Organizations with one or more branch offices have two primary IT concerns: providing a consistent user experience and ensuring security, regulatory compliance and data protection. But while most remote sites have basic IT infrastructure and services, they typically rely on the main office for IT resources and support.
That puts a heavy burden on headquarters IT teams, who often must travel long distances to support remote locations. Strained IT departments with flat or shrinking budgets find it especially difficult to manage branch office IT. However, failure to provide branch offices with the same capabilities as the main office can drag down productivity and increase risk for the entire organization.
In many cases, it’s simply not realistic to upgrade the IT infrastructure and hire IT personnel for all branch locations. Some remote sites may only have a handful of employees, making it difficult to justify such investments. And localized management and support can create a fragmented IT environment that’s operationally inefficient.
That’s why many organizations are turning to managed services and the cloud to overcome the challenges of branch office IT. Managed services enable you to outsource branch office IT management to an outside team of experts. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and other cloud services shift the responsibility of implementing and maintaining core infrastructure to a service provider.
Benefits of Managed Services for Branch Office IT
With managed services, highly trained IT professionals ensure that branch offices can access the applications and data they need while minimizing downtime and security risks. The managed services provider (MSP) also handles day-to-day tasks such as patching and security updates, monitoring security devices and backups, and troubleshooting system and network problems.
Most importantly, the MSP provides branch office employees and remote and mobile workers with responsive help desk support. This helps to maximize productivity and deliver the best possible customer experience while enabling in-house IT to devote more time to strategic initiatives.
Benefits of the Cloud for Branch Office IT
IaaS and cloud-based services such as hosted phone systems, email and data backup require minimal upfront costs and allow you to operate more efficiently. Instead of buying equipment for every branch location and trying to manage and maintain it yourself, you can leverage the technology and expertise of a cloud service provider.
For example, managing data backup and purchasing storage infrastructure for remote branches adds complexity and cost. Cloud-based backup allows you to use a service provider’s enterprise-class technology, which is maintained, updated and supported by the provider’s IT team.
Similarly, the security tools needed to deal with today’s sophisticated threats can be moved to the cloud. This not only streamlines your branch office infrastructure, but enables you to protect your network with more advanced security solutions and expertise.
The cloud also helps improve business continuity. Every component of the IT infrastructure is a potential point of failure, but cloud providers have redundant systems to reduce the risk of downtime. These resources are typically spread across multiple regions to increase resiliency in a disaster.
How IronLogix Can Help
Without the right tools and adequate in-house IT resources, it’s extremely challenging to manage branch office IT. IronLogix has the depth of expertise and technology tools to support your offices throughout South Carolina and beyond. We also have extensive experience in selecting and deploying cloud-based solutions. Let us show you how managed services and cloud solutions can reduce management headaches, lower costs, improve security and deliver a better user experience in all your locations.