As an architect, you may think information technology is irrelevant to your industry.
Digital software and design are transforming architecture—and have been for some time. To stay relevant, all architecture firms should consider IT managed services.
Information technology is continually evolving and requires IT staffing to function properly. Focus on your business providing high-quality service and let dedicated experts maintain a secure computing infrastructure.
Still need convincing? Let’s discuss managed IT services and how architects and technology services go hand in hand.
What Are Managed IT Services?
A managed service provider (MSP) partners with companies to ensure that their information technology infrastructure is properly supporting their business goals.
An MSP will monitor your entire network remotely—around the clock—to identify and fix problems before they affect your business operations. They will protect your company in emergency situations by providing a solution to backup and recover your data.
They’ll have your back during business hours, too. An MSP can also act as IT support, providing a help desk for your employees. This means you and your staff can focus on the important tasks rather than troubleshooting IT issues.
Services an MSP may provide include remote support, consulting services, proactive maintenance, and cloud computing.
Remote IT Staffing and Support
Without proper staffing, your firm is exposed to downtime, slow response times, workflow disruption, and expensive emergencies. But in-house staffing is expensive.
Pay Only for What You Need
One of the most significant benefits of a managed IT services provider (MSP) is that it is considerably less costly than hiring full-time staff. With a contract that usually outlines services for a monthly fee, you know what to expect and can budget appropriately.
With an in-house staff, you’re left to worry about overtime and other surprise expenses. Remote support requires you to scale your IT services. You’ll only pay for what you use and need, which provides impressive cost savings.
Access the Latest and Greatest Technology
With an MSP, you’ll always have access to the most current technology available.
By outsourcing your firm’s information technology efforts, you won’t have to spend time keeping up with new vulnerabilities, patches, and updates. You can sit back and let someone else manage your IT infrastructure and ensure your firm remains compliant.
Consulting Services for Architecture Firms
The right MSP will help you update your software and hardware architecture, create a digital strategy, and improve workflows.
The right provider will take the time to understand the needs of your business. Then, they’ll outline an IT strategy through careful planning and execution.
To do this, the provider will examine your current software solutions and how your team uses them. They will also identify any holes in your workflow and opportunities for automation. From here, they’ll create a strategy that will streamline your infrastructure and set KPIs.
A Collaborative Relationship
A successful IT consulting and client relationship depends on effective collaboration and visibility. You must to work closely with your provider to discover the pain points in your workflows and performance.
An MSP should always provide a customer dashboard that gives you visibility into your IT environment. This web-based platform will let you know what your MSP is working on and what is occurring within your IT infrastructure.
This dashboard should allow you the ability to see your IT environment at a glance, then into individual components. None of this should be kept secret from you, so you should be able to run reports as needed to help you with future IT planning.
Working with a provider you trust is important because they will get to know your business intimately. IT consultants will recommend steps for improvement and assist with putting them into action.
The Importance of Proactive Maintenance
Stop relying on the break/fix method.
Traditional business models rely on the IT team’s ability to fix problems as quickly as possible. With data breaches on the rise, it’s imperative to have a plan to protect company, employee, and client data. Imagine if the glitches never had a chance to occur.
An MSP monitors your system to prevent malfunctions and incompatibilities before you’re aware a problem could exist. All of this is done remotely with no need for an onsite visit. You will accomplish more in a day because you have a dedicated team looking out for you.
Stay Up to Date
If your IT team is in-house, you’re relying on them to keep track of essential updates and patches. If your staff is stretched too thin, these pending updates could go undone. And if they don’t, your business will grind to a halt as new solutions install.
A remote MSP typically accesses your solutions during the off-hours—when there is no one at work to interrupt.
Protect Your Business with Improved Security
You may think IT services are expensive, but external security threats are much worse. In the U.S., one data breach can cost a company upwards of $8 million. This average is up 12 percent over the last five years!
But it’s impossible to put a price tag on a data breach.
You’ll need to incorporate vulnerability scanning into your digital strategy. This scanning identifies potential threats and weaknesses so you can address them quickly. Sure, an in-house IT staff could do this, but they might not know how to handle what they discover.
Strong Antivirus Programs
We all know antivirus programs are important, but how many times have you ignored an update notification? This is an unsafe practice. “Snoozing” these updates introduce risks into shared systems—making your entire IT infrastructure less safe.
A remote IT provider can update your system during downtime. This way, your business day won’t be interrupted. In the long run, you will be reducing potential downtime due to viruses.
Eliminate Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are common on shared networks, and they’re a real security threat.
Phishing is the process of tempting users to click on links to websites that contain malicious code. Sometimes the links will grant unauthorized access to dangerous hackers.
By far the most common phishing scam involves the hacker posing as a legitimate company and attempting to coax unauthorized information from the target (such as login information). They do this by establishing alarm, such as sending a pretend message from an institution you trust.
For example, an email might come through from your bank alerting you to a breach in information. They’ll provide a link and ask you to log in through their website. The website is actually fake, and logging in will only allow the hackers to gain your login details.
Sometimes, the phishing scam will look like it is coming from management (or even the IT team). They might ask you to change your password or update your information. Sometimes, they’ll demand credit card information to keep a software you use from expiring.
Not only will an MSP educate your team on safe email practices, they’ll scan incoming emails to mitigate risks before potential threats reach employee inboxes.
Cloud Computing Services
Among the services the most competitive IT service providers offer are cloud computing services.
These services are provided over a dedicated network. The delivery is on-demand and you only pay for what you use. These services can be limited to development platforms or could include storage or remote desktops (VPN).
Remote desktops allow you and your employees to be more productive, providing the ability to work from anywhere when there is a need.
Companies use cloud computing to address a number of infrastructure needs. These applications include customer relationship management, storage, services, and database needs.
Traditionally, IT software is implemented over time. Cloud computing provides instant IT resources and costs are based on usage. This provides businesses the ability to manage their budgets more efficiently.
There are several other benefits to implementing cloud computing, such as
- Remote access to business resources and content
- Improved scalability to meet demand
- Lower infrastructure costs
- Greater organization productivity
- Enhanced protection of information assets
Maximize the Benefits of Information Technology
By realizing your IT staffing needs, you’ll experience the benefits of a solid infrastructure while minimizing headaches and potential threats. Don’t be fooled into believing architecture firms are not at risk of cyberattack.
We would love the opportunity to get to know you and your firm to decide which IT managed services will fit you. Let us fulfill your technology needs so that you can get back to performing your services well.
Want to know if we’re a good fit for your business? Contact us today!