Consumers expect instant gratification in today’s increasingly connected world. That means they expect your website to be up and running around the clock. And if it’s not working, they probably won’t think twice before looking elsewhere.
Unscheduled downtime doesn’t just lead to lost customers. It also leaves employees with idle time, thereby crushing productivity and efficiency, Recent studies have shown that just a single hour of downtime costs an average of $100,000.
As a business leader, you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to boost efficiency by minimizing downtime and regaining control over costs. For those facing the enormous responsibility of implementing and maintaining in-house IT systems of their own, that’s likely to be extremely difficult.
Fortunately, managed services providers (MSPs) present a great opportunity for you to reduce, if not eliminate, downtime. Here are a few ways how:
#1. Proactive Support
The traditional IT support model, also known as the break/fix model, typically involves varying amounts of unscheduled downtime. For example, say your server stops running due to a hardware malfunction or a serious configuration problem. With the break/fix support model, you need to call a technician to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Aside from potentially costing you money, your systems will be offline for however long it takes for the technician to come and make the necessary repairs. If a mission-critical system -- such as an email server -- is affected, the damage could be severe.
MSPs are effectively outsourced IT departments, providing technology and expertise to businesses that can’t afford their own, and can’t risk having their systems suddenly becoming unavailable out of the blue. MSPs detect issues before they start costing time and money, thanks to the fact they monitor your systems 24/7. Furthermore, they’re bound by their service level agreements to resolve issues within a given deadline.
#2. Redundant Backups
Digital data is one of the most valuable assets that any organization will ever own. In fact, that’s exactly why hackers are so determined to get their hands on it whenever they have the chance. Besides cyberattacks, technology can go wrong for many reasons, such as a hardware failure or just plain old human error. When that happens, you’ll be left struggling to restore your systems as soon as possible before the downtime leads to unacceptable losses. MSPs are deeply invested in cloud technologies, which is why cloud-based backup and disaster-recovery systems have become the new norm when it comes to small-business continuity strategies. MSPs have a vested interest in making sure your data is kept safe, and as such have redundant data centers in multiple locations so that your systems can be recovered at a moment’s notice.
#3. Greater Accessibility
It wasn’t so long ago that the typical office job meant sitting in front of a desk from nine till five while using a computer connected to an in-house server. Today, working remotely has become common practice for many businesses.
MSPs usually offer the full range of cloud-hosted services that let employees do their jobs from anywhere using any device with an internet connection. Today, many business applications run in a browser, meaning that they don’t rely on in-house computing systems at all. In other words, even if your regular workplace becomes unusable, your MSP can ensure that your team can carry on with its work with minimal disruption.