When we speak to companies who are considering a move from traditional in-house IT support to an outsourced model like that of a Managed Services Provider (MSP), there are a lot of commonalities in what they expect to accomplish. Our goal is to help the client understand the benefits and reasoning behind why so many are beginning to outsource their IT needs as a business strategy, so that when the time comes to make a decision, the client has a better understanding of what is available.
Responsiveness - Speed and Ease
The benefits of having a team with redundancies in skillset, availability, and levels of experience is one of the top reasons companies are considering the outsourced model. If you are a small to midsized company that currently employs even one in-house technology resource, you have experienced delays in turnaround as people simply cannot be in two places at the same time. Having a team-based approach is one of the biggest reasons MSPs are attractive to business leaders and owners. The other area this impacts is the efficiency in which a problem is solved; MSPs usually have multiple resources with multiple levels of skillsets. A resource that is great at working on desktop related issues - my computer is slow and needs more RAM - may not possess the experience to handle a task like data recovery in the time of a disaster, server crash, or widespread virus. The problem for the business owner is this often costs, in some cases, much more time to resolve, and even if it is “resolved,” it usually is not done correctly, leading to additional remediation time at a later date.
Speed and ease of remediation is what everyone wants regardless of the type of business you are in. Having diverse skillsets, multiple resources available at all times, and all levels of experience is not only crucial to a company’s long-term success but saves them time and money.
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Objectivity and Budgetary Guidance
Another reason companies consider the outsourced model is the level of objectivity they receive with a contracted relationship. The MSP has to deliver fast and consistent service. Let’s face it, even the best IT resources find it hard to take a fresh look at what the current state of the company’s technology is, even fewer understand how to relate this to the owner who simply wants it to work. And, when it doesn’t, it needs to be fixed fast so the company can continue to grow. This can lead to challenges in accomplishing business goals.
If you are doubting this, ask yourself this one question,”Do I have a written budgetary plan for my technology needs that helps me prepare for the next 12, 24 and 36 months?” In our experience, less than 10% of all companies we speak with have what the MSP world refers to as a Technology Roadmap; this roadmap is ever changing with the nature of the business.
Most in-house IT support is reactive and simply doesn’t have the time or skillset to prepare important strategic and budgetary timelines to help the company mitigate risk, increase revenues, or adjust to the market quickly enough to stay relevant. When tasked with these types of needs most internal IT resources lose the level of objectivity needed to make real improvements. Sadly, many in-house IT resources tend to avoid addressing items like this when they are uncomfortable, lack confidence, or simply don’t have the business experience to help; which, in most cases, causes stagnation and the business suffers.
Objectivity and a dedication to improvement through a team of resources that collaborate to assemble a technology roadmap is of tremendous benefit. The budget, timeline and understanding of the recommended business direction has many benefits. At the core it boils down to direction and planning that help avoid reactive spending and irrational last minute decisions when things go wrong.
Security and Compliance
Security is all over the news today. Go to any major news network and review the abundance of articles that discuss hacking, malicious virus attacks and identity theft – it’s everywhere! Internal IT resources without specific areas of security expertise usually can’t help here; evaluating an MSPs level of corporate security experience is piquing interest for many business owners. For business owners who don’t want to experience things like Ransomware or loss of data due to poor security expertise, this is at the top of many strategic initiatives.
Management of your IT today is drastically different than it was 5 years ago. If your in-house resources are going to get the experience needed, they will need to spend most of their time improving security expertise to effectively help the company identify, understand, and mitigate today’s security-related risks. Many MSPs have laser-focused resources or partnerships to stay informed and trained on the latest security related trends all the time. For a business owner that wants to know how to prepare for and understand what specific areas to address, an MSP is an ideal, and much more cost effective, solution to implementing policies, providing security awareness training, and knowing what, if any, compliance areas the business may fall under and how to prepare for them.
Today’s corporate IT support is no longer just about creating a productive, stable, and secure environment. Outsourcing IT support for many owners has become a strategic initiative to bridge the gaps often missing in traditional in-house support and is helping many organizations gain important competitive advantages.
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