Konica Minolta reveals key reasons why the on-demand approach to service provision helps you deliver agility and innovation at lower cost.
Ninety-one percent. That’s the overwhelming proportion of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that believe managed IT services benefit their business.
The finding is revealed in research commissioned by Konica Minolta and conducted by Kingpin, an international marketing agency dedicated to helping business-to-business technology brands connect with audiences throughout the buying journey.
The study (IT On Your Terms) shows that managed IT services – the practice of transferring IT processes and functions to a trusted third-party – can help SMEs in many different ways to stay ahead of the turbulent change happening around them.
So what are those crucial benefits that so many UK SMEs see in managed IT services?
1. Improved data security
The foremost benefit is security (cited by 51% of UK SMEs). UK SMEs are increasingly alarmed by the malicious or inadvertent loss of data – fuelled no doubt by frequent reports of organisational data leaks, with the resultant brand damage and financial penalties. They also acknowledge the need for security to keep pace with statutory regulations, such as the GDPR data privacy rules and other data protection obligations.
A managed environment has the security skills, software monitoring, threat intelligence and built-in redundancy available on demand to protect data more effectively and at a lower cost that an SME performing it in-house.
For example, managed IT services professionals would conduct reviews of your systems, network and other technologies to safeguard data from security threats. They blend network security, endpoint security, vulnerability management and security monitoring to prevent risks to your business and manage recovery in the event of data loss or a security breach. They will also tailor a security plan specific to your business needs, focused on where sensitive data is stored, who has access to it and the types of devices, systems and networks.
2. Reduced cost
Some 43% of UK SMEs also agree that managed IT services reduce cost. A pre-agreed, fixed payment plan means you know precisely which services will be delivered and what it will cost during the term of the contract. Unlike IT systems managed in-house, there are no unexpected operational costs, capital expenditure upgrades become the responsibility of the managed provider and there’s no need to invest in significant in-house skills.
3. Deliver on your cloud-first strategy
There’s a good reason for the fast rise in cloud computing services. Companies have discovered that with its inherent flexibility and scalability, cloud technology makes it possible to power the applications, file-sharing and mobility requirements essential to running a modern workplace.
It’s unsurprising therefore that 31% of UK SMEs agree managed IT services enable them to focus on cloud-first initiatives. It means they can move services to a secure, managed cloud environment where they can easily scale as business grows, and only pay for what is needed, when it is needed. SMEs can setup and deploy applications on managed cloud platforms without having to build or maintain the infrastructure themselves and make them available to customers anywhere at any time.
4. Increased focus on strategic initiatives
Many IT services supported in-house demand a significant amount of time and resources to manage. IT security services, for example, need to be rigorously monitored and updated. PCs and other devices need to be patched or upgraded. And networks need to be monitored to ensure they are operating at peak performance.
They study shows that 31% of UK SMEs believe managed IT services enable them to focus on more strategic initiatives. With IT services like the above managed by a trusted third-party, your staff can focus on business innovation – not server crashes or email issues. A knowledgeable IT provider can assist with email and web hosting, data storage, server and network maintenance and a wide variety of other technical work. With the peace of mind that someone is in control of your network, you can focus on your core business.
Managed IT services is not a new concept. It’s a proven process for service delivery verified among thousands of organisations worldwide – SMEs as well as large enterprises – to spearhead digital transformation and usher in a new era of business innovation.
You can download the full research report here.
‘Time to rethink Managed Services’ research shines a light on the challenges small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face in terms of IT services delivery and offers advice on how to tackle these. It discusses the advantages of managed IT services, reveals what keeps heads of IT awake at night and highlights which IT investment delivers the greatest return on investment.