Small-to-midsized business owners are increasingly outsourcing their IT needs to managed service
providers, rather than attempting to meet their technical requirements on their own. MSPs offer cost-effective, comprehensive, and flexible services that can grow and change with a company.
What Are the Advantages to Using an MSP?
- Cost. A relationship with an MSP reduces costs for the SMB in several significant ways. An SMB will save on IT department costs, training, certification, and equipment. Rather than having to pay dedicated technicians to maintain IT services, the SMB can instead pay the MSP for access to their qualified and experienced staff whenever needed.
- Focus. The core IT team members of an SMB can focus on innovation and improvements rather than routine maintenance tasks such as virus scanning, backup solutions, and minor help desk issues. This reduces the amount of IT hours billed while also empowering the tech team to focus on revenue-generating activities.
- Technology. An MSP offers access to better technology -- technology that most SMBs will not be able to afford on their own. As the SMB grows, they can requisition better equipment as necessary, rather than having to invest in upgrades and entirely new systems. MSPs run sophisticated data centers that will give an SMB a competitive edge with data warehousing solutions, data analysis and data management.
What Determines a Good MSP for an SMB?
Not all MSPs are made equal. When looking for an outsourced IT firm, an SMB needs to look at key aspects that will be utilized to support their organization. This includes IT strategies, service delivery, risk reduction, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, certification and training. Availability and consistent points-of-contact will also contribute to a consistent service relationship.
It isn't all about cost -- the managed services provider has to be able to deliver the best technology and the most experienced support if they are to be both reliable and trustworthy. They will be in control of the company's data and day-to-day operations: they will need to have plans in place to deal with disasters and other issues, and will have to maintain the best in encryption, security, and mobile device management.
There are many common myths about MSPs that simply aren't true; an MSP doesn't necessarily mean a reduced quality of service or a reduction in specialized services. The right MSP will develop a strong partnership with an SMB, supporting them throughout their growth and providing them with the services that they need. SMBs need to make sure that they find the MSP that is suited not only to their current requirements but also their future needs.