As a mid-tier business owner I can attest to the crippling capital expenditure involved in the initial creation of my company. It is a universally accepted fact that without solid infrastructure in place, your teams’ productivity can be brought to a grinding halt whilst employee discontent and frustration increase. Without any contingency in place, my budget exploded with the hidden set-up costs which, as a technical novice when it comes to IT, I had not even considered. After all, my forte is procurement and my technical knowledge close to zero. Short of creating a dedicated IT department and the costs associated with that, I was left floundering.
Fortunately, I discovered the phenomenal impact Managed Services Providers (MSP’s) such as AdventOne could offer – a synergistic solution which enabled me to get back to the job of running my business. It also enabled me to budget for predictable IT support outlay rather than be stung with unforeseen blow-out costs due to an unexpected failure of our hardware and systems.
Allow me to share a few lessons I learned on my journey from a novice technical newbie to now boasting a successfully streamlined and smoothly run business.
Let me draw you a picture
Using an analogy familiar to my field, the hospital model, I have witnessed how a Managed Services Provider can streamline infrastructure services. Within a hospital environment, there are a substantial number of departments acting as an umbrella to sub-departments, demanding high data usage, storage, management, and protection. These facilities are typically in multiple locations but rely on a central hub through which their ground staff will interface. This hub becomes crucial to the facility. and whilst it’s has been traditionally considered preferable to own and maintain this service internally, the use of an external provider such as an MSP, can deliver key benefits such as flexibility, scalability as well as responsiveness to digital challenges the business my face. All this whilst reducing the overall major capital outlay.
An MSP can provide your staff with 24/7 support which may not be available from within, whilst consolidating and integrating your myriad of system platforms, maintaining the integrity of your data and providing a safe home for your essential business software which could consist of:
- Financial systems
- Materials management
- Patient records
- Supply chain managed services
My Time – My Money
Did you know that it is the norm for low-level tasks to eat up around 30% of your technical staff’s time? When I first heard this statistic I couldn’t believe it but it was verified by a member of my team. This is where my first inclination to look for a solution was born. An MSP (Managed Services Provider) can be a boon for cash flow in areas you may never have considered via automation and moving tasks to a lower labor cost base for example, offshore.
Incidental areas where savings can also be made include:
- Savings in capital outlay and operational staffing costs
- Basic hardware such as switches, routers and the like
- LAN/WAN & Wireless
- Data recovery
Solutions to Storage
Using the hospital analogy once again, an MSP allows for multiple options to best suit your storage requirements. Modalities such as Tape may be considered for archiving vital, but rarely-accessed data, whereas Software-Defined managed storage frees up your storage devices and prevents the need to constantly update your hardware. Whilst my smaller company benefited on one level, larger facilities are advantaged exponential to the complexity and capacity of their critical data.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
If data can be likened to the lifeblood of a business then its Data Hub must be considered the metaphorical heart. If the heart stops beating, death can follow swiftly. With so much riding on the health and reliability of this infrastructure, it is crucial that you get it right. MSP’s can supply a wide range of specialized operating environments whilst provisioning clients, managing servers, and providing outstanding levels of security with minimal impact on day-to-day operations.
Insurance and Reassurance
Disaster recovery solutions can be considered a business owner’s IT insurance. Unlike insurance however, no amount of financial reimbursement can retrieve vital data if a disaster recovery plan is not in place. An MSP can provide a number of modalities to ensure that your critical information will be comprehensively backed up and stored, allowing for peace of mind and an uninterrupted flow to your productivity. These range of options can consist of Cloud, Tape and Disk backup along with data replication. The beauty of all this is, we as clients may not even be aware that a disaster recovery incident has occurred due to the seamless solutions an MSP has in place.
As you may have gleaned from the notes above, I am still learning the full benefits of a dedicated Managed Services Provider. But what I can say with some authority is that I experience the rewards of mine every day. My infrastructure services now, far exceed any capabilities that could be provided by using in-house hardware solutions, allowing me to concentrate on what matters – the Business of my Business.
Rebecca Harris has been involved on a consultant basis with Redback Health Services for approximately 16 years. Redback provides outsourced equipment and furnishings, definition, scheduling, procurement, and delivery to the health sector, primarily for medium to large hospital development projects. Rebecca is also a prolific content writer specializing in health and wellbeing.