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Outsourcing operations to IT service providers is common among small and midsize businesses (SMBs), according to a CompTIA survey. More than 70 percent of the 500 SMBs participating in the survey said that they use an outside IT firm at least occasionally. Most often, the SMBs hire the IT service providers to troubleshoot computer and network problems as well as repair equipment. However, the SMBs divulged that they also need help with other IT challenges they are facing.

Here are three other IT issues that SMBs often need help with:

1. IT Security

Being small does not make SMBs invisible to cybercriminals. On the contrary, it makes them prime targets. Cybercriminals know that many SMBs do not invest much money in their IT security measures due to either ignorance or a lack of resources.

To thwart attacks, you have to beef up your company's IT security. It is not easy to set up and manage intrusion detection systems, perform security assessments, and implement other security measures. Having an IT service provider help you with these tasks is a good idea if you are not knowledgeable in IT security practices. This should be one of the primary missions of an IT service provider. We (CTS), for example, help our clients set up digital defense systems, both external and internal with the use of industrial firewalls that include Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS / IDS), Gateway Anti-virus / Anti-malware, and Risk Assessment scans to name a few. Protection against cyber attacks is not an option, it's a necessity. Having the proper layered security engaged on your network is essential, and you will need help to not only get it done correctly but have it audited regularly. 

2. Data Management

The amount of data in the world is growing at an alarming rate. According to IDC analysts, it is doubling every two years. Given this flood of data, it is easy to understand why SMBs often need help with data management.

If your business is facing rapidly growing pools of data, an IT service provider can help you set up the systems you need to securely store and back it up. This should be a hybrid approach, including both onsite and offsite storage. More important, an IT service provider can help you transform that raw data into information that you can use to make better business decisions.

3. IT Infrastructure Upgrades

Like many SMBs, your hardware and software may be getting out of date. Determining which components to upgrade or replace is a central issue that you must address. A lot of office productivity can be lost, by hanging onto older equipment. This is a good time for you to explore the pros and cons of shifting to newer (and faster) technologies including switches, routers, phone systems, workstations, servers. cloud services and virtualization. An IT service provider can help you determine what and how much needs to change as well as assist you in making those changes. These changes should be customized to the way that you need to do business. 

Put Your Focus Where It Belongs

Just like large companies, SMBs need their IT systems to operate efficiently, effectively, and securely. If you lack the expertise and resources required to make this a reality, you can turn to an IT service provider for help. By offloading intrusion detection, data backups, infrastructure upgrades, and other IT operations to an experienced IT service provider, you can focus on what you do best: running your business.

To find out more about what CTS can do for your business, please call (540-431-4161) or click today!

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