Whether you’re a small or medium business the new year is presenting you with the opportunity to revisit your IT infrastructure, and that begins by taking a good hard look at your current IT support systems. Some of you depend upon an in-house team, some of you have contracted support from an outside firm, and many others are running a combination of both. One thing we can say for certain, is that any attempt to go at it alone in 2019 puts your brand at great risk, not only of succumbing to threats but in failing to capitalize on opportunities. As we launch the new annum Fully Managed is here with a look at why you should use the launch of fiscal year to ramp up IT support from a Managed Services Provider (MSP).
4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Seriously Consider Increasing Managed IT Support Services in 2019
1. You’re On the Most Current Hacker Hit List
Never mind the fact that there are an estimated 350,000 new malware strains being released every day as we enter the new year because hackers have stepped up their game even further with a new wave of cybersecurity threats. These evolved attacks include spear phishing, exploitation of cloud vulnerabilities (more on this below), hijacking corporate IoT, and exposing weaknesses in operational (versus informational) technology at the “warehouse” level of your business (as applicable) or that of your vendors/suppliers. All of the above have combined to provide hackers with the ultimate arsenal of weapons and they are pointing them at some very specific industries in 2019. Are you among them? Let’s find out.
Recent trends have pinpointed industries that are especially vulnerable. These industries include hospitality, health and medical, retail, and even those within the tech sector. However, the largest target is a broad one - the SMB. This is because hackers know that “at press” you have yet to update your cybersecurity protocol to account for the new advanced threats that they have developed as of, well, today. As an SMB your in-house IT team cannot be expected to stay on top of every single malware strain or other advanced malicious program, which is why your only recourse is to secure the services of an IT support firm that makes it their job to do exactly that.
2. You’re Not Using the Cloud Right
Nearly four years prior a major study found that 99% of businesses were getting the cloud wrong. Unfortunately little has changed since then as we enter 2019. The issue has been uncovered with a more recent study which finds that 97% of worldwide IT professionals are working through cloud issues related to visibility of advanced cloud technology. Due to uncertainty and a lack of exposure to new cloud environments executives are moving slowly and sticking to known paths which keeps them in the rut reported years ago. This is a big part of why critics cite cyber security as being a major cloud concern. SMBs’ in-house IT teams are simply not keeping up with advancements in cloud technology and therefore expose themselves to risk of threats while missing out on opportunities to better leverage the cloud to increase efficiencies. Again, the only way to get over this hump is gain support from an IT firm with expertise in the cloud to provide a scalable solution that grows alongside your business.
3. You’re Not Leveraging AI
Without a doubt the biggest advancement for IT as a business solution in 2018 was the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI provides for the highest level of cybersecurity against advanced threats (as per item #1 above), offers predictive modeling of consumer behavior, removes potential for human error in data management, and allows you to automate mundane operations to free up human resources for more important “big picture” work. All of the above will give you a very significant competitive advantage in the year ahead.
Can you harness AI confidently in 2019 on your own? Unless you and your IT team drop everything (more on this below) and focus solely on AI education and adoption for customized application you will absolutely need to bring in outside IT support to help you leverage the benefits of AI and machine learning.
4. You Need to Refocus Your Team
Since the beginning of information technology this has been the biggest conundrum for businesses and in 2019 it remains. If you want to fully capitalize on IT on your own, uncovering and applying the best (for you) Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and/or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), you would need to focus your executives and IT team solely on these systems. What will invariably happen, is the dropping of the ball on your customer/client acquisition initiatives which will ultimately negatively impact your revenue and bottom line.
Most retailers would never dream of manufacturing their own products, nor would a doctor attempt to hit the lab to formulate their own medications, so why would you even consider building your own IT infrastructure when you should be focused on servicing customers/clients in the best way possible? Instead, hand some of the weight over to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who can work with you to devise a Fully Managed, Co-Managed, or Custom Managed solution. Then, and only then, can you truly be ready to success in 2019 and beyond.
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