Start-up companies are typically lean, fast-paced, and agile.
Do managed IT services fit into this environment, when there is often a culture of breaking things to ensure continuous innovation and improvement? Is managed IT a cost you can spare, when your gut tells you to focus every last penny on developing your product, proving your concept, or reaching profitability?
The answer is yes, and we’ll go into detail below.
However, there are two main points that make managed IT services an important consideration for ambitious start-ups.
The last thing you want is being held back at the scale-up stage because your IT can’t keep up.
Even if customers want your product, your risk of failure significantly increases if you can’t deliver on their expectations or efficiently manage your business because of IT issues (think data hacks, delivery delays, customer service queries not being responded to, etc).
For example, a buyout from a larger company or corporation. Any company considering a buyout will conduct due diligence, so it will look at your IT infrastructure and capabilities.
Whether a buyout is possible could be influenced by the state of your IT, as could the value of your company.
Managed IT is an outsourcing service, where part or all of the IT infrastructure in your business is managed by a third-party provider.
The best managed IT services are proactive, where the provider gives you regular advice on improvements and opportunities, while also actively optimizing the IT in your business.
The services that can be covered by a managed IT services provider include:
You’ll know this all too well, but there is a lot to do in a start-up company – 25-hour days are not untypical, right?
It feels like it, anyway.
The fast-paced nature of a start-up makes it essential to keep scarce and valuable internal staffing resources away from IT issues, so they can concentrate on truly value-add tasks for the business.
Furthermore, IT in your start-up should be an enabler of innovation, not a weight that is slowing you down. With managed IT services, your IT will become the enabler of the innovation that you need, while also improving productivity and efficiency.
Cybersecurity is a risk to all companies, including start-ups.
You might not have the expansive databases or cash reserves of a corporation that are so desirable to hackers, and your intellectual property might not have reached its full value yet, but there is still a substantial cybersecurity risk. The culture in a start-up can sometimes contribute to that risk.
Cybersecurity slows down workflows and processes, whereas a start-up works best when it’s quick and agile. Then there is the challenge of keeping up with all the risks that are out there, especially when you are working those 25-hour days! Managed IT services can take a large proportion of the cybersecurity burden away from you, while also providing your team with training and expert advice on how to maintain security without compromising on the things that make your start-up unique and innovative.
In the fast-paced, fast-decision environment of a start-up where the objective is to get things done, it is all too easy to make wrong decisions when it comes to platforms and applications.
After all, the focus is on the here and now, so you get something that works. A managed IT services provider can provide a fresh perspective when making software stack decisions, especially in relation to future-proofing the business and maintaining an ability to quickly scale when needed.
Recruiting reliable and knowledgeable IT staff can be challenging.
Just like any other recruitment process, it’s also costly. You’ll then incur additional costs to train them, all the while there is a risk they could leave at any time – in a month, a year, two years, etc.
Managed IT services can replace internal IT resources, eliminating recruitment and training costs, and improving return on investment.
A managed IT services provider can also help you reduce and optimize your hardware and software costs.
This includes ensuring you only pay for the hardware and hardware services that you need. These benefits also translate to future IT spending, as a managed IT services provider will take into account the anticipated future needs of your business, so that decisions taken today are optimized for the future.
This point only applies to businesses with a 24/7 operation, such as ecommerce or service businesses that have a global footprint and customer base.
If you are this type of business, the point is highly significant as running 24/7 IT support with an internal team brings significant challenges. A managed IT services provider will have the staff and structures to provide this level of service for those that require it, enhancing business operations.
Recruiting internal IT resources will bring a certain level of expertise to your business, but the field of IT is expansive and varied.
It is impossible for one or even a small group of individuals to have knowledge and expertise across all areas of IT. With managed IT services, however, you will have access to a much more varied and advanced level of expertise than you can get with an internal team.
As you can see from the points above, most of the benefits of managed IT services for start-ups fall into two main categories:
Plus, managed IT services enables you to get on with running your business.
In most start-ups, outsourcing is common.
You might outsource software development or website design, for example. Graphic design, customer service, and marketing are other essential functions that are commonly outsourced in start-ups.
For forward-thinking start-ups, managed IT is another. In terms of your start-up business, we’re here to help. Whatever your stage of development, we can bring value to your business, reduce risks, lower costs, and let you and your team get on with achieving your goals. Get in touch today to arrange a managed IT consultation.