Managed IT Services vs. “Office Nerd” for Small Business

There's a big difference between employing managed IT services and designating an "office nerd" to do the job. Learn which one you need.


As a small business, it’s important to know how to trim the fat off of your budget. However, knowing which aspects are considered the fat is not always easy. And while it’s beneficial to eliminate unnecessary expenses, your company may need certain things more than you believe or are able to recognize. One good example is managed IT services.

Using managed IT services can be extremely beneficial, especially for businesses dealing with an abundance of sensitive information,  However, the cost and commitment that comes with IT services makes many companies hesitant to begin the process.

As a result, the tech problems and network errors fall into the lap of the “office nerd,” Ted. (Sorry to the Teds of the world out there).

Don’t get us wrong, Ted is the perfect go-to guy when a cord comes unplugged or the internet “breaks,” but how do you know for sure that it’s time to employ managed IT services? Lucky for you, there are signs.

Below we will discuss 5 different signs that your small business needs managed IT services that go beyond the capabilities of your designated “office nerd.”

5 Signs You Need Managed IT Services

How well do you know the severity of any given tech issue? When it comes to relying on a good network to run your business, or storing sensitive data, you want to make sure all cybercrime is in the circuits.

Here are 5 signs that you need managed IT services over an in-house dedicated IT employee:

  • You have frequent tech problems
  • You have outstanding projects that are incomplete
  • You fear cyberattacks
  • You’re worried about data backup
  • You have no IT strategy

1. You Have Frequent Tech Problems

If you’re constantly dealing with technological issues, then it’s likely time to begin considering managed IT services. Your office nerd may be able to handle a few hiccups here and there, but if their job role isn’t specific to technological difficulties, then these frequent issues will ultimately decrease your workplace productivity, including his own, because you keep pulling him away from his actual job.

Not to mention the long learning curve that comes with handling tech problems. A managed IT services provider will have already done their research, and will cut back on the amount of trial-and-error troubleshooting time that an office nerd usually needs.

It could also mean that you need tech upgrades and replacements. An IT provider makes this process hands-free for you, and will eliminate that extra time spent fussing with your technology.

Keeping software and hardware updated and backing up data regularly reduces this issue. This will help improve work efficiency and can ultimately help your business grow overall.

2. You Have Outstanding Projects

We’ve all been there. You have such big plans for a project, and then suddenly something urgent comes up that draws your attention.

Now this once soon-to-be-finished project sits on the backburner alongside all the other projects awaiting completion. And Ted certainly doesn’t have time for it.

Not only are these outstanding projects a waste of time and money, but it can quickly become confusing which projects are at what percentage of completion when there are several going on at once.

Managed IT services are a great way to remedy this problem. Provide them with as much detail about the outstanding projects as possible, and they should know where to begin. They can also make recommendations for projects that you should invest in. On the flip side, they will be able to help you identify software or other devices that you may no longer need. 

Not only will this help you finish your outstanding projects, but it will also make future projects much quicker. You’ll also have a more accurate timetable for when new equipment or software will be ready for use. And when you know how long it takes to order and finish setting up a workstation, you can have one ready on your new employee’s first day.

3. You Fear Cyberattacks

Nothing should be more secure at your business than your sensitive information. And the term “information” can encompass a lot of things for Ted to try and balance. This includes:

  • Network passwords
  • License keys
  • Login information

It’s better to be safe than sorry, and managed IT services can help drastically improve your cybersecurity. This is especially important as more and more businesses depend on Cloud storage.

The increase in remote workers also makes cybersecurity a high priority for small- to medium-sized businesses. And the bigger your workforce, the higher the need for reliable, strong cybersecurity.

4. You’re Worried About Data Backup

If you or your “office nerd” isn’t 100% certain that your data is backed up correctly, it can linger in your mind like an IT oven you’re not fully certain you turned off when calling it a night. And in the event you experience data loss and the backups aren’t run properly, your company will face a massive setback that could cripple many small businesses.

It’s of the utmost importance that your data is being backed up correctly and to a secure server. To achieve this, it’s best to employ managed IT services. The proper support will keep all of your information and data safe and secure.

5. You Have No IT Strategy 

As you slowly add more and more devices to your workplace, software upgrades will become more common, leading to an eventual room filled with “upgrade later” clickers. It service pros forgo that luxury, and help you automatically map out an IT strategy.

An IT provider can help you create a strategy that will ensure your assets always at least meet industry standards. A planned-out strategy is also a great tool for creating room for IT support in your budget.

Depending on your budget, a provider can create an all-encompassing strategy that will grow with your company, rather than your business needs one day outgrowing the provider.

What’s Next?

There’s no shame in admitting that your business needs have outgrown the capabilities of your designated in-house IT technician. In fact, this is often a sign of business growth, and opens the door for many possibilities.  

If any, or all, of those 5 signs are present in your daily work life, it’s time to make room in the budget for managed IT services. If you had previously had IT services, then you likely already know the steps for onboarding an IT service provider.

If not, don’t sweat. Just have as much information as possible gathered and ready for delivery when you bring in a new IT provider. Once it’s gained full access to all your networks, devices, and so on, it can begin eliminating your obstacles to success.

Sorry, Ted, thanks for everything.

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