Does a Retail Business Need an MSP?
Retail businesses operate in a fast-paced environment and technology and connectivity must keep pace for the business to be successful. Retailers have to manage their day-to-day operations, customer service, all of their payment processing, inventory and logistics, and their workforce. With this many tasks on retail business owner's plate is important to simplify the daily list and remove unnecessary problems as often as possible. Specific and particularly important to retail businesses is payment card industry compliance. If businesses can't take credit cards they will often lose sales to the competition. Small problems can quickly spin out of control when it comes to electronic devices that support point-of-sale as well as connectivity issues that can take down an entire retail businesses operation sometimes for a full day or longer. It is a massive priority for retailers to not lose sales over mistakes and the managed service provider can help ensure maximum uptime, PCI compliance, and eliminate the possibility of many other problems that can slow down the retailer.
So how do you stay ahead of the curve as a new business owner in retail? You lessen the burden of the many daily and weekly tasks by finding efficiencies in your operation through human resources, technology, and best business practices. It might be time to consider lowering the burden of managing your own IT infrastructure by hiring a managed services provider that specializes in retail capability, allowing you peace of mind when it comes to network security, reliability, and scalability. Working with a managed services provider also ensures technological compliance where you need it without having to constantly worry about it.
The first reason to outsource your IT management is to improve your overall security. A regularly maintained and updated network lowers your exposure to security threats. Operating systems, point-of-sale software, PCI compliant security features, and firmware are easily managed and kept up-to-date by a managed services provider. This keeps you ahead of newly discovered attacks and vulnerabilities and allows you to focus on the other aspects of your business knowing that your network will simply work when you need it to.
The payment card industry data security standard manages the ongoing evolution and changes in payment card industry security with a focus on the transaction process. This is managed by an independent body created by major credit card brands. These standards apply to all organizations regardless of size or number of transactions that accept, transmit, or store any cardholder data. With the use of assessment tools and vulnerability scans your managed services provider can very quickly tell you if you are compliant with PCI standards and any good MSP can quickly bring you in line with standards for the use of updated hardware and software.
We have mentioned this many times on the blog, but it is always worth repeating the benefit that a managed services provider brings to any business when it comes to uptime and efficiency. This is particularly important for retailers as their network directly affects the ability to perform transactions and process payment at the retail location. Managed services providers can make recommendations and help retail businesses implement point-of-sale technology and hardware, but more importantly the MSP can guarantee maximum uptime of those systems allowing a retail business the best efficiency and ability to process the maximum number of transactions. The costs of reacting to problems and threats to the network are significantly higher than the cost of proactive prevention of those same issues. By increasing uptime and improving productivity the managed services provider directly affects the business bottom line.
When to upgrade hardware and software is a major question that businesses face as they grow and the technology changes. These upgrades also tend to present large upfront and sometimes unpredictable costs when the need to upgrade is unexpected and immediate. A managed services provider gives you access to newer technologies faster and allows you to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to upgrades and updates. By staying ahead of this curve, the MSP presents the business with predictable fixed monthly costs and eliminates surprises during lean months that are inevitable in any business.
A managed services provider frees up the attention of a retail business owner to focus on growing the business rather than day today management and maintenance of network, conductivity, and point-of-sale technologies. With a manageable fixed monthly cost and guarantee that you stay ahead of the curve on technology and compliance a managed services provider is a no-brainer for retail business owners.