Why your SMB should explore managed services
Running your own in-house IT support team can be prohibitively expensive for SMBs. Often IT responsibilities are shouldered by someone with other important duties who may have limited knowledge of IT best practice and use trial and error to fix issues. Or maybe you have to call in a tech company each time you have a problem and wait for their schedule to open and then pay travel and time without any advanced budget information. Managed services providers (MSPs) are lightening the IT budget burden with a more cost-effective approach to managing your IT needs.
Outsourcing your IT support to an MSP saves you needing to pay a full-time salary (or salaries) to in-house IT staff, and can connect you with industry-leading IT expertise for a fraction of the cost of employing an experienced CTO. If you have an existing IT person on staff, they’ll value having a complete IT team available for their every need.
What do MSPs do?
While individual MSPs will tend to offer different services, they’ll generally:
- Look after the maintenance of your IT equipment, including server management.
- Apply software updates and patches.
- Provide helpdesk-style IT support to your in-house team.
- Handle your data backup and security compliance.
- Help keep your IT infrastructure humming.
Most MSPs operate on a monthly subscription model, which means you pay a monthly fee for an agreed set of IT support services.
Where can I use MSPs?
MSPs are particularly helpful for managing your data center, servers, and network infrastructure. Consistency in these areas is key as most SMBs require good data flow and reliable network connections for many mission-critical processes.
However, MSPs can also be used for non-critical operations that can often be a thorn in the side of employees that don’t have time to be down when something goes bad. Managed print services, for example, are rapidly growing in popularity as SMBs look to external expertise to streamline in-office printing, maintain printer hardware, and reduce printing costs.
Where is the value?
Return on investment (ROI) is front-of-mind for most SMBs owners considering engaging an MSP. The good news is that partnering with an MSP can deliver significant value to your business. The monthly fee is easy to predict and budget and is usually based on users or devices.
Working with an MSP is perhaps the fastest way to close any existing skills gaps in your in-house IT department. MSPs have the up-to-the-minute expertise to keep your IT infrastructure performing at optimal levels, and many provide predictive maintenance to prevent downtime.
Compliance you can trust
Data security is becoming an increasingly important business concern, and an MSP can help ensure you’re meeting your compliance responsibilities. They’ll usually also offer data backup services so you can trust that your data will be appropriately secured. Other solutions such as encryption, two-factor authentication and employee security training can be extremely valuable.
Many MSPs can audit your existing IT infrastructure and recommend ways to streamline your operations. This will likely lead to cost savings in future hardware and software deployments and cut down on the amount of IT labor required. As most MSPs have existing relationships and up-to-date certifications with major hardware and software vendors, they’ll likely be able to negotiate better deals for you.
How do I select an MSP?
When assessing MSPs, look for companies that are interested in understanding how your business operates over and above selling you a list of standard services. A good MSP will take a proactive approach to add value to your IT operations, and this requires an intimate understanding of how your business processes fit together.
The keyword here is ‘strategic.’ The better MSPs will strive to improve your overall IT operations, not just sign you up for generic support and maintenance services.
Partner with the right MSP and you’ll connect your SMB to the latest IT expertise and innovation that has traditionally been reserved for the big end of town.
Expedient Technology Solutions has been providing clients in the greater Dayton and Cincinnati region superior managed IT services for over a decade. Our friendly, experienced IT professionals have a broad range of expertise to design, deploy and manage your networks and critical business systems.
In addition to our Managed IT Service “Stress Free IT,” we offer IT Cyber Security Solutions and Monitoring and Managed Network Services for larger companies with IT staff in place that could use some assistance. Our IT team includes complete Help Desk Support, Level 2 & 3 Technical Engineers, Network Operations Center and Security Operations Center Technologists. All local and working together from our Dayton area office. Compare our Service Level Agreement with other technology providers and you’ll see the ETS value.
Learn more about Stress Free IT Services – call (937) 535-4300 and speak to one of our IT Consultants today.