In the fast-paced and interconnected world we live in, establishing a reliable and efficient IT infrastructure is paramount for businesses to thrive. Housing associations, in particular, encounter specific challenges when it comes to effectively managing their IT systems. This article examines how managed IT services can help housing associations to overcome these barriers and harness the advantages of a reliable and efficient IT infrastructure.
What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are IT support wherein an external provider is responsible for overseeing and managing a company's entire IT infrastructure. This approach differs from the traditional in-house IT support model, where an internal team handles all facets of IT management. Housing associations can greatly benefit from engaging Managed Service Providers (MSPs), who presents holistic IT services at a significantly lower cost compared to maintaining an in-house IT team.
Advantages of Managed IT Services for housing associations
Managed IT services have range of benefits for housing associations, such as:
1. Cost savings: Managed IT services enables housing associations to save their expenses by providing liable, flat-rate pricing without unexpected IT expenses. It also removes the need to hire expensive IT specialists internally, which is particularly difficult currently with the tech skills shortage. This can help housing associations free up their budget to invest in other areas of their business.
2. Access to expertise: Managed IT services provide housing associations with access to a team of experts with specialised knowledge. The technical expertise offered by MSPs assists housing associations in several ways. MSPs can advise housing associations on the latest technologies that could optimise existing systems, such as cloud computing, virtualisation and artificial intelligence. This helps housing associations to minimise costs and enhance efficiency without the need to redesign existing processes or purchase costly hardware.
In addition, MSPs play a pivotal role in the implementation of external and modern technologies and integrating those with existing in-house systems. This services encompasses helping with development and testing of innovative software, establishing robust and secure networks for remote work environments and effectively deploying cloud-based platforms for the secure storage of sensitive data.
MSPs can provide continuous maintenance and support services, guaranteeing the system's security and up-to-dateness. They can also assist in enhancing communication channels between tenants and landlords using digital tools, enabling streamlined management of property portfolios while minimising administering burdens. Additionally, MSPs can facilitate the automation of rental payment processes, which further increases efficiency whilst providing an added layer of security for both tenants and landlords alike.
Managed IT services can help improve uptime and reliability for housing associations through proactive monitoring and maintenance, regular software and hardware updates, and faster response times to IT issues. Managed IT services providers can monitor and maintain a housing association's IT infrastructure to ensure that it is functioning optimally. This can help to minimise downtime and improve uptime and reliability, allowing housing associations to operate smoothly and efficiently.
3. Improved security: MSPs can help housing associations to strengthen their security by providing advice on the latest security measures and best practices. These could include the implementation of two-factor authentication, secure networks for remote access and the deployment of cloud-based platforms to store sensitive data securely.
They offer continuous maintenance services, such as diligently monitoring for any signs of suspicious activity and promptly addressing any identified vulnerabilities. They also assist in implementing robust encryption protocols to safeguard the security of tenant and landlord data against unauthorised access. Lastly, they provide expert advice on relevant laws and regulations, ensuring full compliance with local legislation.
By partnering with a managed IT services provider, housing associations can reap a multitude of benefits. These include cost savings, access to specialized expertise, enhanced uptime, reliability, and heightened security. Such a collaboration allows housing associations to fortify their IT infrastructure and maintain a competitive edge in the modern market.
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At Advanced, we understand that every industry faces unique challenges and requires tailored IT services to meet specific needs. With extensive cross-sector experience, Advanced are able to support, design, implement and manage your IT environment and empower your organisation. Learn more about our IT Services for Housing Associations.