With 2020 just around the corner, now is the time to reimagine your business’s IT strategy. Huge software news such as the End of Life for Windows 7 in January will impact businesses worldwide, and as your company migrates to Windows 10, it’s important to rollout the upgrade and prepare for the coming year in a way that maintains business productivity and proper security measures. While some companies still choose to manage their IT in-house, migrating to an entirely new operating system is a complicated process. Trying to rollout the new software before January while upkeeping workload and avoiding downtime will be virtually impossible without a team of qualified IT personnel. Luckily, you don’t have to be a giant corporation to gain access to a fully equipped team of specialists. Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) offer IT team support to businesses at the cost of around just one salaried employee. If your business’s IT support is lacking resources and manpower, MSPs are the best option to help your business restrategize your IT according to your business goals for 2020. Not only can they advise you on the latest methods and technology that will keep your company’s data secure, including during an operating system update; they also dedicate themselves to understanding your business goals and aligning your IT strategy accordingly. Here’s how a managed IT services provider can help propel your business forward in 2020: Managed Service Providers Offer More Robust Cybersecurity As technology develops, the risk of cyberattacks continues to increase. Online criminals are looking for ways to steal data and extort companies in whatever capacity they can, including small businesses. Fortunately, MSPs offer powerful tools that let you stay one step ahead. They implement cybersecurity plans that utilize preemptive measures, addressing issues before breaches occur. This saves your business time, money, and further risk of falling victim to cyberattacks. They also understand which cybersecurity measures must be adapted or reimplemented on Windows 10 to ensure rollout of new software doesn’t affect the protection of your confidential data. MSPs also help you avoid the scourge of downtime, which can have a significant impact on day-to-day business practices. Not being able to communicate with customers or other vendors can lead to missed sales opportunities and a damaged brand reputation. By providing you with redundancies, backup and restore capabilities, and robust monitoring, MSPs cut the chances of downtime to close to zero, helping you avoid disaster scenarios. With an MSP who works to preventatively secure your data to avoid breaches and downtime, you no longer have to waste your valuable time putting out IT fires each day and can instead concentrate on your business operations and strategy. If you find the right MSP, they also understand that communicating clearly with you about your IT is important, meaning you don’t have to wade through geek speak to understand how your IT strategy is being executed and how it complements your business goals. IT Services Can Dedicate Themselves Fully to Your Business Goals Managed IT services aren’t just cookie-cutter solutions that offer the same service to every business regardless of their business needs. Instead, they are fully dedicated to servicing your network and implementing an IT strategy that parallels your business strategy. When it comes to IT strategy, the majority of firms have it backwards. For many, the IT “team” consists of one overworked IT professional who doesn’t have the time or resources to build an IT strategy in line with your business goals. Managed service providers (MSPs), by contrast, have vastly more resources than are typically available to a singular IT specialist. With an MSP, you can get tailor-made solutions that fit the needs of your business and its stakeholders. Managed Service Providers Offer More Rapid Response Times Technical issues will inevitably crop up in any IT network, but with a professional MSP by your side, you can solve them quickly without further problems arising. MSPs have quicker response times than many single IT specialists because a) a single IT specialist often cannot diagnose and resolve an issue as quickly as a whole team can, and b) MSPs generally work through a ticketing system that allows you to immediately report IT issues. This ability to provide quick fixes isn’t a trivial matter. Network issues can have severe ramifications for your business. You can lose essential functions, like the ability to correspond with your clients or provide billing services, that can wind up taking their toll on your bottom line. A computer network that goes down for an entire working day could cost you thousands of dollars. Because of the resources available to them, MSPs can pinpoint issues more efficiently and come up with a fix immediately—whether remotely or onsite. This lets you avoid having to wait several hours or even days for salaried staff to fix the error while your business suffers the effects of malfunctioning systems and downtime. Put simply, outsourcing IT services is your ticket to further business growth as you can spend your time managing your business while a team of experts handles your IT more quickly and efficiently than one IT staff member can at the same cost. Managed Service Providers Adapt Your Network Infrastructure as You Grow MSPs can also adapt your network infrastructure as your business grows by making your IT systems and practices fully scalable, which can be difficult if not impossible for a single IT specialist. This process means that you won’t have to restructure your entire network infrastructure each time your business makes significant upward progress. With MSPs, you have more scope for success because you avoid taking valuable time out of business management to upscale your IT systems and strategy. Instead, IT strategies created by MSPs are custom-built around your business goals and trends, meaning your IT systems will scale and adapt right along with you as you grow. MSPs Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Technologies, Fixes, and Updates IT ecosystems are continually evolving. Developers and manufacturers all over the world are engaged in an endless search for new and better ways of adapting IT to help businesses. Keeping up with all this change, however, can be tough, especially for those running small businesses. Your IT specialist likely just doesn’t have the time or resources to keep up with researching all the new products, features, updates, fixes, and services that might aid your business. Managed service providers, however, do have the time and resources dedicated to understanding IT advancements. Their job is to stay up-to-date on security compliance regulations for several industries, the latest updates in technologies, compatibility with your current systems, and more. The great thing about using MSPs to push the boundaries of your IT capability is that it does not require any managerial input from you. MSP teams take on the responsibilities of researching the best systems for your unique business with no overhead. As MSPs equip themselves with this knowledge, they become the most authoritative resources on processes such as migrating to new operating systems, upgrading to the newest equipment, and maintaining systems according to the latest updates. With 2020 nearing, software changing, and your business growing, an MSP is the biggest asset you can have in preparing your IT for the future. Even though cyberthreats and IT risks to your business are growing, so are the resources available to businesses to mitigate and defend against those dangers. While some companies may continue to rely on in-house personnel to manage their IT, many are discovering that Managed IT Services offer greater protection, more affordability, and more strategic IT consulting that parallels their business goals. Outsourcing allows you to export responsibility for IT management to a third party, meaning you can better concentrate on your core operations while receiving insights from experts who fully understand the latest and greatest methods for managing your IT. As you strategize for 2020 and the years to come, an MSP can quickly become your most invaluable business partner.