It’s important that small businesses like yours optimize and protect their information technology (IT) to the fullest. Your technology is essential to your business operations, as well as your methods for processing sales, managing data, and marketing products.
More than 50% of small businesses fail in their first year – and subpar access to digital tools and IT security is largely to blame. Startups and mom-and-pop businesses struggle to keep up with the latest tools and technology, which makes it difficult to survive in this increasingly digital world.
Managed IT service providers are available to help small businesses overcome this hurdle by equipping them with the necessary tools and guidance to thrive. When you outsource your technology through an MSP, you connect with a team of advanced professionals who specialize in IT support.
What does this have to do with Dayton and its businesses?
Well, Dayton has raised over 260 million dollars in startup funding since 2014. Many small businesses are growing their roots here, and unfortunately, most of these don’t have access to the many IT services they need to grow. Partnering with a managed IT services provider is a great way to start.
Do you run a small business in the area?
We want to help you pick the right MSP for your particular needs. Here are the kinds of services that small businesses should look for in Dayton IT Services.
What Do Managed IT Services Offer?
MSPs will work with your business to develop a service plan based on your needs and budget. Additionally, they’ll help you decide what kinds of services your company needs to thrive.
As you begin your hunt for the right IT services provider, you’ll want to look for one that offers the right level of support for you. Here are several services you should keep in mind as you hunt for a managed IT services provider in Dayton.
1) Cybersecurity and Data Protection
Many small businesses assume that, due to their size, they are less vulnerable to cyber threats than big companies. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Every business is vulnerable to data breaches and malware attacks – especially if they fail to prioritize their IT support and defenses.
Small businesses can easily fall victim to malware, ransomware, phishing scams, and viruses. In fact, 43% of online attacks are targeted at small businesses because cybercriminals see them as accessible targets. They often don’t have the large-scale defenses that big corporations use, and that makes them easy prey.
Additionally, small businesses often find it difficult to bounce back from cyberattacks. They are expensive to recover from – often costing thousands of dollars in damages, even if they are relatively easy to resolve.
In the year 2020 alone, around 50% of small businesses reported experiencing a cyberattack – and more than half wound up closing their doors within six months after an attack due to :
- Expensive recovery costs
- Operational setbacks
- Lost trust amongst their community
A quality managed IT services provider will take a multilayered approach to cybersecurity. Layered defenses are needed to effectively protect business technology against ever-evolving threats with far-reaching consequences.
Take a look at an MSP’s credentials to ensure they meet the latest security practices and data protection requirements. Once a company has set up the necessary IT security for your business, they will continue to run checkups and updates to keep up with the latest viruses and threats.
2) 24/7 IT Support
IT-related emergencies and cyberattacks can occur on any day and at any time – no matter when your business is typically open. These problems often result in operational downtime and financial losses.
When technology disasters or cyberattacks aren’t resolved quickly, they can worsen in severity and cause huge amounts of damage to a business. Most managed services providers offer 24/7 IT support, which allows businesses to reach expert IT services whenever they are needed – even on holidays and weekends.
3) Disaster Recovery and Data Backup Services
Any business that operates online likely has valuable data stored on its devices. This data is vulnerable to attacks – even more so if it is left undefended. Cyber criminals will often target SMB information and hold it for ransom, or sell it on the dark web.
Hackers and cyber criminals aren’t the only threats out there. Company data can also be lost in natural disasters, such as fires or floods, that damage business technology and servers.
That’s why managed IT services providers offer recovery plans that allow companies to regain access to their data if it’s lost. IT experts will create a cloud-based backup storage system so your data is protected from cybercriminals and natural disasters.
4) Access to Advanced Tools and Technology
A managed IT services provider will offer your small business access to advanced technology and tools that improve your internal workflows. A small business is less likely to succeed when it’s using outdated technology – but without the help of an IT company, it can be difficult to find and implement the right tools.
Quality MSPs grant small businesses access to tools that would otherwise be out of reach for most businesses’ budgets. They may even offer platforms and software that you didn’t know existed to improve your communication, project management strategies, and productivity.
5) Additional Services to Look for in an MSP
There’s a whole lot to consider when evaluating Dayton MSPs. Those four services are the big ones to remember, but you will also want to consider seeking providers that offer:
- Hosted VOIP systems
- Cloud infrastructure management
- CTO services
- Hardware repairs
- Hosted VOIP systems
- Network configuration
- Spam protection
- Storage management
- Traffic optimization
How to Find a Managed Services Provider in Dayton, Ohio
Once you have decided to work with a managed IT provider in the Dayton area, the next step is finding the right one for your business. Here’s what that process should look like.
Step 1: Search for an MSP with a Good Reputation
Not every managed IT provider in Dayton offers the same level of service quality. Some managed IT services providers spend less time and money on developing their services than others. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to IT company reputations.
Avoid MSPs that rush to the market – they are typically only there to make a profit and don’t really care about your business’s success or safety. Plus, these MSPs tend to lack the qualifications and credentials required to legally manage certain kinds of industry data.
Clients can distinguish a trustworthy, reputable MSP from a bad one based on their:
- Positive reviews and testimonials
- Credentials listed on their website
- Online support hours – a quality IT provider should be available 24/7
To help with your search, you also should ask other small businesses in the Dayton area for references and recommendations. They’ve likely already learned a bit about the playing field, and they might be able to provide a valuable, personal recommendation.
Step 2: Look for IT Providers with Experience in Your Industry
Your Dayton business should also look for an MSP that has experience working with similar businesses. Although a managed IT provider can learn your needs, you will receive better service off the bat if the company already has experience working with clients like you.
Some industries require that MSPs have experience and expertise in their field before they can partner with them. For instance, the medical field has strict data regulations and legally require MSPs to obtain certain credentials before they can go anywhere near their data.
Learn more about the requirements within your industry, then look for IT providers that already know your field and its needs.
Step 3: Know What Questions to Ask
Because MSPs differ greatly in quality and services, it’s important to ask questions that will help your business gauge if they are a good fit for your needs.
Some of the top questions we recommend asking:
- Do you have experience working with other businesses in my industry?
- What is your average response time to IT concerns?
- What is your data security policy?
- Do you have any credentials or services that set you apart?
Step 4: Find a Local Business in Dayton
Accessibility is another factor to consider when searching for managed IT services in Dayton. If an MSP is hard to reach or responds slowly to IT concerns, that’s a bad sign. You need a partner that’s always available when you need them – especially in emergency situations.
Furthermore, you want a local MSP that can send an IT expert onsite to resolve issues that cannot be fixed online or over the phone. Remote service is great, but having someone nearby (and in the same time zone) is valuable.
Step 5: Ensure the MSP Will Truly Prioritize Your Business’s Wellbeing
Ultimately, managed IT services providers should make it easier for businesses to focus on long-term growth. When companies aren’t spending money to repair expensive IT disasters and in-house help desk support, they have more availability to expand their business and focus on other areas, such as marketing and business development.
A truly great MSP will prioritize you and your business. They’ll take time to listen to your needs, develop flexible plans, and find the best solutions for growth. Additionally, they will set you up with services that fit your goals, location, and industry.
Small to medium-sized businesses in Dayton can benefit immensely from partnering with a local managed IT provider. MSPs save businesses money on advanced tools and technology as well as protect them from disastrous attacks. They also work closely with businesses to find IT solutions that improve both internal and external workflows.
The most important thing managed IT services provide? Peace of mind. You want to know that your technology is in good hands while you focus on growing and building your business. Leave all your IT responsibilities to a dedicated IT partner whose top priority is your success.
If you find that your Dayton business frequently leans on IT support, or that you are spending too much time trying to fix technical issues yourself, an MSP may be a good idea. Let’s talk today.