Managed Services Help Lower IT Costs For Small Business HR Departments
In today’s tech-driven age, it takes a highly efficient IT system to manage, track and measure employee performance.
Larger companies may have the budget and manpower to support a fully-functioning, round-the-clock in-house IT department.
But for smaller businesses, the cost to maintain digital technology can impose a heavy burden on HR departments and detract from their core functions.
Using managed services can help them resolve these issues.
What Are Managed Services?
Using managed services for IT is analogous to contracting a landscaping company to maintain the grounds of a facility, rather than hiring a groundskeeper and purchasing equipment and supplies to maintain the grounds.
Such an arrangement is almost always preferable. Not only does the business save the direct costs of paying a groundskeeper’s wages and purchasing and maintaining equipment and supplies, it also saves the indirect administrative costs of having a groundskeeper on the payroll and keeping an inventory of supplies and equipment. The landscaping company presents one invoice on a regular basis for one line item in a budget.
The analogy between using managed services and contracting a landscaping company is not precise, as many senior managers may have qualms about allowing an outside vendor have access to proprietary information.
These concerns can be addressed by using a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP’s business relies on their reputation, especially considering how quickly news of security breaches gets around. Since providers of JD Edwards software and other MSP applications provide their services to many clients, they can achieve economies of scale to access the most up to date security software and highest level expertise, and to provide the best IT security available.
Most MSPs also offer a degree of flexibility in which services are provided, so a small business can have options as to how much access they allow the MSP to have.
No Need For IT Staff When Using Managed Services?
Managed services need not completely replace a company’s IT staff. If a company has a staff member who is in charge of IT, but also has expertise that is specific to the firm or the industry, managed services can relieve that person of the more tedious and time consuming tasks related to IT, allowing them to concentrate on tasks that are more likely to enhance revenue or retain customers.
How Can Managed Services Help HR?
By handing over IT administrative functions to a managed service provider, HR departments can eliminate the need for additional staff or computer resources, control and reduce HR administration costs, and ensure that staff time is spent focusing on key elements of the job rather than the necessary but time-consuming IT tasks.
Managed Service Features:
An MSP can provide reliable and secure data backup. This can save money and other resources by backing up the data offsite. If power surges or other disasters occur, the data can be quickly and easily reinstalled so that the firm can be up and running again with little interruption in business.
MSPs usually offer a menu of disaster recovery services to fit the specific needs of small or medium sized businesses.
IT Analyses & Recommendations
MSPs will offer to conduct an analysis of a company’s IT systems for the purpose of identifying potential problems and making recommendations for preventing those problems.
They will conduct these analyses on a routine basis, and notify clients of any problems they detect. Depending on the terms of the contract, they will repair or resolve the problems automatically or after they acquire permission.
MSPs can also make recommendations on hardware or software that will enhance or improve the efficiency of IT systems. Some of these recommendations might include software or hardware upgrades, the reconfiguration of middleware, or subscribing to Software as a Service (SaaS) instead of purchasing and installing software.
Many of these recommendations can enhance the security of an IT system. Malware is constantly changing and evolving. Hackers and thieves are constantly developing spyware and other software to infiltrate business and government IT systems so that they can shut the systems down or steal personal and financial information. New software and techniques must be developed to stay ahead of it.
MSPs make it their business to recruit experts and purchase software so that they can provide their clients with the most up to date procedures to prevent security breaches caused by malware.
Most MSPs provide their services on a subscription basis, making the costs of the services predictable. They may offer plans that will keep their monthly bills within a set range even if extra work must be done in a given month.
Most small and medium sized businesses find these costs to be lower than keeping all of the IT staff necessary to maintain a system on the payroll.
They may also find that SaaS and other such recommendations are more cost effective than purchasing and upgrading software. Likewise, it is usually more cost effective to store data on an MSP’s servers than purchasing and upgrading their own hardware.
The flexibility offered by MSPs allows companies to achieve cost efficiencies while still retaining the control over IT systems that they need. Outsourcing IT, landscaping services or cleaning services usually results in cost savings, but also allows a small or medium sized business to concentrate on their core business rather than support services.