In the past five to ten years, companies have rapidly been adopting more technology as part of their normal business operations. Specifically, in the past few years, business practices have been revolutionized because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the “work from home” movement. Supporting increased remote work and new business application software are just two examples of the ways businesses have adapted to new norms.
Businesses have increasingly looked to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) or Managed IT Services and are predicted to continue to utilize their services in the next decade (source). Covid, increased technological demands on businesses, the increasing costs of potential downtime, all lead to more companies enlisting the services of Managed Service Providers.
If you are a business owner who has experienced increased technological demands on your business, you might be wondering if your business can benefit from outsourcing some of your IT needs– and if it’s worth the money.
This article will review what types of businesses benefit from using MSPs as well as some pros and cons of hiring an MSP. Every business has unique needs and goals, so evaluating whether or not to hire an MSP requires a little bit of thought.
Who needs Managed IT Services?
Managed Services are typically best for two types of businesses: small to mid-sized companies that may not be positioned to hire full-time, in-house IT employees, or businesses that would benefit from expert assistance on certain IT functions or special projects.
Small businesses are often not in a financial position to hire IT staff to support their tech needs. If you’re a small business that is seeing moderate growth, an MSP can be a great solution during the growing stage as this service is scalable and does not require hiring or training new staff. MSPs offer a variety of services, but often a smaller business without IT staff chooses a holistic package that manages the entire network management for the company.
Other businesses that benefit from an MSP are businesses that have an IT team but need expertise in a specific area, or only need a portion of the IT work outsourced to keep operations running smoothly. Whether it’s security or compliance or support services, MSPs don’t have to handle everything, but can take on one or two areas of a company’s overall IT workload.
Businesses in every sector can utilize an MSP in some capacity. Some examples of the wide range of industries that rely on MSPs include healthcare organizations for patient communication and data management, hotels and other hospitality businesses for booking systems and Wi-Fi networks, and financial companies for compliance needs and the latest technologies, to name a few.
The benefits of having an MSP are different for every business as MSPs collaborate with companies to decide what services best support their business goals. Some of the most common benefits include:
Predictable costs and loss prevention
Having an MSP allows for you to budget for your IT needs rather than paying for support or for the downtime that occurs when something goes wrong. With network monitoring, security support, backup support, or any other service provided by an MSP, you won’t experience the losses companies see so often for tech-related mishaps.
Reliable 24/7 support
Always having someone to turn to is an invaluable benefit for both employees and customers. With an MSP, you’re not asking an employee to come in after hours and you’re not left to troubleshoot problems on your own.
Access to vendors and new technology
MSPs allow you or your employees to get the latest and greatest in technology– and technology that’s appropriate for your business’ needs. MSPs often have working relationships with vendors and are knowledgeable about what might benefit you the most in terms of bolstering business’ operations.
Scalability of IT capabilities
As discussed earlier, if you find your business is growing or evolving, but hiring and training IT staff isn’t financially feasible, this can be a huge problem. With an MSP, you can scale up, down, in, or out without gaps in personnel or infrastructure.
While not an exhaustive list, it is some of the definite pros of bringing in an MSP.
Every company is different, from size and specific operational needs to leadership styles and risk assessment. Based on these differences, there can be drawbacks to using an MSP.
Inability to manage in-house IT staff
With an MSP, there can be less control as they are not working in the building with you as an employee. Some business owners like the direct oversight that comes with having an internal IT team.
Most MSPs work completely remotely to support your IT needs. If your IT staff works in-house and something goes wrong with the technology, you may be accustomed to having them come right down the hall and to troubleshoot the issue. Some companies prefer this type of on-site help when issues arise.
Typical B2B challenges
If an MSP company fails or loses an employee who was working with you, this can disrupt the service you have expected. Choosing the right MSP or one with a great track record helps to make sure they won’t be going out of business any time soon and increases the likelihood there will be good, lasting business relationships.
Figuring out the right services
It’s always possible to feel like you’re paying for a service but aren’t getting a ton out of it or feeling like there’s more you need from your managed service provider. This can be remedied by only signing on for certain services and making sure you’re covered for what you need. It’s always a learning process to figure out which MSP offers the services that are vital to and enhance your business operations.
Is it worth it?
Technology is a wonderful thing for all the ways it’s made businesses better and more efficient, and the ways it’s supported companies going through an event such as the pandemic. But it’s also the source of so many issues and headaches, especially when companies don’t have the support they need.
In this article, we won’t be able to definitively say, “It will cost X dollars a month to hire this MSP, and it will save you X dollars as compared to hiring someone full-time. So, yes, it’s worth it.” But this article does give you some information to consider, such as the types of businesses best served by MSPs, business size, and the pros and cons of using an MSP. Once you factor in your own budget and how much you currently spend on IT needs, you can figure out if it will be worth it for your business.
Our professionals at Royal Network IT Solutions, Inc. have over 50 years of experience providing technical support to businesses in the Tustin and Eastvale areas of California. As technology has evolved and challenged a company’s need for technology support, we have expanded our ability to provide a range of managed IT services to our clients.
If you’re considering hiring a managed service provider, we can discuss what services might work the best for you. Call or email us today for a consultation at (949) 236-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.