Rethinking IT: Is It Time for Me to Outsource My Managed Network Services?
When was the last time you walked into a store expecting to spend more than $50 without knowing what product you were going to buy? That seems as outdated as the travelling vacuum/shoe/carpet cleaner salesman. Can you imagine yourself with a drain problem and reaching for the Yellow Pages to look for the plumber with the biggest advertisement? Probably not.
How businesses are buying network services is changing, too–from buying patterns to products to support. Here’s what you need to know to keep up with the evolving market and find the right fit for your business.
Everyone needs IT.
You may think that only an IT department uses network services, but the truth is that all departments do, from Marketing and Finance to Sales and Human Resources. Not only do they need network connectivity, they need it in their hands, in their homes, and while they’re on vacation. So, how does a business handle each department’s IT needs without losing the integrity of the corporate structure or budget?
Some companies have an in-house IT department to handle this and other end-user support issues, including firewall and internal software issues. This model can be effective for controlling the IT expenditures, but it is also what tends to scare businesses from taking on a new project or application.
In recent years, businesses have increasingly looked to outsource all or some of their IT-related tasks. This has allowed companies to focus on their core value and business products and offferings.
What does the new buyer look like?
When you think of the buying process a couple of years ago, it went something like this: You established the need for something, then you went to the retailer to speak with a salesperson about your options. Next, you made the decision to buy or you waited and repeated the process again with another company.
It’s different now. According to Marcus Sheridan, in They Ask You Answer, “customers’ buying patterns have gone through a monumental shift over the past decade.” Customers want to go into the buying process with a leg up, and a lot more education.
They look up costs, reviews, “best of” lists, and compare options. Sheridan explains, “Today, on average, 70 percent of the buying decision is made before a prospect talks to the company.” Take buying a TV, for example. You probably start with with what size you want and then compare pricing, features, and reviews. Then you either order it online or walk into a Best Buy or Walmart to pick it up.
Nowadays, buying network services is a lot like buying a TV. You want the best product for the best value, and you’ll likely educate yourself on what’s available before you ever talk with a salesperson.
Why would you need network services?
There are several reasons businesses need network services, and they likely fit into one of two camps: proactive and reactive. In other words, either you know what you need and are ready to start shopping, or you’re having issues with your current service. Whatever the case, you need good network services to manage the following issues.
Power outages. When a power or internet outage happens, your business can suffer because most operations are 24/7 and need constant internet. If you experience an outage, chances are you’ll be in the market for redundant carriers.
Slow network speeds. If you’ve already purchased internet for your business, but you’re not getting appropriate speeds, you may need to consider:
- cloud providers
- how you send and receive data
- employee usage/consumption
- business usage/consumption
- voice over IP
Security. Unprotected access to the internet opens doors for attacks such as phishing emails or malware downloads that are allowing hackers access to your network. You may need help looking at the risk vs. investment in cyber security products and services to help keep your data safe.
Network accessibility. What if you don’t want your employees to have access to Netflix or YouTube during business hours? A good firewall can help with that. And if you have employees that need to access network resources from outside the office, you will need solutions for secure remote access.
A custom IT solution might be the way to go.
Today everyone is buying IT services, even when they’re not in IT. So how do you get the best solutions for your business, especially if you’re “non-technical?” A partner or agent, like Hyper Networks, is like having a personal shopper to help you find the best network services solution for your business. Just like you want to shop all the options when you’re buying a TV, you want all the options for buying network services—and an agent can help you navigate the process.