The COVID-19 pandemic has affected business across the planet, changing how most of us work as well as having a greater impact on all of our lives. Managed IT services have helped businesses adapt quickly to avoid unprecedented levels of disruption.

Ensuring IT services continue to function as they should during this time has made managed service providers (MSP) an even bigger need for businesses. Here at Neuways we have continued to deliver our top-quality service during national lockdowns and helped many of our MSP customers ride the wave of uncertainty.

Here’s why your business requires a Managed Service Provider during lockdown and beyond…

1. Moving your systems to being more agile

One of the biggest effects COVID-19 has had on the workforce is forcing many staff to work from home. This has caused businesses with less agile systems to struggle to adapt to the changes needed to ensure their staff can continue to work efficiently.

Prior to the initial 2020 UK lockdown, we recommended a switch to Microsoft 365 for one of our customers. This change has enabled them to continue running their business as normal, despite the challenging circumstances.

The switch allowed staff to continue to work collaboratively even when working remotely. Features such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft’s cloud provision allows colleagues to access essential documents simultaneously. By utilising our experience, our customer now has more agile systems in place, that will help them continue to operate and grow in a post-COVID-19 world.

This change can be a daunting one if you don’t have an experienced MSP on board to help you navigate data security and governance.

2. Predictable cost

By outsourcing your IT operations to a MSP, the level of work and scope of service are definitive in the SLA agreements made between you and your MSP – all for a set price each month making budgeting easy and predictable.

Of course, there may be unexpected problems that need quick solutions, but generally the work required is predictable and scalable, and will often remain within your budget. If a business grows, then the managed services provided grow with it, as being flexible is key to the success of such a partnership.

3. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan implementation

Downtime is the biggest and most costly risk to any business operating at the moment, so having a multi-layered and thoroughly tested Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan in place is essential to success and survival.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a surge in cybersecurity attacks on businesses of all shapes and sizes. Cyber criminals are making the most of the changing ways of working caused by the virus, and bombarding companies with email phishing campaigns that, when initiated, breach their systems and steal essential data. As well as this, the risks to businesses from natural disasters, like flooding, and hardware failure remain.

To combat these threats, businesses must ensure they have a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan in place, to deal with any potential issues that may arise.

A dedicated managed service provider would be the best option to implement such a plan. The MSP would advise you on the best BCDR solution for your business, as well as ensuring that your systems are backing up and tested to ensure data can be successfully recovered if the worst happened.

This ensures a business can reduce the amount of downtime incurred as a result of any disaster or unforeseen circumstance.

Downtime can cost businesses as much as £250,000 an hour, so it’s critical to keep it as short as possible. Backup arrangements should be made to ensure company data is being consistently backed up to a secure location and can be accessed in the event of a disaster.

4. Providing exceptional IT Support

A critical part of a managed service provider is the responsive IT support helpdesk. Having this expertise on tap allows businesses to rest easy knowing that any issues that they are having will be dealt with promptly. The support a business receives from its MSP can help to create a tech-conscious culture among staff. This gives staff both knowledge and confidence in using their IT systems.

Additionally, the IT support from the experts means that, more often than not, IT systems will work as they should, continuing to aid and not hinder a business. In turn, this reduces the stress caused by erroneous systems, as issues are eliminated quickly with the MSP’s expertise.

Businesses need to focus on resolving operational challenges caused by the pandemic, and by involving a dedicated IT support helpdesk operated by their managed service provider, they can be confident in the knowledge their IT operations are being taken care of.

5. Futureproofing your business’ IT Department

While nobody knows definitively how long COVID-19 will continue to impact businesses, ensuring your company is ready for what comes next is important. At Neuways, we aren’t just a managed service provider for our customers, but a proactive business technology partner. Our experienced team are constantly looking to see how they can help continue the growth of those we work with.

MSP’s often present advice and recommendations to businesses based on best practise and experience. The strategic advice is designed to ensure a business’s IT solutions can be as productive as possible.

COVID-19 may have changed your long-term plans somewhat, but by bringing in a MSP who understands your business’ needs, an appropriate technology strategy can be put in place to get you back on track.

If you feel like a Managed Service Provider could help your business through lockdown and beyond, get in touch with us, at hello@neuways.com or call us on 01283 753333 today.