Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) face a dilemma. They need technologies to operate and grow, but investing in staff to manage IT may be out of their immediate budgetary reach.
A managed service provider (MSP) is the cost-effective solution that many SMBs are turning to for day-to-day IT support. In fact, a recent study by CompTIA found that 47% of surveyed companies with fewer than 100 employees engage an MSP to improve the efficiency and reliability of IT operations. It’s an impressive statistic, and should give you pause: What do these SMBs know about outsourced managed IT services that you can use to save money and keep your IT on track?
Here are some points to ponder about the benefits of using an outsourced managed IT service in your business:
IT Support is Available 24/7/365
An “always available” IT department eliminates two common obstacles SMBs encounter. The first is the lost time you can’t recoup waiting for your IT staff to arrive at work to address the issue and the additional time lost that they spend working to resolve it.
The second scenario is the frustration and time inefficiency of having “break/fix” support, meaning an IT provider that only engages with you and your systems when you report an issue — and only after they can fit you into their schedule for an onsite visit to identify and hopefully repair the problem. 24/7/365 managed IT service support prevents costly downtime.
You Can Accurately Forecast Labor CostsIT is undoubtedly a critical operational need. Reserving or re-allocating resources to address issues as they arise can quickly drain IT-related labor budgets. An outsourced managed technology provider allows SMBs to accurately forecast monthly, quarterly and annual IT expenditures without fear of losing valuable technology functionality or experiencing system shutdown.
Existing IT Staff Isn’t Overextended
Employees are typically at a premium in an SMB environment and are often functioning at capacity. An in-house IT team is no exception, and is often pulled in multiple directions well before a system-critical issue arises. An outsourced technology service provider frees your existing IT staff to dedicate themselves to their workloads and not obligate them to “drop everything” to address emergencies. Plus, MSP experts are highly skilled and carry multiple certifications, so using their services expands skill sets available to your IT needs.
You Gain a vCIO Insight Without a C-level Hire
Working with a vCIO will aide in strategic planning by developing a technology roadmap for your business. This roadmap will allow you to precisely align your technology with your business goals, allowing you to stay ahead of your competition’s technology.
A managed technology plan's best practices typically include quarterly, semi-annual or annual business reviews during which SMBs can review and critique network performance, service level agreements, key performance indicators and other business efficiencies.
There are many benefits to having an outside partner manage your IT. Take a look at this side-by-side comparison chart that lists the features and benefits of Managed IT Services versus what you might be facing now with a traditional IT approach.