Life as we know it is no longer the same – changed forever. Our society, battered and bruised by the global pandemic, is looking for different ways to rise from the ashes, phoenix-like, and adapt to the new ‘business as usual’. The COVID-19 outbreak with its far-reaching effects has influenced industries massively across the UK, with 80% of businesses having reported at least one successful cyberattack in the past 12 months, according to Imperva’s Cyberthreat Defense Report.
When breaches targeting SMEs reach a new high every day, resulting in an average of £8,460 material loss – Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 finds – it is paramount for a business to cover the essentials on their cybersecurity checklist and conduct regular audits along with investing in adequate IT infrastructure. As upcoming trends shape the new work routine, like working from home (WFH), hybrid office, digitalised meeting spheres and the likes, in 2021, one of the most efficient ways to protect critical business assets is to consider investing in managed IT support services.
What a managed IT support is.
Managed IT support is a collective term, referring to services provided by a managed service provider (MSP). The company oversees and manages as a partner your either selected services, such as internet, antivirus, etc. or your entire IT infrastructure. As part of your contract, you receive 24/7 support and additional consultations whenever an unknown issue occurs. You can customise your requirements based on your needs or cancel them anytime. Outsourcing your IT infrastructure has numerous cost-and time-effective advantages to your business.
Key benefits of managed IT support.
There are numerous benefits when investing in managed IT support services versus creating an inhouse IT department within a company:
- Cost-effectiveness: One of the most significant reasons for investing in managed IT support is the reasonably lower price compared to managing applications with limited in-house IT staff.
- Maximised results in no time: A managed IT solutions provider who specialises in providing services to your industry knows the challenges your business faces on a daily basis. Therefore, it only offers you solutions specifically tailored to your company’s needs, saving you the time spent on having to deal with issues on your own.
- 24/7 Infrastructure support: A managed IT support provider should understand your goals and help you move towards them. It also delivers additional specialist engineer support to monitor the effectiveness of your chosen services. They are constantly being monitored and reported back to you whilst also working on detecting and blocking any emerging cyber threats.
- Reduced operational costs: Working with a managed IT services provider helps you minimise downtime, resulting in higher performance levels and optimised budget in the long run.
- Lower IT maintenance expenses: As the performance of applications is overseen by your chosen IT support provider, your IT maintenance costs are considerably lower. Therefore, managed IT support also eliminates the need to hire and train expensive technical staff.
- Cutting-edge technology at your hands: An experienced IT solutions provider is always ahead of any changes taking place in the industry and implements only the latest technology into its suites of applications to help you stay one step ahead of your competition.
- Reduced business risk: Up to 40% of businesses are unable to reopen after a data breach. Hiring IT professionals also guarantees maximised operational stability to significantly eliminate outside risk.
- Time management at its best: Most importantly, outsourced managed IT services will not only boost productivity levels, optimise finances, but it will also allow you to focus solely on the core of your business whilst IT experts take care of the rest.
The four cases that prove the need to invest in managed IT support services
Case #1: Your company site was hacked and it’s not functional anymore
Whilst not all attacks result in a hacked website or tenancy, your company’s digital footprint can be an extremely appealing target for cybercriminals. So much so that according to TechJury, an estimated 30,000 new websites are hacked on a daily basis.
If you are one of those business leaders who believe that your website is probably too small to be affected by a potential cybercrime, you might be wrong. Attackers use highly sophisticated software to detect the weakest websites that are, regardless of their size, the perfect targets to gain control and cause material and reputational harm to your business, including stealing your passwords as well as contacting your employees, pretending to be someone else.
How managed IT support can help: An IT support company always conducts a cybersecurity audit to identify any potential threats your business faces and how much damage it can potentially cause or already caused to your systems. They will then create a plan with the necessary steps to set everything back to normal and avoid future issues whilst also focusing on growing your business.
Case #2: Your internet is down and it affects daily operation.
A robust internet connection is the foundation of every company. Poor or non-existent connectivity can cause severe disruptions and considerably impact productivity levels. For businesses that rely heavily on high-speed internet to operate, ignoring the fundamental causes of network issues will only result in further discontinuity.
An internet failover can indeed turn out to be catastrophic. As Beaming discovered, internet downtime cost a staggering £12 billion for UK businesses in lost productivity. However, there can be many reasons as to why a partial or complete internet failure occurs. It can happen due to cyberattacks, natural disasters, censorship or security services errors, among others.
How managed IT support can help: When daily operations are hugely affected due to internet downtime, it is important to note the benefits of a Business Grade Internet solutions. Due to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between your company and the IT solutions provider, you are guaranteed that any issues get fixed in a pre-agreed timeframe. And most importantly, an IT company will advise you on resilient and failover circuits, meaning, when your primary internet line goes down, the second one will remain active, resulting in a seamless, undisturbed working experience.
Case #3: Your network was breached and you lost access to your data
Never underestimate the importance of a robust firewall system, coupled with antivirus endpoint security in place. These tools are a must-have for modern-day businesses wishing to operate cost-effectively, especially in the post-COVID-19 era. With the threat landscape becoming more advanced by the day, consisting of multiple malware and virus attacks, ransomware is still one of the most dangerous types. They are continuing to gain further territory in the online sphere and wreak havoc on both businesses and individuals.
According to SonicWall, nearly 200 million ransomware attacks occurred in the first nine months of 2020, a substantial year-on-year increase. Ransomware is a type of malware that gains control over your computer system by encrypting your data and threatens to publish it or block access unless a ransom fee is paid. It is a significant threat for many industries, as leaked private information can not only cause financial and reputational harm, but it is also compulsory to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and keep clients’ details safe.
How managed IT support can help: When handling data, aside from cybersecurity, the most crucial factor is to advise about your disaster recovery backup options. A managed IT provider will offer you solutions such as Cloud storage or data centre facilities with flexible storage options, high network and power availability, to backup your critical business data to protect your brand identity at all times.
Case #4: Your main phone line is unreachable due to an outage.
We all experience power cuts from time to time, but landline faults can be more frustrating than one would first assume. Phone lines are still the first contact point for customers and it can undermine a company’s authority immensely if they happen to be ‘out of order’. A report conducted by Accounts & Legal corporation suggests that IT downtime is costing an average of £3.6 million for businesses. They are also losing 545 hours of staff productivity due to IT outages every year.
Still having doubts? Telecommunications tools play an essential part in customer interaction and customers voice their opinions after having a bad interaction with a business. According to Customer Thermometer, 89% of consumers have stopped transacting with a company after a poor customer experience. As data suggests, paying attention to the small details such as a secured landline can set a company for great success.
How managed IT support can help: To maintain top-class communication between you and your clients, disaster recovery is inevitable. After discussing your Telephony installation process and understanding your goals, your IT provider will advise having a disaster recovery number to ensure that your business can always be reached, even when an outage occurs, as all your calls are forwarded to your backup line.
(Managed) IT matters.
Businesses across the globe have experienced in the past year how preparing for every scenario should never be underestimated. Looking after your IT and staying ahead of the curve by choosing a managed IT solutions provider with a product-agnostic approach is crucial for prosperity and business growth. A company with demonstrable experience in providing services for different industries understands the value of your work and will accompany you on the path to success. Investing in managed IT support services can prove to be a bold, though correct, strategic decision, since it effectively eliminates outside risks and everyday threats businesses may face. Thus, any company has to find a reliable IT partner to recover and unlock growth in the years to come. TWC IT Solutions – recently included among the top cybersecurity companies in London by TechReviewer – has been trusted by more than 300 companies so far, offering best-in-class IT services to SMEs. Feel free to ask for a custom quote for your business or review one of the recently launched IT Packages that aim to help companies recover from the long-lasting consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.