• Roark Tech Services

IT Support Debunking Common Myths

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

MYTH 1. Managed IT Services Are Too Expensive

One of the most common assumptions about managed IT services is that they are prohibitively expensive or are packed with hidden fees, long term commitments and/or offer little flexibility for large or one-time projects. 

While Managed IT services may not prove the right option for startups on a shoestring budget, there is a wide range of pricing options for different services that make this an economically beneficial solution for many companies. More importantly, many of the services under a Managed IT plan help the bottom line of a business by saving time, improving security and making the entire company more productive – there is no greater example of this than the sudden need for all employees to work remotely during the 2020 pandemic. Those businesses that had a Managed IT plan in place were able to pivot very quickly and with greater ease. 

No matter the size of the company, very large or very small, all businesses need technology to operate efficiently and remain competitive.  There are many aspects of technology to look after, even in a small business, which include cyber security, collaboration, maintenance and efficiency. They can easily become overwhelming or, worse, fall by the wayside and result in a ticking time bomb within a company. If your business falls behind on backups, patches and/or security the odds greatly increase that you’ll face a protracted IT outage or cyberattack.

Engaging a reputable Managed Service Provider – or MSP -- is far less expensive than hiring, training, and retaining your own IT staff.  Most small companies do not have an IT staff but rely on the staff member enlisted as the go-to “IT person”.  An MSP allows access to a broad set of expertise and talent that is far more experienced than a single IT person. When a company focuses on its core business, instead of handling IT strategy and problems, the results are always better for the bottom line.

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Most Managed IT Services cost less than traditional break-fix contracts, especially when including the true cost of downtime. Remote monitoring, remote maintenance and the prevention of major issues allow an IT Managed Services Provider to keep your business operating instead of reacting to issues. 

MYTH 2: Managed IT services are only for large companies

The myth that Managed IT services are only for large companies is perhaps the most egregious of the myths surrounding IT; in fact, just the opposite is true. In 2020 every business, of every size, requires technology to stay effective, efficient and competitive. The myth is likely born from another myth, which is Managed IT services are costly and only a large company can afford them. Again, not true. The goal of any company, regardless of size, is to provide outstanding service and turn a profit. IT helps accomplish this, but also offers quality, control, security and support. Focus When IT is outsourced, the responsibility shifts to a seasoned and trained professional. It’s analogous to hiring an attorney when needed. The vested interest in the outcome is not compromised, but the burden of navigating a complex word is put in the hands of someone qualified to not only understand it but exploit it to your advantage. Moreover, a specialist in the field will always pay attention to things that often don’t come to mind of many small business leaders, things like architecture, cyber security, disaster recovery, business continuity, cloud services and scalability. Expertise Engaging a Managed Service Provider company gives you access to a team of technicians with a broad range of certifications and in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies. Most importantly, it’s the job of a Managed Service provider to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology. There is little doubt that rate of technology change is speeding up every year. Unless it’s your job to stay on top of these changes, just as it’s the job of an accountant to stay on top of the change tax code, there is little change you will pay attention to the aspects of change that most impact your business. Cybersecurity Small companies are ideal targets for cyber attackers because they normally have weaker technology protection and lack of resources to properly protect their digital assets. According to a Verizon study, over 28% of data breaches in 2020 have involved small businesses. Understanding the appropriate level of security, the necessary steps to reasonably protect your data and, perhaps most important, who to call when you suspect a cyber intrusion, is key to running an effective and profitable business operation.

Managed IT Myth #3 - Loss of Control

Just because you hire a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) doesn’t mean you lose decision making authority over your IT setup and solutions. Sure, it’s best to leave some things to the experts, such a closing the ports on the firewall, but the right partner will not only bring the important, big picture decisions to you but do so in a way that permits understanding and return on investment.  For example, “Here’s is why a firewall is essential to your business. If you agree, we’ll configure it to keep out the bad guys.” Partnership with an IT team relies on more than just expertise. A successful relationship depends on the right chemistry, the consistent value the MSP brings to your organization, the mutual trust toward common goals and alignment with the company’s long-term needs. Pay for Value, Not Hours The dictionary defines value as the relative worth, merit, or importance of something. Value is peace-of-mind. Value is knowing you have a trusted person to call when technology becomes a challenge. Value is saying to yourself, “this is worth every penny.” We all know that feeling, it might occur with a doctor, car mechanic or babysitter. The point is value is the key toward understanding the right MSP for your company. Trust There is no value without trust.. Outsourcing IT is more than just hiring a company with technical expertise to manage your technology. It’s about forming a mutually beneficial partnership built on respect and trust that to considers excellence, usefulness and importance. Trust is earned over time through interactions between people and organizations. Before you enter any relationship with a service provider it’s best to check references and look for accreditations. Happy customers are more than willing to share their success stories. Look for reputable, third party accreditations such as the Better Business Bureau. And most of all, trust your gut. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Alignment with Business Goals Beyond mindset, trust, and a good working relationship, understanding the length, terms and cost of your engagement with a technical service provider avoids uncomfortable questions and allows clear understanding of terms including payment, work beyond scope and termination. It’s imperative to begin with and engagement agreement that keeps all commitments clear, including the length of engagement, any terms that may apply, such as sixty-day notice period prior to cancellation or simply response time. It’s also very important to understand what is not included in your service. A business owner may consider website updates part of IT, but an IT provider may consider it a separate wheelhouse.

Contact us to learn how we tailor our services to each unique business and provide value that is realized not only by up-time and efficiency, but by the bottom line.

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