By: Kharmela Mindanao on March 15th, 2023
5 Problems with Managed IT for Manufacturers (+ Solutions)
As the manufacturing industry becomes increasingly digital, the need for reliable and efficient IT systems is greater than ever. Managed IT services can help manufacturers stay ahead of the curve, providing comprehensive IT support to ensure that operations run smoothly.
However, there are a number of challenges that manufacturers may encounter when implementing managed IT solutions, such as:
1. Legacy systems
2. Cybersecurity risks
3. Lack of industry-specific expertise
4. Downtime and Productivity Losses
5. Cost overruns
Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) has been providing enterprise-level managed services to manufacturing companies and other businesses for over a decade. In this article, we’ll discuss the problems manufacturers commonly may face when getting Managed IT (based on our experience) and provide some tips on how to address them.
By the end of this article, you should have a robust toolset when evaluating any future Managed IT partnerships.
Read: “Everything You Need to Know About Managed IT”
1. Legacy Systems
One of the most significant challenges for manufacturers when implementing managed IT solutions is the presence of legacy systems. Legacy systems refer to older technologies that may be incompatible with newer systems and software. Many manufacturers rely on legacy systems to run their operations, and upgrading to newer technologies can be costly and time-consuming.
When working with a managed IT service provider, manufacturers must ensure that their legacy systems are compatible with the new systems. However, this may require additional customization and integration work, which can add to the cost and complexity of your IT bill.
To avoid this, you should work closely with your MSP to develop a comprehensive migration plan. This plan should include a timeline for migrating to new systems and a detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of upgrading.
2. Cybersecurity Risks
Manufacturers are often targeted by cybercriminals who seek to steal valuable intellectual property, trade secrets, and other sensitive information. Because of this, cybersecurity is a top concern for manufacturers when implementing managed IT services.
MSPs must provide robust cybersecurity solutions that can protect against a wide range of threats, including malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. This may require the implementation of advanced security measures, such as firewalls, endpoint detection (EDR) systems, and encryption technologies.
To mitigate cybersecurity risks, manufacturers should work with their IT provider to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. This strategy should include regular security assessments, employee training programs, and incident response plans.
3. Lack of Industry-Specific Expertise
Manufacturing is a highly specialized industry, and many MSPs may lack the industry-specific expertise to provide comprehensive support. Manufacturers need T solutions tailored to their unique needs and requirements, which may include specialized software, hardware, and networking technologies.
You may have certain machinery designed specifically for your business that can’t be immediately updated. Or you have a contract with a vendor that uses outdated software.
To address this problem, manufacturers should look for IT providers that have experience working with other manufacturing clients. This will ensure that they have the necessary expertise and knowledge to provide tailored solutions that meet the needs of the industry.
4. Downtime and Productivity Losses
Manufacturers rely heavily on their IT systems to keep operations running smoothly. Any downtime or productivity losses can significantly impact the bottom line, resulting in lost revenue, missed deadlines, and decreased customer satisfaction.
MSPs must be able to provide rapid response times and quick resolution of any IT issues that may arise. This may require proactive monitoring and maintenance solutions to detect and resolve potential problems before they become critical.
Your MSP should develop a comprehensive IT support plan and loop you in. This plan should have service level agreements (SLAs) that outline response times and resolution times for any IT issues that may arise.
5. Cost Overruns
Implementing managed IT solutions can be costly, and manufacturers must ensure that they stay within their budget. However, unforeseen costs can arise during the implementation process, leading to cost overruns and delays.
Read: “How Much Does Managed IT Cost?”
To address this problem, manufacturers should work closely with their MSP to develop a detailed project plan that includes a comprehensive cost analysis. This plan should outline all of the costs associated with the project, including hardware, software, licensing fees, onboarding fees, and labor costs.
In addition, consider working with an MSP that offers flexible pricing options and tiered plans so that you can balance your IT budget with other business costs.
Most MSPs provide bundled services with monthly fees, so make sure you’ve asked potential MSPs about the services you truly need.
Want to Learn More About Managed IT for Manufacturers?
While managed IT services can provide significant benefits to manufacturers, there are still obstacles in the way of successful implementation.
From legacy systems to cybersecurity risks, lack of industry-specific expertise, downtime and productivity losses, and cost overruns, you must be prepared to address these issues to maximize the value of your IT investments.
To mitigate these problems, you should work closely with your MSP to develop a comprehensive migration plan, cybersecurity strategy, IT support plan, and project plan that includes a detailed cost analysis.
ITS, for example, follows a stringent process that plans for every eventual security risk and IT need for our manufacturing clients. If you work with MSPs with a proven track record in the manufacturing industry, you can get IT systems optimized for performance, reliability, and security.
But at the end of the day, you’ll need to know more about Managed IT. Read “The Ultimate Guide to Managed IT for Manufacturers” for all the information you need about this service. However, if you want to speak with an expert who will immediately answer your question, schedule a free IT consultation today.