After the new coronavirus caused months of disruption to normal business procedures, many businesses are starting to look ahead to resuming in-office work.
Even when employees start to file back into the office, things won’t look the same as they did before the majority of employees were working from home.
At The KR Group, we’re working with many of our customers to support their IT needs as they transition back to their offices.
Managed service providers (MSPs), like us, are helpful. They take care of the IT portion of transitioning back, so you have one less thing on your plate and can spend time on other equally as important areas of your business.
Benefits of relying on an MSP to transition back to the office
1. Managed IT services can scale
MSPs can help you adjust to a growing and shrinking workforce.
If you need to let go of employees – temporarily or permanently – managed services can adapt to the change. Since you pay per user, your cost will decrease.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to add employees back into your network, managed services can take care of the technical side of things. For example, if you revoked their network access and removed them from your antivirus and anti-spam policies, an MSP can reverse those changes.
Keep in mind, that just as fewer users decrease your monthly bill, more users increase it.
2. Managed IT services can save you money.
Businesses that are worried about the economic impact of the coronavirus look to IT as an area in which to cut costs.
Having updated software and adequate hardware is important to running your business, though, since it is what helps you make money.
If members of your IT department have yet to return to the office but other employees are returning, you’ll still need IT support. An MSP can provide the IT support necessary to keep you operating, and as a benefit, many contracts cost less an in-house IT manager.
3. MSPs have back-tested knowledge
Even under normal circumstances, one of the advantages of managed IT services is since they service multiple companies, they have back-tested knowledge to address many problems.
This holds true for transitioning to and from a remote workforce. MSPs have had to help all of their customers to some extent with adjusting to a remote workforce, and they continue to provide unilateral support as businesses bring employees back into the office.
4. Managed IT services offer redundancy
If absences due to COVID-19 have you thinking about redundancy within your IT department, turning partially or completely to managed IT services can guarantee you’ll always have an engineer ready to address your IT needs.
While the benefits of managed services during this time are great, what does it look like to use managed services when your employees are rejoining your brick and mortar workforce?
How MSPs support your transition back to the office
We hope the benefits of relying on managed services during this time is obvious, but we know there are still many questions about what business will look like – including the IT industry.
We’ve been asked several questions about what managed services will look like while businesses transition back to in-person office work, including:
- Can managed services help reconfigure IT environments to support in-office employees?
- Will on-site assistance be available for more than emergencies?
- Are pre-scheduled on-site times going to come back?
The answers to these questions can help you understand what managed IT services will look like during this phase of the coronavirus response. Ultimately, they help you know what to expect from your MSP.
1. Reconfiguring IT to support in-office employees
If a remote workforce wasn’t already part of your business structure, you likely had to invest in the infrastructure to make it possible. You also had to configure your IT environment to support this new set up.
Any changes that impact the functionality of your in-office network will need to be adjusted.
However, you may want to consider keeping your remote workforce configured. This gives employees the ability to still work from home, even if it isn’t every day of the week. It also prevents you from needing to redo your remote workforce infrastructure should you need to rely on it again in the future.
Along with reconfiguring, you should also check what IT systems your employees may need a refresher on. There are likely components of your IT environment they haven’t accessed in months. If the process was complex or new, they may have forgotten how to do it.
2. The return of on-site assistance
During the worst parts of the coronavirus outbreak, MSPs reserved on-site assistance for emergencies only.
Engineers exhausted every remote solution before deeming an on-site visit necessary. This kept engineers working at home and limited the number of people you physically interacted with.
As restrictions become more lenient, on-site assistance can once again be used for more than just emergencies.
If you’re comfortable, engineers can start scheduling on-site assistance for problems that are solved easier and quicker when on-site.
Keep in mind, on-site assistance will look different than it did before, though.
Engineers will be following the CDC’s guidelines and wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance. This means you’ll no longer be able to look over an engineer’s shoulder while they’re resolving your issue.
3. Resuming regularly scheduled on-site visits
Along with on-site visits to resolve issues, MSPs also schedule dedicated time to be on-site and available to address your IT issues.
This component of managed services has been on hold while employees were refraining from working in company offices.
The return to the office means these pre-scheduled on-site times can also make a comeback.
The managed services engineer and you will continue to take extra safety precautions.
MSPs will also understand if you want to wait to resume pre-scheduled on-site visits to reduce the traffic within your company as the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline.
Whatever the transition back to the office looks like, MSPs are ready to support you while practicing social distancing guidelines.
Why consider managed IT services?
If you’re looking for the ability to scale, cost savings, back-tested knowledge, and redundancy, managed IT services are your best option for IT support.
These benefits are especially evident when you’re transitioning back to your office after your employees have been working remotely.
While the level of service and expertise remains the same, it does look differently while businesses, including your MSP, transition back to working on-site.
You might need to lean on your MSP a little more as you reconfigure your network to support on-site employees again.
While on-site assistance is once again available, engineers will keep social distancing protocols in mind. When it comes to pre-scheduled visits, the decision is up to you if you want to resume those or hold off.
Managed services make sense for many businesses as they look for the best option to support changes in their workforce.
However, that support can come in different forms. To determine which type of managed services contract is best for you, check out our free flowchart.