Five Ways Managed IT Support Can Eliminate System Outages and Downtime

Managed IT support is an ongoing service where a business delegates all the responsibility for monitoring its networks, keeping systems updated, identifying potential issues or security threats and implementing corrective action.

This support is beneficial for numerous reasons, not least that it can avoid bottlenecks in data, changes in the organisation’s requirements, or issues linked to storage capacity that can be resolved before they become a serious problem.

Here the team at Jera explain how managed IT support facilitates better productivity and reductions in downtime and why these advantages save a business significantly more than the cost of hiring a professional IT services provider.

What Does System Downtime Cost?

We often speak with new clients who have experienced severe disruption or whole systems outages – and know first-hand how detrimental this can be to a business. Imagine being unable to answer a call, receive a client order, dispatch goods, send emails or update a customer account for a couple of hours, days or weeks.

There isn’t an exact way to calculate the cost of downtime, but this can multiply with alarming speed if you cannot find an immediate fix or do not know the underlying issue that has caused a malfunction.

In short, the cost of downtime will depend on how much of your business can continue to function without a particular system, database or resource, the proportion of your work providing services or goods that can proceed during disruption, and what that equates to in lost revenues or increasing liabilities.

There are two core reasons a managed IT support service can prevent these costs from escalating:

  • Resolving a problem quickly, deploying technical expertise to introduce a fix, patch or correction.
  • Preventing the problem from occurring in the first place through ongoing monitoring, systems testing, software updates and cyber security controls.

Many straightforward tasks, such as introducing security patches as they become available and keeping your software up to speed, can ensure systems run smoothly. The added benefit of having a team of skilled engineers on hand is that it provides the assurance that if anything unexpected happens, they will react quickly.

How Does a Managed IT Support Service Provider Prevent Outages?

Next, we’ll work through five of the primary elements of a service management provider to showcase how these all slot together and proactively work to protect your business from outages.

1. Fast, Reliable Responsiveness

Having an IT help desk team on standby offers excellent peace of mind. IT technicians can help with any queries that emerge, whether a general question about why a software suite isn’t responding as it should or to look into concerns about a sluggish network connection or a patchy broadband link.

Businesses can raise support tickets at any time and receive excellent service levels, with prompt fixes, upgrades or assurances if an issue isn’t related to any aspect of the company’s IT infrastructure – such as a localised power or phone line outage.

In most cases, managed IT means fewer issues to contend with since engineers and technicians deploy varied strategies to keep your systems working optimally. That includes:

  • Regular systems monitoring – looking for bottlenecks or performance issues.
  • Quick, independent fixes – installing updates or patches before a problem materialises.
  • Routine maintenance – ensuring software and networks are running at a good level.

By keeping an eye on your digital environment, testing systems to ensure speeds and performance are acceptable, and prioritising optimisation and measures to prevent outages, you can focus on running your business, leaving your support provider to deal with your IT in the background.

2. Preventing Hardware Failures

While many businesses assume that managed IT is all about software, it is also a valuable service for companies reliant on hardware – where faulty connections, lack of data storage capacity or glitches can cause no end of problems. Managed IT providers can monitor hardware components and arrange periodic servicing and maintenance.

Recognising early indications of potential failures before they happen can save considerable cost, either replacing or repairing components, upgrading connections and wiring, or suggesting the best value replacements.

Rather than waiting for a hardware failure and the downtime a breakdown can cause, an IT provider will ensure you are in a good position to guarantee continuity.

That could involve introducing efficient and reliable data backups and storage systems, disaster recovery strategies and testing protocols to ensure any business-critical hardware is kept under careful observation.

3. Detecting Network Instability and Emerging Security Threats

In so many scenarios, outages and downtime can be prevented, and paying attention to initial niggles may avoid any significant disruption. Examples include a printer that doesn’t work well, software that cuts out or randomly stops functioning, or any aspect of your network that feels unreliable.

Managed IT support teams categorise each support ticket raised according to priority – ensuring we can deal with emergencies and crises first. Any ongoing problems, however minor, should be logged and investigated.

Issues that impact your productivity, expose your business to delays or errors, or that mean you can’t work as fast or as efficiently as you would like should be resolved at the first opportunity.

Our technicians also monitor your networks on a rolling basis to look for indications of instability or vulnerabilities in your security protection – that could, if left unaddressed, escalate into outages that affect the entirety of your network.

Introducing measures to protect against failures, such as a backup internet connection or a ‘failover system’ that kicks in if any unexpected problems occur, can also be incredibly useful, accompanied by preventative monitoring to reduce the risk of an outage.

4. Professional Infrastructure Management Services Advice and Information

There is little so worrying as having a crucial system stop functioning or finding that one of your networks appears to have disappeared and not knowing what to do, how to resolve the problem, or whether you can recover your data.

Contacting your managed services provider desk provides expert assistance from step one, alleviating your concerns and ensuring you know the correct way forward. For instance, if you are worried about a data breach or potential intrusion, your technician may need to walk you through a full system shutdown to control the situation.

A successful cybersecurity hack is significantly less likely to occur when your support provider implements a series of safeguards, including intrusion detection tools, firewalls and antivirus features to protect your IT environment.

The evolving nature of cybercrimes commands regular security assessments, where a training programme or security policy may benefit your staff in knowing how to spot an attempted breach and what to do.

5. Early Detection of Outage Risks

Finally, if an outage occurs for any reason, a managed service provider will identify this immediately and work on bringing your services back online.

This problem could apply to every organisation using a particular software suite or program, in which case an engineer can liaise with the vendor to provide updates and ensure that they can get moving as soon as a resolution is available.

The resulting cost savings from having always-on managed IT services assistance, professional guidance, independent advice and continual monitoring can save a huge amount of stress, downtime and customer dissatisfaction, keeping you ahead of any potential problems – and the impact on your revenues.