Every IT service wants to streamline their business, right? Because no one wants to work harder than they need. No IT service wants to waste hours on work they can systematize, simplify and automate.
The only question is…. HOW?
- How do you streamline your MSP business?
- How do you automate an IT service… with so many moving parts?
Many companies look for outside help in order to keep their IT systems running. Only very large companies can afford to keep specialists on staff that can each cover one aspect of complicated IT infrastructure.
So, it is a good idea to outsource many functions of IT support. Outsourced services need to be procured on a contract or, at the very least, a contacts database. Having specialists on call is like taking out an insurance policy in case things go wrong.
However, there are two main strategies to adopt when looking for services to keep your IT system operating: the break/fix model or remote monitoring and management (RMM).
The Break/Fix Model
One option to deal with things going wrong in the IT infrastructure is to call out technicians. A small company that can’t afford to keep software and hardware experts permanently employed can just pay for installations, repairs, and replacements as they are needed. One way to bring down the cost of these services is to arrange service contracts with different suppliers and service providers.
The break/fix model requires some IT administrators on site. When problems arise, someone has to know which specialist to contact. For example, if one user complains that the company telephone system is going wrong, it could be a problem with that employee’s handset. If several workers turn up at the administrator’s desk, then there is a problem that needs to be investigated.
Before the systems administrator calls in the right expert to fix the problem, he needs to work out exactly what is causing service impairment. Is the network overloaded? Did the VoIP software malfunction? Is there a problem with a switch somewhere on the network? While the administrator is trying to find out where the problem lies, more and more angry users are lining up at his desk.
One way to head off disaster is to check on the health of all equipment and software in the IT system. That task starts with keeping track of all of the hardware and software that the business owns.
Surprisingly, very few businesses know exactly how many pieces of each device type they own and despite needing to buy a license for each installation of each software package, few IT departments actually keep track of which computers have which software packages installed.
Preventative maintenance also needs testing software. So, you need to maintain an in-house IT support team and equipment and software inventory systems in order to implement preventative maintenance.
RMM prevents system failure
Remote monitoring and management offer a better solution to business IT maintenance and operations than the break/fix model. An RMM system is much easier to run than an IT support department. The RMM route is particularly important for startups and small businesses.
Companies that don’t have the budget to keep in-house IT specialists tend to foist the responsibility for IT system on a business manager who just doesn’t have the time or skills to keep on top of all issues.
RMM is a package that includes all the IT infrastructure monitoring software that any business needs in order to run an IT system. The management part of RMM describes a series of automated processes that reduce the amount of time that an administrator must spend in order to head off problems and prevent failure.
RMM reduces Help Desk calls
Being able to spot problems and fix them reduces performance impairment that users might notice. So, with no system failures occurring, there is no need for anyone to call the IT Help Desk.
Not only does RMM reduce the number of calls to the Help Desk, it even provides that service. Most RMM packages include user support functions. These include self-service portals and knowledge bases with troubleshooters, so users can fix their own problems without having to resort to ask for help from support technicians.
RMM reduces costs
Large companies with many sites can centralize IT support in one location thanks to the “remote” part of “remote monitoring and management.” RMM systems enable technicians to access computers on a site remotely. The RMM software’s automated processes can also reach equipment in other locations.
Smaller companies can’t afford to employ technicians. However, RMM helps those enterprises, too. RMM software enables managed service providers (MSPs) to fulfill IT support functions for other companies. So, those small businesses would outsource all IT support to an MSP.
RMM keeps businesses operating
Your business does not exist to operate an IT system. It has a primary activity and the IT system is meant to serve that purpose and not absorb too many resources. RMM systems include system monitoring functions that can be left to watch over the IT infrastructure. When problems occur, the RMM will notify an operator, who should intervene. In many cases, the RMM system can act automatically to head off failure.
With an RMM system watching over the IT system, companies can get on with their business and spend their resources on improving sales and making profit.
Cloud-based RMM systems are even better because they remove the need for the business to buy and maintain hardware on which to run the RMM software. One step further is to sign up for an MSP service that combines the technicians along with the hardware and software needed to keep IT infrastructure operating efficiently.