Rethinking Your Budget for a New Reality
With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing businesses into unenviable situations, it’s probably not surprising that business owners and decision makers are looking at what expenses they need to cut in order to keep their businesses afloat. Today, we’ll discuss the trends we are seeing and how managed IT services can be a godsend in situations like this.
While technology has helped millions of businesses from all over the world stay relevant during the pandemic, we’re seeing that IT is one of the elements of a business that is seeing the most spending reduction. After all, most businesses have to cut some costs just to make everything work. Furthermore, analysts are saying that after the outbreak ends, the remaining recession will actually cut IT expenses by two or more percent for the next year. For an industry that has seen spending rise by five or more percent for each of the past eight years, that is problematic.
To sustain profitability businesses will need to free up as much capital as they can during times like this, and many businesses including ones that operate in the hospitality and manufacturing industries are already seeing massive declines in revenue. This suggests that their 2020 and 2021 spends will probably be less than their 2019 spends.
This means that many businesses will be cancelling their planned technology projects, especially if they are non-essential. They are using this capital to improve their liquidity and to fund the transitions necessary to support their newly remote workforce.
Telework and How Managed IT Services Can Help
If your business is looking to make some cuts to your operational technology, choosing the right IT service provider can be a great solution. Not only will you be able to maintain your current IT infrastructure, but a managed IT service provider (MSP) can help you find and implement the solutions you are going to need to get through this situation.
Let’s start with the remote workforce. Before the pandemic only around eight percent of full-time workers were able to have the flexibility to consistently work from home. With states mandating people stay at home during this situation, telework has exploded. If your company was one of the few that provided telework options before the stay-at-home orders hit, you probably have had a much easier transition to supporting a completely remote workforce. Most businesses, however, didn’t, and are seeing that setting this up properly isn’t terribly cheap.
The challenges of supporting a staff that works remotely aren’t necessarily the same as you would have envisioned. Many businesses didn’t provide the work-from-home flexibility out of the fear that they would lose substantial amounts of productivity (and therefore revenue). While this is still somewhat of a concern, most workers that work remotely understand what their responsibilities are and go above and beyond to ensure that they aren’t the weak link. It's been said multiple times over the past several weeks, but if you have an employee that does not work well from home, it's a pretty good bet that he/she wasn't working that well from the office, either.
One consideration that does have to be made, however, is how to secure your endpoints and data-in-transit. If this wasn’t already a main consideration of your disaster recovery policy, it will be now. Working with remote access and virtual private networks can go a long way toward mitigating the risk your company will see. An MSP can quickly help you find solutions that will not only keep your data safe and protect your existing infrastructure, it can provide you with new and affordable tools to leverage to keep your business compliant of the regulations your business falls under.
What’s more, with the use of a state-of-the-art monitoring and management platform, the trustworthy MSP continuously monitors your network and infrastructure to ensure that everything is working properly, efficiently, and securely. In times like this, when there are files coming in and flowing out of your network, knowing that you have professional technicians versed in contemporary knowledge of threats and inefficiencies, alike, can be a huge benefit for your business.
Finally, an MSP does all this (and more) for a fraction of the cost of paying an onsite IT department (who would be working from home right now anyway). An MSP will help you reduce downtime, keep your network and infrastructure working effectively and securely, and do it for a static monthly cost. This allows you to cut your IT support costs and have a number that won’t change from month-to-month.
If you would like more information about how managed IT services can help your business in this time of crisis call Directive today at 607.433.2200.
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