasks, minimizing on-site needs.

Additional tactics include:

  • Discussing needs transparently upfront to customize cost-effective solutions.
  • Leveraging automation to reduce manual tasks.
  • Enforcing policies like BYOD to limit device diversity.
  • Providing self-service options for simple employee requests.
  • Using remote access tools for efficient assistance.
  • Creating redundancy for critical systems.
  • Training staff on basic troubleshooting.
  • Replacing outdated hardware that requires excessive maintenance.

Finding the Right Managed IT Services Provider

Research by CompTIA indicates SMBs using MSPs reduce IT expenses by an average of 27% annually. Velocity Technology Solutions, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, provides customized managed IT services and cybersecurity solutions for organizations in the region. Their experts handle maintenance, monitoring, support, and security so you can focus on your business.

Velocity offers specially-designed solutions for:

  • Small businesses
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Nonprofits
  • Houses of worship
  • Manufacturers

Their managed IT packages combine leading technology with dedicated support at a set monthly fee, simplifying cost management. Packages are tailored to fit unique needs after assessing the environment and requirements.

Velocity leverages advanced remote monitoring and management tools to prevent outages and resolve emerging issues swiftly. Their U.S.-based support team is available 24/7. All solutions emphasize robust cybersecurity and compliance.

Their all-inclusive managed IT services include:

  • 24/7 monitoring, maintenance, and support
  • Help desk for employees
  • Installation of updates, patches, and upgrades
  • Data and server management
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Cybersecurity tools like firewalls and malware prevention
  • Software for remote access and management
  • Technology procurement and budgeting guidance
  • CIO-level strategic IT leadership
  • Vendor management
  • Compliance assistance for regulations like HIPAA and PCI
  • Dark web monitoring for compromised credentials
  • Network design, installation, and administration
  • Phone system management

Velocity's managed IT services focus on simplifying technology for SMBs to empower growth. Their experts handle day-to-day IT operations so leadership can drive the business forward.

To learn more about optimizing your IT infrastructure while controlling costs, schedule a consultation with Velocity today. Their strategic IT solutions enable sustainable growth.

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