Emergencies arising from pandemics and natural disasters create uncertainty around the global economy and Businesses are directly affected by it.
The current COVID-19 outbreak has left the United States facing an economic crisis. The country’s GDP fell by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of this year. Also, 43% of businesses have temporarily closed because of it.
To make it through economic uncertainty, businesses need to protect their cash flow and focus on their core competencies such as quality, customer service, innovation, and marketing.
Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can assist small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in this. They can empower remote teams and help SMEs leverage technology to keep operating despite the myriad challenges such as low demand, supply chain issues, bad debts, new technology adoption, and more.
How MSPs Can Help SMEs during Emergencies?
MSPs are coming to be viewed as an essential part of a business's operation. They can Support SMEs, and keep them afloat and secure during emergencies. Here's exactly what MSPs can do.
1. Provide Infrastructure and Service Desk Capabilities
MSPs assist businesses by helping them ease into remote working. They provide businesses with a solid IT infrastructure and take on a plethora of network tasks, including configuring hardware, establishing remote connections, and managing backup and storage options. Simply put, MSPs equip businesses with an IT environment that is reliable enough to support its remote workforce.
Businesses can also acquire service desk capabilities through MSPs. The service desk provides businesses with centralized resources such as automatic ticket routing, branded customer portal, and comprehensive tracking and reporting. These resources cater to business queries from employees, customers, and business partners while troubleshooting problems.
2. Simplify Cloud Adoption
Businesses need to modify their IT environment to meet the changing demands and challenges of remote working. This is where cloud solutions come in handy. MSPs can help businesses leverage different cloud technologies. They can also move a company's data and applications online.
MSPs also offer managed migration plans to help businesses transfer their key workflows and processes to the cloud safely and seamlessly.
3. Offer Constant Remote Support
Companies with a highly distributed workforce source local service technicians for break/fix assistance, cabling, and other IT solutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed travel restrictions and social distancing on people. This has made moving around difficult.
MSPs can provide your business with constant IT support, despite these restrictions and limitations. They ensure that your systems and networks are protected all the time. Further, a few MSPs have technicians spread across different locations, making it easy to provide tools, resources, and support to businesses even in hard-to-reach areas.
You can contact a local services provider in your area to get prompt support services. For instance, SMEs based in Washington DC can hire providers of managed IT services for small businesses in Washington DC and let go of all their technology worries.
4. Provide IT Project Assistance
MSPs can help businesses navigate emergencies and the ongoing pandemic by delivering flexible solutions to assist with IT projects.
IT projects can be broad and challenging. Most businesses lack the skills and resources to handle them. MSPs can help them move forward by providing much-needed expertise and technology to pursue these projects.
5. Forego Long-term Contracts
Some businesses require IT support and services but are not able to commit to long-term contracts. Other businesses want to expand their IT only for the duration of an emergency.
MSPs are helping businesses by providing them with flexible IT solutions. These solutions include scalable software and hardware implementation, advanced security measures, and regularly scheduled maintenance. MSPs are giving businesses all the services and support they need as and when required by them.
6. Offer Faster Response Times
The complexities involved in managing a remote network are high. These complications include inadequate infrastructure resources, slow home internet, and the lack of staff training. This, in turn, can bring down a business’s IT network. It will not only reduce the overall productivity of a business but also increase downtime.
MSPs provide quick turnaround times by offering 24*7 support. They have a plethora of IT specialists with immense experience and knowledge. These specialists proactively address issues such as power or internet outages, hardware failure, and cybersecurity threats. All in all, they ensure that the IT infrastructure is working effectively.
7. Strengthen Cybersecurity Defenses
Remote work set up has also increased risks from cybersecurity threats such as malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, SQL injection, and DNS tunneling.
When employees work remotely, they often use personal devices and public Wi-Fi networks. It can expose sensitive business data, intellectual property, and trade secrets to cybercriminals.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. MSPs can help them mitigate cybersecurity threats and safeguard themselves. Here is how they do it.
- MSPs guarantee robust protection for your business’s IT infrastructure by installing and managing high-end security systems.
- These systems include intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, anti-malware defenses, and spam protection systems. MSPs also improve business uptime, keep business information confidential, and boost productivity.
- Disaster recovery planning is an integral part of the IT strategy created by MSPs. It ensures that the business's IT infrastructure can withstand catastrophes through constant support, off-premises data replication, and redundant data backup solutions. In short, MSPs make sure that disasters do not mean the end of a business.
- Desktop support services can help businesses address their concerns with minimal business disruption. MSPs also routinely update and patch business systems to maintain top-notch security. Desktop support services include malware prevention and removal, desktop monitoring and maintenance, new software installation, and new user updates.
8. Provide Ongoing Technical Support and General Consulting
With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to increased remote work practices, the number of remote workers has amplified. It has also led to an increase in the number of support tickets IT departments receive.
MSPs handle all support tickets instantly. They provide round-the-clock remote support. They also provide practical and valuable consulting to businesses that have limited experience with remote working and the challenges that come with it.
9. Provide Better Customer Service
Emergencies, pandemics, and natural calamities can disrupt the way businesses normally function. Companies might need to adjust to a new normal, such as taking their operations remotely.
MSPs are compassionate and empathetic towards businesses for the difficulties faced by them. They work toward providing positive business experiences. This, in turn, helps them earn the client's trust and ensure their loyalty post-crisis.
MSPs can help businesses thrive even during emergencies. They are the key enablers of business success, providing the capacity and capability to implement new infrastructure in record time. MSPs not only provide monitoring and maintenance strategies but also give instant solutions when IT problems arise. In this way, they focus on enhancing a business's productivity and efficiency regardless of the situation of the crisis.