For modern businesses, the importance of comprehensive IT support is difficult to overstate. After all, organisations are now more reliant on information technology than ever before, while the rise of concepts like ‘big data’ and cloud storage solutions have fundamentally changed the ways in which many businesses operate.
However, it is also crucial to understand that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to IT services will not cut it in the modern business world. Instead, companies require tailored support, focused on the things that matter most to them, and this support needs to be affordable and sustainable over the longer term.
In this article, we look at how managed service providers (MSPs) can help you, with a particular focus on educational facilities. However, crucially, many of the principles will apply to organisations of other kinds too.
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IT infrastructure design refers to the components that make up a computer network and this includes everything from physical cables, to routers and Wi-Fi solutions. In addition, more recently, cloud services have also become a fundamental part of IT infrastructure and this is especially relevant within educational settings.
As a UK government publication helps to highlight, infrastructure is a vital consideration in educational settings, because it goes a long way towards determining the reliability of your IT offerings. In particular, organisations need to achieve a level of stability and ensure their demands do not start to impact upon overall performance.
With IT infrastructure, the best service providers understand the importance of smart design. This means making the right decisions to optimise performance, minimise problems, and avoid future disruption. Additionally, they may be able to offer a cloud server for small business needs, and can also help organisations to expand cloud usage.
Data security is a key concern for all businesses, regardless of size and type. However, with educational facilities, it can take on an added level of importance, both because of the potential sensitively of the data and the many different type of users how may use the computer systems. Almost all organisations hold an amount of important personal data, which could potentially be compromised throught an attack or even just poor procedures.
In truth, it has never been more important to get on top of cybersecurity. According to recent research, 61 percent of businesses experienced a cyber attack in 2019, compared to 41 percent the year before, highlighting the growing nature of the threat. On top of this, cyber-attacks come in various forms, from brute force DDoS attacks, through to more sophisticated methods, such as spear-phishing and other social engineering attacks.
Yet, with the right IT support, organisations can be equipped to contend with these threats, see off attacks and recognise phishing attempts. On top of this, companies can gain access to the latest anti-virus and anti-malware solutions, while training can be provided, in order to minimise the risk presented through human error.
Moreover, in the event that the worst does happen, a high-quality managed service provider will also be able to provide support in the form of business continuity and data recovery, allowing you to get back up and running quickly.
When IT services are handled in-house, one of the big problems businesses run into is an inability to make swift adjustments. This is especially relevant if a business starts to grow and its IT demands increase, as this often requires more IT staff to be employed and more physical space being taken up at the company’s premises.
As an article for BizTech Magazine points out, one of the biggest advantages MSPs can offer is a degree of scalability. The support on offer can not only be tailored to suit your current requirements, but continuous adjustments can be made as time goes on, avoiding situations where IT demands start to exceed or outpace in-house capabilities.
The support offered by managed service providers can, therefore, be regarded as much more future-proof than many in-house alternatives, and the best MSPs can even cope with sudden or dramatic changes in requirements.
A major challenge for modern businesses relates to compliance with regulations and this is especially true for small businesses, where the availability of in-house IT expertise may be limited. Nevertheless, the consequences for failing to comply with various regulations can be severe and this can be a source of considerable stress.
Examples of some of the regulations that need to be complied with include the Data Protection Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Network & Information Systems (NIS) Regulations, but actually understanding precisely which of these regulations apply to which situations can be daunting.
By sourcing tailored IT services from a professional support company or managed service provider, you can effectively hand off much of this responsibility for compliance, alleviating many of the worries in the process.
Finally, cloud storage and the associated services has helped to transform the way many organisations operate, with a particular emphasis on things like providing remote access to systems. In education settings, this can be invaluable for distance learning, but a cloud server for small business settings can also help to facilitate telecommuting and other modern trends.
On top of this, cloud solutions can allow modern businesses to save money in a number of key ways. As the Department for Education explains, moving to the cloud can allow for the use of cloud-based devices, which are often cheaper, while many cloud-based services charge subscription fees, resulting in more predictable costs.
Whether you want to use services like Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365), Amazon Web Services or the Google Cloud, a managed service provider should be able to assist you with everything from planning to eventual implementation. In many cases, they will also be able to offer training, so that individuals in your organisation know how to use the platforms.
The Last Word
For modern businesses, the need for tailored support when it comes to IT has never been greater. Organisations must now successfully navigate the challenges associated with business growth, emerging technology, and the increased prevalence of cyber attacks and security threats, while also ensuring compliance with the latest regulations.
The best-managed service providers can assist businesses in all of these areas and offer excellent scalability at the same time. In addition, turning to an MSP can help to cut many of the costs associated with paying an in-house team.
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