The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the global economy and created massive disturbance across the world. Its profound impact on businesses is staggering. Simply Business found that the material effect on small businesses turned out to be much higher than anticipated as UK SMEs were confronted with severe financial implications due to national lockdowns. The total cost of COVID-19 exceeded an estimated £126.6 billion over the past year. Much has been predicted about our daily lives post-COVID so far, but words mean one thing and experiencing it yet another. Businesses now must lead through the crisis and prepare for a brighter future. However, it can be a journey filled with risk without reliable support and strengthened IT infrastructure if embarking alone. While business leaders are optimistic about the foreseeable future, they might not be too confident about other aspects of business continuity. Towergate Insurance discovered that small and micro-businesses are not prepared and don’t have the knowledge to defend themselves in a cyberattack, with 81% of staff not even receiving adequate cybersecurity training. This article highlights the importance and key benefits of why a business should choose an IT package to tackle the ever-rising challenges SMEs will have to endure in the coming months.
The definition of an IT package
An IT package is a suite of industry-specific applications tailored to a particular market sector’s needs. It is designed to support a business in building and managing its IT infrastructure, providing the latest ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions by covering ‘must-haves’ for SME businesses.
Key benefits of an IT package for an SME
An IT package overseen by a Managed Service Provider has many advantages. It supplies a business with critical tools to strengthen, increase and maintain high-performance levels at all times.
- Cost-reduction: Outsourcing your IT support and investing in an IT package reduces your operational costs significantly. Building an IT department, hiring an IT manager and providing training is a massive expense, especially for smaller businesses. Investing in a long-term partnership with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and choosing an IT package can help you optimise your budget.
- Reduced IT maintenance: Having said that, instead of managing it on your own, having your IT infrastructure in one place also minimises the cost of hardware and software maintenance, whilst benefiting from the expert knowledge of a specialist IT engineer team.
- Flexible & customisable approach: Working with an MSP is not only beneficial for cost-effective reasons. Their knowledge of your industry, experience and understanding nature of working with a company like yours enables them to deliver the right applications necessary for your business.
- Top-class 24/7 IT support: With your IT infrastructure being in one place, your IT solutions provider will not only manage your applications and monitor performance, but will also analyse the results and report back to you to always stay ahead of any emerging threats or potential performance issues, whilst providing security assistance whenever needed.
- Industry-leading solutions: As the technology landscape grows ever more advanced, managing in-house hardware and software and keeping up with the latest trends becomes challenging for businesses in the SME market. An IT package delivers you the most up-to-date, affordable applications tailored to your business, whilst looking after your needs 24/7/365.
- Secured assets: Compared to commercial facilities, a Managed Service Provider’s network infrastructure, data centres and colocation services are much more robust and therefore are able to offer maximum protection to safeguard your data against breaches and cyberattacks of any kind.
- Service Level Agreement: You also benefit from an industry-leading Service Level Agreement (SLA) by purchasing an IT package. This commitment between you and your service provider includes pre-agreed terms about the level of service, quality of products and responsibilities your provider guarantees to deliver. It ensures full control of your applications by troubleshooting any occurring issues in a given timeframe, resulting in excellent service continuity.
Case #1: A new business is looking to set up its IT infrastructure from scratch
Launching a business requires the best efforts of entrepreneurs in today’s ultra-competitive world – demanding financial preparations, excellent knowledge of the industry and consideration and planning of other facets of business continuity. Building an IT infrastructure from the ground up and establishing essential practices that ensure flawless operations can be a pretty daunting task, even for experienced business leaders. Due to the constant technological developments, an even more complicated aspect of a business launch is determining what products or services to include in a cybersecurity checklist.
How an IT package can help: It has the most significant advantage of delivering a suite of applications that covers all the fundamentals necessary for a successful launch and to deliver results in the long term. With or without an in-house IT department or with no IT know-how, these market-centric, ‘off-the-rack’ application solutions meet the technical needs of any SME. The selected products reflect the latest technological developments, explicitly designed for the needs of small and medium businesses.
Case #2: A company has been growing faster than its infrastructure
When a company is finally in growth mode, it is relatively easy to overlook the smaller technical parts. It’s one thing to have a functioning infrastructure, but completing the necessary tasks to keep it up-to-date is the time consuming and often forgotten part. Yet, assessing the state of one’s current IT infrastructure is crucial, as it not only enables future expansion, but also successful daily operations depend on it. Outgrown premises, outdated, non-functioning hardware and software result in IT demands a business cannot handle, which will eventually manifest in increased staff turnover, decreased productivity and reputational issues, amongst other things.
How an IT package can help: When a business has too much on its shoulders, outsourcing and scaling up its infrastructure is the best way to address any issues. These comprehensive, managed services offer a one-stop solution – an automatically configured infrastructure to businesses of the SME market. The ready-made applications suite included in the package are designed to adhere to any growing company’s exceptionally high standards and technical needs in their given market sector. All this, coupled with 24/7/365 remote infrastructure support, sets a business on the right path for great success.
Case #3: A business is looking for cost-effective solutions to minimise downtime and increase productivity levels
However, the financial implication is the main criteria when upscaling IT infrastructure, besides getting access to top-class, cutting-edge technology. Although it is a long-term investment, a start-up might not be able to dedicate an adequate amount of resource to its IT budget. Implementing the right solutions a business can afford is of the utmost importance – Gartner estimates the average cost of IT downtime is £4,040 per minute, which equates to more than £216,403 an hour. Ignoring this can seriously affect businesses and cause not only financial and reputational damage and lower productivity levels, but moreso, non-compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation can result in massive penalties too.
How an IT package can help: As the suite of applications come in a package, they are more affordable than buying services individually. In addition to delivering the latest available commodities for a much lower cost, an IT package boosts your productivity levels. It eliminates the need to hire and train expensive IT staff and saves you time fixing issues without expert support. Above all, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) covers all your technology needs by monitoring all activity, detecting and improving any network intrusion to make sure you receive maximum protection without ever having to compromise your productivity.
IT’s your decision.
The time has come for businesses to acknowledge and harness the power of modern technology. It can be optimised to enhance business communication, boost efficiency and further increase productivity when installed accordingly. At times, when a pandemic can change our lives overnight, it is crucial to have a backup plan. Utilising its ten-year experience within the financial and media arena, coupled with the growth of Cloud telephony, as an integration tool for CRM, TWC IT Solutions has developed three specific IT packages to remove the pain from SMEs by choosing best-in-class applications and solutions to support businesses and deliver strategically-driven customer excellence. The support services included in the packages are accredited by some of the world’s leading vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, BT Wholesale and BroadSoft, enabling us to deliver the highest levels of business capabilities and innovations to our customers. If you are interested in learning more about TWC’s newly introduced market-centric packages, please reach out and contact us. We’ve got IT covered.