Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) deliver a wide range of IT services to small and medium sized companies. They are a cost effective solution to the problem of delivering IT services into companies who otherwise cannot afford to set up and maintain their own IT department, or manage their infrastructure.
There are two major reasons for outsourcing your IT to an external partner – but there are many more too – however, we will be focusing on the cost savings and increased uptime for your network and staff.
Growing a business is difficult, and when you need to setup a network, this is a very different set of skills needed when compared to standalone PCs or laptops. Networks are not overly complicated to setup for a professional, however the problems arise in knowing what technology you should be buying, and how to fit everything together so it works in an optimal fashion. For businesses with an existing network, you will already know of the pain in maintaining uptime so your business is able to continue operating.
Establishing an internal IT presence, even if it is one staff member, is very expensive. A low-level tech is going to cost you between $55-$85k per year, depending on where you are in the country and level of experience. Even then, you will not be able to acquire all the skills you need to manage the network effectively. More staff and external resources will need to be added, further increasing your cost.
Additionally, you should expect to experience significant network downtime and this in turn will impact your revenues and profitability.
By outsourcing your IT requirements, you can fix the cost for managing your network and gain access to the expertise and skills you need to improve network uptime.
Access to Technology
We have already mentioned the impact of downtime on your network. What we mean by this is your staff no longer have access to your IT infrastructure to operate. We frequently forget just how reliant we are upon our technology, that is, until we no longer have access to it! Minimizing network downtime is essential to control costs, but more importantly for you to continue making money.
There is another issue at play here: you know how to run your business, and unless your business is IT, you ought to be focusing on making more money, rather than being distracted by IT issues you are neither trained nor experienced with.
By outsourcing your IT to an experienced and established MSP, you will gain access to a team of engineers with specialist skills and more experience than a single employee or small IT team in-house. In addition, an established MSP will also have access to a wider range of technology, and will be more up-to-date with technology developments.
What this means for you is you are more likely to have better, more effective technology serviced by a team of engineers who will be able to identify potential issues before they become real problems, and keep your network operating for longer. At the same time, should your network experience a problem, they will be able to bring the network back online faster and typically, within a set period of time depending on the service level you choose.
Jensen Carlyle is a frequent blogger on security and business technology issues, and he is currently working on an MSP review for Swift Systems.