There are many advantages of outsourcing your IT services; some may seem obvious, while others may surprise you. We conducted a survey of our customers and asked why they chose to outsource their IT services, here are the most common answers to that question.
Far and away, the top answer was reduction of costs. One of the most significant benefits you may see when partnering with a qualified MSP is reduced costs for IT hardware (volume discounts) software and employee costs. Working closely with your Managed Service Provider can help you lower operational costs, minimize capital budget for technology expenses, and reduce overall IT spend.
Workplaces and hours are more flexible than ever before. Which means companies choosing to build out an internal help desk are now scrambling to offer 24/7 support for the business and many are realizing that this is an expensive proposition. A MSP is available after hours, weekends, and even holidays to provide real-time support whenever you need it.
A huge benefit of outsourcing your IT is that you are partnered with an entire team of professionals that bring a broad depth of knowledge across industries, at a flat monthly rate. The reality is that no one person can keep up with all the changes happening in technology today, and it’s often not in the best interest of a business, non-profit, or health provider to remain “status quo”. When you partner with a qualified MSP, you receive a team of IT professionals, project managers, cloud experts, help desk professionals, and virtual CIOs that that bring best of breed solutions to help your company remain competitive.
Cyber security is not a “set it and forget it” function anymore. In today’s world of increasing ransomware and cyber-crime, all companies need to be looking at MSPs that bring security solutions to the forefront of the conversation. Many MSPs offer the most current cyber products in the market, including training your staff, email, and network monitoring, and even leveraging software that uses artificial intelligence to detect potential issues before they become a problem.
As your business grows and changes, your IT needs grow, change, and evolve, and you will need to scale your IT systems up or down to accommodate those needs. IT demands can be changed in real-time to meet your unique business needs weather you’re on premise or in the cloud. Your MSP should monitor your needs and provide suggestions to scale up or down based on your hardware usage to ensure that your user experience is maximized while costs are kept low.
Many MSPs can provide detail customized reporting about your ticket resolution times and utilization of their services. Also, the ability to log into a dashboard that can show you the health of your IT systems, both on premise and in the cloud.
What Size Company Benefits from Working with an MSP?
Overall any size company can receive enormous benefits when working with a Managed Service Provider. A company, that does not have an IT department can retain a Managed Service Provider to act as an outsourced IT staff that keeps the computers and the network running, makes sure that software upgrades and patches are done, provides cyber security services to minimize the risk of hacks or ransomware, and makes recommendations about timing to replace aging internal servers and networking equipment. Or provide consulting if moving everything to a cloud environment makes more sense for greater accessibility and flexibility.
Mid-size and large companies, that have an IT Manager, or some IT staff often outsource pieces of their IT functions to avoid hiring and training additional IT engineers and avoid the added expense of company-paid benefits or the risk of turnover that is prevalent today.
When there is an internal IT team, the MSP staff often takes care of the “day-to-day” issues, such as helping users when they are forgetting passwords, supporting users with access to applications and data, or assisting with network issues. Many large companies hire an MSP to manage cyber security software and provide “tier 3” technical support beyond the capabilities of internal junior-level IT staff.
What Should I Consider When Selecting a Managed Service Provider?
Now if you’ve read this far and are thinking, “I could really use the services of a Managed Service Provider,” here are some things to consider...
Once you understand the range of services you need, look for a Managed Service Provider with the experience and expertise to provide reliable IT solutions for those services. Many small to mid-size Managed Service Providers across the United States specialize in specific products and specific industries. Do your plans include moving to the cloud, look for a Managed Service Provider with cloud experience. Or, if you have a particular software integral to your business, consider a MSP that understands and supports that software. Struggling with compliance requirements, make sure the MSP has the tools and ability to support your organization through this complex process.
A Managed Service Provider with the right expertise can become a partner in your business’s growth, management, and health.
Range of Services
Every MSP has a range of services that they provide to take care of your IT and cloud needs. Those can include onsite IT resources, remote technical support and network monitoring. Along with cyber security software products, cloud hosting and management, even virtual CIO services. Determine the services you need and partner with a Managed Service Provider that comprehensively addresses your unique needs.
It is critical to work with a MSP that operates in protected environments to ensure the safety of your data. Find out what security products are available and if they’re offering the most comprehensive solutions to keep your data safe.
If you’re in a cloud environment here are some items to consider:
- are they advising a “shared” cloud or a “private” cloud
- consequently what are the risk should another of their clients fall to a cyber-attack
- if you need to change service providers would there be a cost to migrate your systems off their platform
- how easy would it be to migrate off the platform
Firstly make sure to discuss your needs and requirements when it comes to response times. Dig into the support structure to make sure they have an adequate number of employees to support your organization. What type of customer service does the Managed Service Provider provide? Customer service should be apparent at every stage of their operation, from the sales team to the technical support. A MSP is an essential part of your tech team, ensure you are working with a helpful service-minded provider. Most MSPs monitor client satisfaction, ask to see those scores to find out how their clients experience the service received.
If you have offices in multiple cities or states, find a MSP that can support all locations. However many MSPs work only regionally, while others have the resources to provide services nationally or internationally.
Turning over your IT services to an MSP is a big decision that involves a great deal of trust. Make the right decision, and you sleep well at night. Make the wrong decision, and your business will suffer.
Understandably trust is earned over time, so be sure to ask your MSP for the following:
- customer satisfaction scores
- number of years in business
- partnerships (are they large organizations like Microsoft?)
- review response and professionalism of sales process
Your business is unique, when considering moving to the cloud, you want a MSP that will create a custom environment. Therefore choose a Managed Service Provider that will customize its services and solutions to help optimize your business.
Since cost is a consideration in business decisions compare the cost of the services to the cost of hiring internally. Typically, a company cannot hire the expertise and resources available at the cost a Managed Service Provider charges. Work with the Managed Service Provider to help them understand your budget and choose services that meet your IT requirements. To stay competitive in today’s market, reduce costs and keep your data secure, consider partnering with a MSP.
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