Many companies find themselves juggling IT problems along with their typical day-to-day responsibilities. Outsourcing IT work to a managed service provider (MSP) lets a company excel at what it does best. Here are some signs that your business should look into hiring an MSP.
1. You don't have dedicated IT staff.
Small companies often rely on a computer-savvy staff member, rather than hiring an actual IT expert. Problems are solved as they occur, but little planning occurs to avoid future problems. A dedicated IT expert has the time and resources to anticipate hardware and software upgrades, as well as to protect a company from the latest security threats.
Another problem with this practice is that, even if a staff member is computer-savvy, they can only bring their own limited knowledge to the table. MSPs deal with recurring issues from multiple clients, and stay up-to-date on the latest IT developments. In turn, they generally possess a greater breadth and depth of IT-specific knowledge than you can source from within your office.
There's also an opportunity cost when a staff member is sidelined by IT responsibilities. Rather than completing the role they were hired to fill, they are sinking time into work for which they were not specifically trained.
2. Maintenance-related IT tasks are piling up.
Dealing with IT maintenance can be a huge distraction from your core business service and can negatively impact productivity. Software updates and licensing are just a couple areas where an MSP can offer relief.
Software updates require constant attention. Failure to keep up with them can cause vulnerabilities and expose company data. MSPs can create maintenance plans to regularly attend to updates and fix any problems that may surface during the process.
Software licenses also need to be properly acquired and maintained. With the exception of software you've written for your own use, all software requires some sort of license. The penalties for using unlicensed software include huge fines and expensive litigation, not to mention a tarnished reputation. When you hire an MSP, they'll keep organized records of your software licenses and create a schedule for renewing them.
3. You want to save money.
Many studies have shown that MSPs can reduce costs for small businesses.
Relying on yourself or another staff member for ad hoc IT support pulls resources away from your core competencies, which is inefficient and wasteful. A dedicated in-house IT staff isn't much better, requiring salaries, benefits, office real estate, equipment and training. They also need continuing education, such as courses and conferences, to stay current on the latest IT developments and trends. An MSP removes that overhead entirely.
With an MSP, small businesses only pay for the services and support they need. MSPs can monitor, protect, and support your infrastructure from a remote location using Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software. They'll also work with other vendors to ensure that you get the best deals on hardware, software and technology services.