If your business has an in-house IT staff, you may think working with a managed service provider (MSP) for IT services is unnecessary. The reality, though, is that a hybrid approach to IT — with both in-house and MSP providers — might make good business sense.
Using an MSP to augment your in-house IT staff can be a great way to increase the efficiency of your business operations. Just how can an MSP help your business run more smoothly? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of managed IT services.
MSPs Let Your Team Focus on Strategic Tasks
In an effort to free their in-house IT staffs to focus on mission-critical issues, many businesses turn to MSPs to provide ongoing assistance with a specific aspect of their business’s technology function. For example, while the in-house IT team tackles strategic technology planning or an initiative to move your business to the cloud, the MSP may be simultaneously handling things like network monitoring, or Web and email hosting.
By offloading the responsibility for these types of tasks to an MSP, your IT team can focus its efforts on areas that have the biggest impact on your bottom line — without having to jeopardize performance or uptime.
MSPs Offer Greater Expertise
Think for a moment about the security of your business network and data. Which team is better equipped to handle that security — your IT team that’s already stretched thin with strategic initiatives and day-to-day tasks, or a team whose sole focus is gathering intel on the latest security flaws and implementing effective solutions? If you’re like most folks, you’d want the highly trained expert who spends his/her day poring over security alerts to oversee your security needs, rather than the IT employee who is fantastic in his/her own right but, due to workload and department priorities, hasn’t had the time to read a security alert in three months.
Because MSPs typically focus on one particular aspect of technology, one can expect that he/she would be better equipped to identify and resolve issues than his/her in-house counterparts, whose attention is drawn to any number of disparate tasks. MSP professionals receive ongoing training in their area of focus, bringing with them a level of expertise much higher than your average IT staffer.
MSPs Create Continuity
What happens if your network crashes on the exact day your in-house “network person” leaves for his/her honeymoon in Bora Bora? If you rely solely on your in-house IT staff to tackle network issues, the person who is the second best at networking tasks may be asked to step in — and your business will suffer from decreased productivity and lost opportunities as a result.
By their very nature, managed service providers have any number of highly skilled employees working on any one client’s account. If your network crashes and one of your MSP techs is out of the office, one of his/her expertly trained colleagues will step in and solve the problem. Instead of being left in the lurch if your employee takes a sick day or leaves for a more lucrative job, you’ll be able to continue business as usual.
MSPs Complement Existing IT Efforts
When used wisely, MSPs serve as a complement to your in-house IT team. By taking the onus for tedious (but necessary) tasks like network monitoring off your IT team’s plate, they’ll be able to focus on more strategic initiatives. MSPs also offer more specialized knowledge and expertise than is typically available on staff, and their business model creates continuity in your business operations.
If you’re interested in increasing efficiency within your organization, outsourcing certain IT tasks to a managed services company may be your smartest move.
Originally published in Jax online magazine, April 2016