Managed IT Solutions That Help Prepare You For Recession
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Hammond believes the UK is heading for a recession this autumn. A recession could spell the end for many businesses – but managed IT solutions could help you navigate the storm.
I hate to bring a dampner to a sunny Tuesday morning, but business leaders have to be realistic and consider solutions that will enable them to navigate the financial storm heading our way. Companies are right to be cautious and planning ahead now will help you to navigate an unpredictable future.
In times of recession, cost savings become the main driver. Cutting costs typically involves exchanging what you have for less expensive options that are more resilient.
During the global recession that followed the 2008 banking collapse, cloud computing and SaaS experienced a boom. If we can learn anything from history, managed IT solutions arguably offer a great escape from a financial slowdown.
Today’s IT solutions typically involve paying minimal monthly increments for a licence. This model lowers your initial layout and enables you to manage your month-to-month expenses more efficiently.
Replacing on-site servers is only the first step to cutting your business IT costs. IT solutions also give you more flexibility and more tools to adopt a hybrid work model and scale up or down in an instant.
Taking advantage of IT solution services also enables you to save money on infrastructure, software, and personnel over the long-term. With a knowledgable and experienced IT team on hand, can build customised solutions and only pay for the services you need.
Fully Migrate to the Cloud
Migrating to the cloud has been a steady process for over a decade. The pandemic pushed resistors over the edge. The majority of companies in the UK are now using either a multi-cloud strategy or a hybrid strategy.
Companies that are using a hybrid strategy could free up cash flow or investment capital by completely migrating to the cloud. As you probably know, on-premise data servers are expensive to run and guzzle energy.
With the recent rise in energy prices, UK businesses are expected to pay around 51% more on their energy bill than they were last year. And that’s in addition to the increase in National Insurance contributions.
Cloud solutions are achievable without worrying about how much capital you have in the bank. With a fixed monthly spend, you are able to predict margins and manage costs more accurately.
This reduces the risk of overspending whilst still giving you the confidence to make investments that will help you grow. In addition, our managed IT services, install a system that enables your team to work at maximum efficiency and achieve productivity targets.
Companies that are considering switching to a hybrid model also have the option to eliminate costs associated with renting office space – another cost that is rising.
The hybrid model gives firms the opportunity to downsize to smaller offices. A popular choice is to dispense with renting dedicated offices altogether and taking a less expensive option in a co-working space.
In the absence of private premises, you will not have a private and secure location to house an on-site server. Migrating your entire data base to the cloud gives you the ability to cut even more costs and move into a co-working space.
Decommission Your On-site Servers
Retiring your on-site servers is not as simple as migrating data to the cloud and pulling the plug. Data transfers require careful planning, meticulous asset management and adherence to data governance laws.
If the migration process is not performed correctly, there is a high risk that it will cause disruptions to operations. A loss of data or prolonged downtime could even be detrimental to your business continuity.
Auditing and tracking data are also required in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation. Cloud servers and tools also require correct configuration to protect you from a potential data breach.
A study by Ponemon and IBM revealed that one in five data breaches were caused by misconfigured cloud. Because cloud computing requires specialist skills, decommissioning your on-site servers, smoothly and efficiently is complex.
In addition, taking advantage of managed IT solution services that specialise in cloud computing enables you to enrich your cloud capabilities. Each of your IT assets will have an accreditation certificate which ensures you remain compliant.
Business Continuity Plan
Cloud solutions play a major role in disaster recovery and business continuity plans. An experienced IT provider will help you to build a framework of resilience that gives you more insight and flexibility to manage risks.
A disaster recovery plan is a minimum requirement. However, to ensure you have a comprehensive plan in place, you need to be aware of modern IT solutions that will enable you to minimise risks and navigate difficult periods – such as a recession.
There are, of course, a number of potential business risks other than an economic downturn. Whilst cutting IT costs will go a long way to freeing up cash flow in the short term, you also need to implement managed IT solutions that deliver long-term results.
Disaster recovery and business continuity plan cover you for every conceivable eventuality. The proposed solutions should see operations back up and running in the shortest possible time.
To that end, business continuity not only includes IT solutions that help to prevent disaster. It should also give a step-by-step process that enables you to recover the infrastructure, data and services you rely on to maintain maximum efficiency.
In the event of a recession, you may anticipate a downturn in revenue due to a dip in consumer spending. Whilst this may not seem like an immediate threat to your business continuity, if your competitors find a solution that enables them to lower their prices and smuggle your customers away, there could become a point where the future of your business is under threat.
Why do we say this?
In every crisis, solutions surface. Most business solutions today are digital and cloud-based. That means you need eyes and ears on the ground to discover the latest solutions that enable you to capture the lion’s share of the market before your competitors.
Managed IT providers typically have a team of experienced specialists that stay one step ahead of developments. The likelihood is they will recognise the solution to a business risk before you do.
Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should be revisited on an annual basis. This ensures you are up-to-date with global developments but can also continuously improve your IT solutions with deeper insights.
Some businesses do not take disaster recovery and business continuity plans seriously enough. With more than two decades of providing IT solutions, we have numerous clients come to us to find solutions when their business is feeling the most stress. This is not a strategy we recommend.
The reality is that devising a business continuity plan is daunting. There is so much to consider and there may well be risks you don’t even anticipate. Having said that, most businesses can identify the risks, but don’t know what the solutions are.
Our experts can help you to find solutions and quantify the potential loss of revenue in each scenario, and prioritise the risk potential to make sure you invest smartly in the right areas.
Train Staff About Cybersecurity Threats
It’s no secret that cybersecurity poses a threat to businesses of all sizes. However, it often goes unmentioned that training your staff to identify and deal with cybersecurity threats is the most effective and cost-efficient way of dealing protecting your business network.
We’ve previously written an article about the cybersecurity threats your staff should be aware of so we won’t cover that again here. What we do want to point out, however, is the reason why training your staff to recognise cybersecurity threats is your most potent defence.
The typical sale pitch emanating from cybersecurity firms and managed IT service providers is that technologies such as anti-virus software, endpoint security, virtual desktops and others are crucial to your cybersecurity defences.
Whilst it is true that technology has a significant part to play in securing your cybersecurity defences, technology is not 100% failproof. All these solutions are not crucial to every business. If you do choose to work with a managed IT solutions provider, choose a firm that is prepared to implement relevant solutions that meet your budget.
In our opinion, an educated workforce that is aware and alert to the threat of bad actors naturally reduces the risk of a data breach. Cybersecurity training is also more cost-effective than installing a bundle of technologies – some of which you may not even need.
Why do we say this?
It’s been established that employees are the root cause behind the majority of data breaches. Various statistics show that phishing is responsible for the highest percentage of data breaches – and phishing campaigns target employees that are unaware of the tools and techniques used by cybercriminals.
Managed IT teams can perform essential security updates, identify suspicious activity and block potential risks at source and run security analyses. But if employees know how to identify cybersecurity attacks and understand where threats can come from, there is less reliance on technology.
Benefits of Outsourced IT Management
We are hesitant to promote cost-cutting strategies that involve releasing members of your current IT team. Having insider knowledge and expertise you can rely on in-house is arguably more beneficial than relying solely on an outsourced IT team.
An IT service provider essentially acts as an extension to your IT team and effectively eliminates the need for you to grow your in-house team. According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), outsourcing your IT could cut costs by as much as 15%.
Even further savings are made over the long-term once you remove probable costs you would add to your payroll for IT specialists together with the cost associated with recruiting new staff to join your IT team.
In addition, the ISO noted that outsourcing improved efficiency, expedited product development and enabled companies to focus on their core competencies.
Outsourcing your IT gives your in-house team the opportunity to focus on their day-to-day role without having to concern themselves with complex distractions that rear up from time to time. You can leave the complex cases to IT specialists that already have the experience and knowledge to handle them swiftly.
Managed IT teams are typically staffed with specialists that already know how to overcome complexities. The chances are that our team will be able to resolve the majority of cloud-based problems in a shorter time than it would take a member of your in-house team to discover the issue and figure out a solution by browsing through IT forums.
Moreover, managed IT solutions give you access to highly trained IT professionals 24/7. No matter where your workforce is located, or what time of day it is, our award-winning support team is the New York City of IT help desks.
The ability to control your IT costs during a recession has a significant role to play in navigating a stormy period. A managed IT solutions team you can rely on to improve efficiency is equally as important.
IT solutions in the modern age, typically require specialist knowledge, an infrastructure that can facilitate modern working preferences and tools that improve productivity.
Micro Pro has multiple years of experience providing companies of all sizes with a custom-built infrastructure and IT strategy designed to help your business grow.
If Lord Hammond is right about an impending recession, the foreseeable future could present businesses with all types of issues that threaten the continuity of your business.
Technology may just be the answer, and if it is, a managed IT solutions team will ensure you significantly reduce the risks and get your strategy right every step of the way.