TRADITIONAL I.T. CAN BE EFFECTIVE...
Managing your business computers isn't about managing your devices as-needed anymore. Proactive support and monitoring are becoming a nearly required aspect of managing our IT networks. With the development of
Software as a Service (SaaS), we're seeing more and more zero-day attacks and patch problems than ever before.
Traditionally, the best way to manage your IT was to hire your own team to internally handle the problems. They can take time to develop a maintenance schedule, work on projects to advance your business technologically, and give you the ability to fix problems faster. Sounds great right?
BUT HERE'S THE CATCH...
There's only one problem with this philosophy, it's damn expensive. To start, an entry-level Systems Administrator here in Sioux Falls, SD (with one of the lowest cost of living rates in the US) is about $47k a year. That's quite a bit of money for one person. Not to mention the other 1-3 individuals you'd be paying at minimum $18k a year to provide basic tech support. Labor by itself can easily cost you over $100k a year if your business has 4 employees or more in IT (Assuming a business size of 100 employees). This just progressively gets worse as you move closer to the coasts and higher cost of living areas.
Add in the operational expenses of operations. Recurring expenses are expected - Electricity, Internet, Phone, Etc, however, Electricity can skyrocket if you're beginning to host your own servers. This is added expense that you have to worry about if your income isn't growing sufficiently. Not to mention the intermittent expense of sudden hardware failures like hard drives and network cards. Those in and of themselves sell for a pretty penny.
THE PARADIGM SHIFT
In the Information Technology universe, we're seeing a switch from traditional IT structuring to more of an Information Technology as a Service (ITaaS) architecture, with pricing being based on user headcount or device count instead of overall man hours required. To further improve efficiency, companies are moving their computing and application hosting off-site into the cloud with providers like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure providing cloud computing and virtual desktop environments.
Additionally, Managed IT companies are switching to Ticket-based systems, with SaaS agents being deployed across networks to continuously monitor status, provide reports, and build analytical information to assist IT with managing your network. You've probably seen a great example of SaaS when using Facebook, Google, Outlook.com, or even Dropbox. None of these services go offline, yet updates continue to roll into the device. Management is perpetual, much like modern Managed IT.
This benefits a company in a couple of different ways. First and foremost, it's more cost-effective. Instead of hiring all of your own staff, spending the man hours designing policies, deploying systems, pricing out new servers, you can place the responsibility with a company that works hand in hand with you to provide you the services that you need, with the low cost, and trained expertise to do so.
A good Managed IT company will offer you on-site service options, off-site service options, and phone support options for you and your staff. Additionally, most IT providers will install 'agents' or little software packages to each of your monitored endpoints to report back and provide reports to them, and to you about the health of your network.
MONEY BETTER SPENT ELSEWHERE
So what would you do with an extra hypothetical $84.00/month back in your pocket for each of your 100 employees? Will you spend it trying to reinvent the wheel by building your own IT company, or will you cut your cost in half by delegating those troublesome IT tasks to a trained professional company?