Small and medium-sized businesses that opt to manage their computer networks and provide their own IT security often find themselves fighting an uphill battle. Although an SMB might have been able to set up and run a network that met its needs at one point in time, the world has a way of not holding still for anyone. Sooner or later, the organization's needs will probably change.
Two large forces tend to contribute to such changes. The SMB itself may grow as business and profits increase, adding new employees and work systems to the network to be managed. In addition, the world around the SMB may also change, requiring the business to adopt new technologies or risk being left behind by competitors that are keeping up with such trends. Both these situations mean a need to change the network from its original configuration. Organizations can only cobble additional elements on for so long before the entire network needs to be revamped from scratch.
At that point, many SMBs begin to re-think the decision to manage their networks on their own. Of course, each business is different and has its own particular set of challenges and needs, but several broad indicators can help a small firm's management see if it may be the right time to switch to a managed services approach for IT support.
1. Multiple Physical Locations for the Business
A network with branch offices or storefronts across town, or across the state or nation, is much more complex than one that runs only in a single physical location. As your business expands beyond the horizons of just a single operation, you may find that it is in your best interests to arrange for IT support experts to handle network operations.
2. Remote Employees and IT Management
SMBs that have taken the leap of going ‘mobile’ with their IT operations face a host of new management challenges as workers take home tablets or take them on the road. IT security alone for roaming devices may be more of a task than an internal staff can handle, as it is doubtful that these individuals will have stayed on the cutting edge of business information technology trends. Working with a managed services firm can help to ensure that mobile devices interact well with the company network and do not open up security vulnerabilities.
3. Increased Traffic
More traffic on the network as the internet transforms business operations, incorporating applications that require high-bandwidth, also often cues businesses to switch to a managed services model.