Thought Leadership

Why the Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) Approach to IT Is Putting Your Business at Risk

(August 2020) Organizations of all sizes across all industries are eager to exploit technologies that could help them improve efficiency, enhance the customer experience, or launch innovative new services. However, staff limitations and the demands of day-to-day operations often restrict their ability to take on technology initiatives.

Small businesses are particularly challenged by IT staffing limitations. Specifically, they lack access to a broad range of IT expertise in the areas of data protection, cloud, and security.

Managed Services can help companies fill that gap by providing cost-effective solutions to these challenges.

The DIY Approach

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than 80 percent of small businesses do not have an actual IT staff. These organizations often rely on a single “IT person” — a generalist who must do everything from managing the network to configuring peripherals to monitoring security. Their responsibilities may also include non-IT related functions such as building access controls, HVAC, and managing vendor contracts.

That is a lot of responsibility on a normal day. Add to it an increase in business tempo or a nagging issue with one of these systems and it dramatically ups the odds that something will eventually slip through the cracks.

Many organizations depend on an employee who has little to no formal IT training but knows more about computers than anyone else in the office. These so-called “involuntary IT managers” are costing small businesses more than $20 billion in lost productivity every year, according to a Microsoft study, because they lack training and a broader range of experience, frequently cannot fix the problems in a timely manner, and sometimes alienate employees and customers in the process.

Even if you have an employee you believe is capable of handling most of your IT needs, relying on one individual can be risky. People get sick or go on vacation. Relationships can sour. Employees move on to “greener pastures.”

What’s more, DIY tech support can be harming the company in ways nobody realizes. Companies often keep a cobbled-together environment up and running without realizing that some strategic upgrades could save the business a lot of money and improve operations.

Affordable Expertise

The IT environment has become far too complex for the DIY approach. Mobile, cloud, remote work, and cybersecurity demands increasingly require qualified experts with specialized skill sets. Of course, hiring a team of full-time IT specialists is cost-prohibitive for most smaller businesses.

The Managed Services approach removes those budget barriers. Managed Services are delivered for a predictable monthly fee based on the work performed and the results produced, relieving you of the need to budget for salaries and benefits.

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) deliver a broad range of IT services that can be ramped up or scaled down as needed to meet changing business requirements. Service levels can be adjusted to match the priority of distinct systems or applications. Often, the optimum solution is a hybrid effort between in-house and MSP resources.

In addition to handling basic IT functions such as maintenance, backups, updates, security patching, and more, MSPs can provide guidance on management and strategic initiatives. They have the tools, expertise, and experience to introduce leading-edge technologies that can enhance your efficiency and productivity. Some MSPs can even offer a virtual CIO who can create a roadmap for adopting and using these emerging solutions.

The key to gaining maximum benefits from the Managed Services model is finding the right partner. At Mainstream, we take the time to learn about your business problems instead of presenting a generic service plan. We will communicate with you frequently to review performance data and get your input. In addition to deploying immediate fixes, our team will work with you to create a long-term plan designed to provide the manpower and expertise you need to make the most of today’s technology solutions.

Jeff Pracht
IT Business Development Manager
(479) 715-8629 Office
(501) 529-0008 Mobile

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