How to Find IT Services for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, finding the right IT services for your business can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to determine which IT services are best for your business’ unique needs. It’s important to consider your budget, the complexity of the services you require, and the level of customer service you expect when searching for the best IT services for small businesses.
In this post, we’ll discuss tips for choosing the right IT services that can help you make the right decision for your small business.
Exploring Your Options
Exploring your options is the first step to choosing the best IT services for your small business. There are a couple of ways to gain access to IT services, including hiring internal IT staff or outsourcing IT services to a managed service provider (MSP) like Atlas.
In some cases, businesses have good reasons to launch and grow an internal IT team. However, some businesses may find that engaging outsourced IT services aligns better with their needs and budget.
In-House IT vs. Outsourced IT
When looking into hiring in-house IT staff, there are many pros and cons to consider. Hiring in-house could be the more expensive option than outsourcing IT, yet it may offer more control and availability when it comes to accomplishing IT-related tasks.
Meanwhile, outsourcing IT could be a more affordable option – and still just as effective as an in-house team if you have the right MSP partner – as you can reduce labor and training costs, among other benefits.
Dive deeper into this topic by reading our blog post “5 Reasons to Outsource Your IT Team Instead of Hiring In-House.” Our post “6 Cost Benefits of Outsourcing IT” may also be a good resource as you explore your options for IT services for small businesses.
Ultimately, it is important to closely examine your needs and evaluate which option would best suit the goals and budget of your small business.
Selecting the Right Vendor: Outsourcing IT for Small Businesses
If you decide to outsource, finding the right partner to provide your small business with IT services at the highest level can be a daunting task. Therefore, it’s important to carefully assess your options when looking for an IT service provider.
Selecting an MSP based on cost alone can be risky. You want to be sure that the vendor you choose is fully committed to working with you to ensure the success of your IT program. One often overlooked tip for finding the best MSP for your small business: pay attention to the company culture and people who work at the MSP.
Ensure that the values and personalities of those you are dealing with align with your organization’s.
Track-Record of Satisfied Clients
It’s also important to check the credentials of the vendors you’re considering, including their licenses and certifications. And, consider their past work and their clients’ level of satisfaction.
Ask for references, read client testimonials and case studies, and verify the level of customer of service and support the provider offers.
Additional Questions to Ask
Our blog post “5 Questions Every Small Business Should ask Before Hiring an IT Services Company,” is a great resource as you’re interviewing MSPs.
Taking these actions will help ensure that you select a reliable and knowledgeable IT services provider for your small business.
The Right IT Services for Your Small Business
As a small business, it can be difficult to know which IT services are right for you. Do you need a virtual CIO (vCIO) to manage your technology strategy? Cybersecurity to keep you safe from cybercriminals? An IT help desk for when things don’t go as expected? Email management or cloud computing for constant connectivity and security?
Outline specific IT needs
Before making costly and time-consuming decisions, it pays to invest a bit of time familiarizing yourself with the different solutions available. Then, you can consider which small business IT services are appropriate for you.
Start by tackling the basics, then move on to more specialized services to cover not only the features you need now, but also the ones you’ll need as you grow.
Ask an MSP to offer suggestions
The good news is, the right MSP partner can help you understand what your IT needs are and how to prioritize them.
For example, at Atlas, we offer complimentary IT consultations to help organizations identify their IT needs. This can offer a significant head-start for small businesses looking to put together a plan and budget for their IT program.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is an essential aspect of running a small business. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated in their methods, data loss and other cyber-related threats are on the rise. These cost small businesses time and money, and could potentially ruin a business. Whether you decide to build an in-house IT team or outsource IT to an MSP, cybersecurity should be one of the main areas you address.
Without a robust and layered cybersecurity plan in place, small businesses can easily become victims of a cyberattack. This can have a significant impact not only on their reputation, but also on their financial security. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the importance of cybersecurity and to invest in the right IT services to protect your business.
Cybersecurity Best Practices
There are many measures that will help keep your business safe from cyber-criminals. By making sure your small business is properly protected, you can minimize the risks associated with cybercrime and remain competitive in the digital landscape.
Cybercriminals can hack into a system through a variety of entry points. Find an MSP that takes an extensive multi-layered approach to security. For example, at Atlas, our cybersecurity solutions include:
- Anti-virus and anti-malware software
- Email spam filtering
- Virtual private networks (VPN)
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Advanced threat detection (ATD)
- Advanced threat prevention (ATP)
- Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Cloud Detection and Response
Staying Up-to-Date on IT Best Practices
When it comes to selecting the best IT services for small businesses, staying ahead of the technology curve is key. In order to ensure that your small business is taking advantage of the latest and greatest IT options, it’s important to stay current on the latest IT best practices. It’s also critical to understand your business‘ changing IT needs and how to scale and evolve your IT program accordingly.
How to keep current
Here are a few strategies we implement for our clients to ensure they’re covered now and in the future:
- Monthly IT vulnerability scans
- Monthly activity reports
- Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) to provide continual strategic oversight
- Robust training for our team on the latest IT solutions and trends
Additionally, having an IT strategy for small businesses in place – one that is regularly monitored and updated with the help of an experienced IT partner – is the foundation for a successful, secure IT environment. Investing in an MSP partner that offers ongoing IT strategy and consulting services is well worth the investment and can pay off dramatically in the long run.
Businesses of all sizes need IT support. Leaders seeking small business IT services have a couple of options: hiring in-house or outsourcing IT to an MSP.
First, explore your options and identify your small business‘ IT needs. Then, decide whether it’s most appropriate to hire in-house IT staff or to hire an MSP.
If you decide to hire an MSP, there are certain key considerations to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right IT services provider. First, the provider must offer a wide range of services tailored to the specific needs of your business. Second, find an MSP with a long-standing, trustworthy reputation, to ensure they’ll provide quality service. Lastly, look for a provider that strives to keep up with current industry trends and stays ahead of developing technology. By following these considerations, small businesses can ensure they are selecting the best IT services to meet their needs.
Not sure whether hiring in-house IT or outsourcing your IT to an MSP is right for your small business? Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.