MANAGED IT SERVICES | 4 MIN READ
Maximizing productivity and efficiency is a business goal that is always top-of-mind for companies. Businesses looking to achieve this may think of ways to streamline their sales process or supply chain. However, many businesses don't realize how a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can keep your network secure while streamlining your business. Keep reading to learn how an MSP can maximize your productivity and efficiency.
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Create BCDR Plans
When your network goes down, the costs of downtime add up quickly. The longer your network is down due to a data breach or ransomware attack, the more money your company loses in sales and the more your employees' productivity is hindered.
Backup Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plans ensure that in the event of a network outage, downtime is kept to a minimal and your network is restored to the most recent backup quickly.
An MSP can create and implement a BCDR plan for you. They can take steps like automating your backups so they happen as often and regularly as possible. When backups are left up to an employee, human error can come into play.
This means that a backup can be forgotten, which puts your network at risk should you ever need to restore to an old backup during an outage.
MSP's can also create fail-over servers if your company has multiple offices. For instance, if your headquarters' network were to go down, you could re-direct that office's traffic through another office's servers.
Backing up data to the cloud also keeps data centralized in one location and makes it easy to quickly recover data if your network goes down. MSP's can implement the above steps and more as part of a comprehensive BCDR plan that minimizes downtime and keeps your company as productive as possible.
Plan Moves and Expansions
Moving to a new location? Opening a new branch? While factors like decor and office supplies are top of mind, you might not consider the technological needs for an office, which includes the timeline and process for setting up a network at a new location.
An MSP can sit down with you before your move and lay out a budget and timeline for setting up your new office from a technical perspective.
Based on your needs for the office, they can map out your network and tell you what equipment you'll need and how much it's going to cost to purchase equipment and set up your network.
Then, your MSP can install network equipment and set up your devices for you once you open the new office. By establishing clear timelines and a budget from the beginning, your MSP takes some of the burden of opening a new office off of you.
Take Your Office Remote
Are you planning on taking your office remote? An MSP can figure out what technology you need and appropriately configure it for you. For instance, an MSP can set all remote employees up with a VPN so that they can securely connect to your network.
An MSP can also ensure that all company devices are running the latest versions of anti-virus and anti-malware, which reduces the odds of a data breach or network outage.
Planning to take your office remote is stressful enough. An MSP can simplify the process while keeping your network secure.
RELATED: How to Transition to a Remote Office
When an MSP handles your network's security, the burden is taken off of internal employees. An SMB might not have any internal IT staff, which means that routine cyber security tasks like fixing passwords, performing backups, and upgrading security software can be left up to an employee with little to no IT expertise.
While this can put your network's security at risk, it can also take up valuable time that that employee should be spending on other tasks.
Managing a business' cyber security involves coordinating efforts between a variety of platforms. To fully secure a network, a business may need to have a cloud provider, anti-malware, antivirus, and much more. Effectively leveraging all these platforms yourself can become overwhelming and time-consuming.
Allowing an MSP to manage all these platforms for you keeps your network safe and frees up internal employees, which maximizes productivity.
How to Choose a Managed Service Provider
While productivity maximization may be a selling point to consider when choosing an MSP, there are many other additional factors to think about too. Keep reading for some tips on what features to keep in mind when shopping around for an MSP.
Network Operations Center
While a help desk can be beneficial for solving IT issues over the phone, this level of service isn't as tailored as a Network Operations Center, which employs a team of IT professionals from your MSP to assist your business by phone, email, or in person. Sometimes, they are segmented into tiers, with a higher tier corresponding to a more urgent issue.
Tiered centers ensure that crisis situations are dealt with efficiently and swiftly. Though Network Operations Centers can cost more, they can resolve issues faster, which increases company productivity and reduces any network downtime.
Keep in mind that while your office might only be open from 9-5 Monday-Friday, that doesn't mean that cyber security issues only arise during those hours.
A cyber security crisis can strike at any time, which means that you need a managed services provider with support any time of the week, whether it's on a Thursday evening or Saturday at midnight. Check to see if your MSP has during the workday and after-hours help that lets you call for support when you need it.
Employee Cyber Security Education Programs
While your MSP can ensure that your company has the newest hardware and software on the market, all it takes is one employee who is un-educated about cyber security threats to slip up and let a hacker into your network. This can happen in an instant and can compromise your entire network.
Thankfully, some MSP's offer cyber security training for employees, including mock phishing tests. These tests send fake phishing emails to employees, and send those who click the email's link to a cyber security training course.
Some MSP's can also work with you to develop a password policy for your company, which ensures that, once employees are trained on how to avoid cyber threats, they don't let hackers into your network through the usage of weak passwords.
24/7 MSP support sounds great in theory, but if you're left waiting for hours just to get a call or email back then there's much left to be desired. Ask follow-up questions to see if your potential managed services provider has fast response times for both on and off-site support.
Additionally, make sure to ask if remote support is available. While having a technician physically visit your office can be useful in certain situations, many network issues can be solved remotely.
Remote support also minimizes network downtime because issues are fixed without waiting on a technician to drive to your office.
For more tips, read our article How to Choose a Managed Service Provider [13 Tips]
Businesses are always aiming for maximum productivity and efficiency. A Managed Service Provider can accomplish this goal and more.
By running your network on the latest cyber security software, MSP's keep it secure from data breaches while running as fast and smoothly as possible.
Here at Standard Office Systems, we aim to propel your business to new heights by working with you to further your needs. Upgrade your cyber security today and see how MSP's can benefit your business.
Posted by Erica Kastner
Erica Kastner is a lead Marketing Specialist at Standard Office Systems as well as a University of Georgia graduate. She aims to use her passion for problem-solving to help businesses understand how to better leverage their network infrastructure.