Why outsource your IT services to a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
This is a question that’s asked on multiple occasions: why outsource your IT services to an Managed Service Provider (MSP), especially if you’re a small to medium-sized business (SMB) with limited resources?
This article will explain how a Managed IT solution can offer significant benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes, starting with the example of an everyday situation an SME may experience.
A professional services company (solicitors, architects, surveyors, etc) would likely have two main directors; one overseeing the day-to day operations of the business, and the second helping to keep everything running smoothly. There could roughly be 50 users needing IT support at any one time, using laptops or desktop computers, and they may only have one main person that’s assigned the task of configuring and ultimately organising their resource and IT support.
There is a lot of risk associated with this, as this employee’s role may not be as IT-focused as they were initially hired for, and they may not always know the best ways to solve issues that arise within the normal working environment. The risk can grow when unexpected problems occur, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit in a way that no one could have predicted.
What are the benefits of working with an MSP?
Working with an MSP can offer many benefits for both the directors and staff. The employee tasked with organising the business’ IT department can take advantage of the added expertise and assistance, and a case can be made regarding the benefits outweighing the cost of investment.
The first of many benefits for business owners is quite simply the time gained to focus on the important things—important to the business and to them personally. They are able to concentrate on the work they need to do without worrying about the company’s IT setup. Business owners can rest safe in the knowledge that they’re being supported.
The MSP would have access to your network via a process called ‘Remote Network Monitoring’, meaning they can highlight and handle any issues without you even noticing them.
In the same way that we as humans utilise insurances for the ifs and maybes, MSPs give a level of peace of mind especially when you are limited on time and find it difficult to keep networks up to date with bug fixes.
Another benefit is increased productivity from your team. You don’t have to miss important meetings or delay preparing that important report because your hardware has let you down. And with increased productivity comes increased revenue. Directors will no longer lose working hours from important team members due to unexpected errors, damaged files and downtime issues. This will then also lead to improved YoY revenue, which will always help you meet those high business targets.
What challenges could you face without a Managed IT Service Provider?
Businesses often find themselves facing many IT-related challenges. They can be something like the risk of data loss which could be impossible to retrieve. An MSP would provide server backups, so if the worst-case scenario happened, your important files can be recovered in a flash. Having an external provider manage this process will save businesses hassle and allow them to focus their time on their customers, as well as their staff’s development and training.
In a world where the internet and IT has become so prominent in everyday society, having a helping hand that is always there when needed is only ever going to be a good thing.
From an HR perspective, teams may struggle to find the time to organise employee logins and accounts, whether it be from Outlook to unique business applications. An MSP would be able to manage this whole process and relieve the stress from HR departments, allowing them to focus on the more important tasks of onboarding new employees.
Staff happiness is also another very important benefit that an MSP can help cultivate. Employees will have peace of mind knowing their work tools will always do as required, and they will have a clear understanding of how to troubleshoot.
Employees will also receive more focus from a well-being perspective as less time is taken up on IT-related issues. We have seen how important that is during the pandemic.
What is the first thing you should do when considering working with an MSP?
The first step is to get a network health check. A health check provides an MSP with all the information they need in terms of any dangers or problems associated with your network. A plan can then be created, giving advice on how to solve any important vulnerabilities.