For companies both large and small, it is critical to have a robust IT infrastructure in place to survive in New York City’s competitive business world. Neglecting important IT management—especially in relation to cybersecurity and efficiency—would spell disaster for any business in the Big Apple. 

In fact, cybersecurity has become one of New York City businesses’ top priorities in recent years, according to the Harvard Business Review, and for good reason. The average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, says IBM, a cost that could easily tank a business.

What’s more, the cost of downtime is an average of anywhere between $140,000 to $540,000 per hour, depending on the size of your company. If you’re not actively monitoring your systems for vulnerabilities and inefficiencies, downtime can have a huge financial impact on your business.

But how can you be sure your systems are being adequately protected? Chances are, they aren’t—according to this Varoins report, only 5% of businesses have sufficient cybersecurity protections in place. 

Luckily, there are some pretty clear signs that can let you know if it’s time to make the switch from your current IT support to an outsourced Managed IT Services company who can offer total IT management and cybersecurity for businesses.

Here’s what you should look out for:

#1: Your current IT provider takes a break/fix approach

Unfortunately, many IT companies utilize an outdated break/fix approach. Rather than addressing backend issues before they lead to more damaging problems, some companies will only come to your aid when issues have already arisen. 

They might only provide temporary fixes too, considering project-based IT professionals generally aren’t motivated to provide long-term solutions that are customized to your business needs. Needless to say, the break/fix approach has the potential to cause you a significant amount of downtime and lots of unexpected costs that make it difficult to budget for your IT.

If your current provider follows this model, now is the time to start your search elsewhere. Your provider should be monitoring your systems 24/7 to check for system vulnerabilities, which ensures they can be patched immediately before being exploited by hackers. 

A reliable Managed Service Provider (MSP) is also more motivated to provide long-term solutions to prevent any tech issues down the line because they work on a month-to-month basis. This monthly service model also ensures you understand your IT costs upfront and will have fewer unexpected costs. 

With the right service provider in place, you are less likely to suffer a tech disruption in your business, and you won’t have to suffer a loss of customers or profits. 

#2: Your current IT provider has slow response times

A growing business needs a high level of IT support, but if your current provider is slow to respond when you need their services, then you are going to face an increased period of disruption in your business. You might struggle to communicate effectively with customers and clients if your computers are down, and if your business is entirely online-based, then you might have to face temporary closure. 

With the right Managed Service Provider, you will get the help you need right when you need it. They are generally on-call at all hours for remote and on-site support, meaning you can still function in today’s always-on digital world, even when IT issues come up. The last thing you need when an IT problem occurs is to have to wait hours or even days for your provider to implement a solution.

#3: Your current IT provider doesn’t offer comprehensive cybersecurity

According to Techrepublic, 90% of data breaches in the US occur in New York City and California. Should your business be hit by a hacking attempt, you will face a loss of reputation, a downturn in customers, and a huge financial backlash. 

Your best defense is an MSP who offers a comprehensive cybersecurity plan to protect your business from said data breaches, caused by advanced ransomware attacks, viruses, and other hacking attempts. If you don’t currently have a comprehensive security plan that involves continual system monitoring, data backup and disaster recovery, layered security, and more, you’re much more likely to suffer an attack.

#4: You are dealing with frequent IT issues

You are running a business—you shouldn’t have to worry about spending your time addressing computer crashes, internet lag, and any other issues that cause slowdown in your business. Your provider should be making your IT infrastructure work for your business, not the other way around.

Frequent IT issues can be prevented with the right IT management. MSPs can offer assessment services that analyze which systems or equipment is being under or overused, which technology or storage expansions you should be making, and which hardware or software is unnecessary to your business. This helps eliminate inefficiencies that cause frequent IT issues as well as cut costs on equipment you don’t need.

#5: Your current IT provider offers generic solutions

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to managing your IT needs. Every business is different, with strategies and goals that are uniquely focussed. 

Your service provider needs to understand your business strategy, and they need to provide you with a tailored service that is unique to your needs. If your current company isn’t offering you personalized support, then you need to find another provider who is prepared to address the specific needs of your business.

MSPs offer consulting services to map out short-term and long-term strategies for your IT that align with your business goals. If your IT doesn’t support your unique business model and plans for growth and scalability, it will cost you more money than necessary and affect your business’s ability to succeed.

What Now?

If you know it’s time to start looking for a Managed Service Provider for your business, start with the following steps:

  • Determine what your business needs. It might be a more robust approach to cybersecurity. Or it could be an infrastructure that can scale with the needs of your business. Make a note, as you will know what to look for when searching for a new provider.
  • Look for a provider who will offer you a personalized approach. You need somebody who fully understands your business model and who will help you work towards your goals, so look for an MSP who can offer you IT consulting alongside management support. 
  • Ensure the MSP you choose offers round-the-clock monitoring. This will reduce the risk of downtime, as they will have the expertise to deal with cyber threats and technological issues before they impact upon your business. 

With cybercrime increasing on a daily basis and becoming more advanced, businesses can’t afford to continue working with a provider that can’t meet their needs. So, for the protection of your business, begin your search for a new MSP as soon as you recognize these signs in your business.