Are you frustrated with your current IT services provider? Or perhaps you have been trying to manage IT in-house and you are not getting the results you expect? Costs too high? Solutions not fit for purpose? Or perhaps your tech is just not keeping pace with the changes going on in your business? Welcome to the technology challenges of the 2020’s….and (whisper….) it’s not going to get any better unless you do something different.
Whatever the technology challenge, outsourcing your IT worries to a professional MSP company may be the solution you are looking for. “But what exactly is an MSP” I hear you say. Well, let’s have a closer look….
What is an MSP?
MSP is a common acronym used in modern businesses. An MSP (a Managed Service Provider), is a business that provides specialised outsourced services, usually IT services, to other businesses. By outsourcing IT services to an MSP, small to medium sized businesses can obtain a level of IT support far superior to other IT solution options, often at a fraction of the price they are currently paying. Outsourcing to an MSP can be a cost-cutting strategy, a part of planned business growth, or some other measure to match the changing context of a business. To better understand the benefits of working with an MSP, let’s first consider some of the common challenges faces by existing MSP customers.
Common IT Challenges and Opportunities for Improvement
Sometimes IT challenges slap you in the face, like a cyber-security attack or a systems crash! And sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know in this ever changing global technology environment. The IT challenges and opportunities for improvement can be endless. To simplify, here are some of the common ones that we regularly see when we meet our customers for the first time:
- There is no IT strategy or plan in existence
- There has been a loss of business data due to a “failure”
- There is declining organisational productivity due to mis-management of technology resources
- There are regular service outages and/or regular downtime
- There is a lack of support and service from the existing IT resources
- There has been an overspend on IT against the budget
- There are insufficient cyber security measures in place and the business is at risk of cyber attack
- The business has grown to the point where staff need to access ‘always on’ IT support, through a 24×7 service desk
- There is a need for specific technical skills and experience for the implementation of one or more business-critical IT projects
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, it may be time for you to consider the benefits of an outsourced MSP arrangement.
Benefits of an MSP
Most contemporary organisations rely heavily on technology to make their products or provide their services; to keep the wheels of the business rolling. Bigger businesses sometimes have a whole department of IT “generalists” involved in break-fix IT; when they hear that something is broken, they fix it… But what do they do when they need specialised knowledge to fix a problem? Googling can only solve the problem a fraction of the time! And what about smaller businesses that don’t have a benefit of a capable, on-call IT resource? To address each of these challenges, it may be time to look to the market to see what outsourced options are available and compare their features and benefits.
Benefit 1 – Manage Costs: Most businesses juggle network performance, operational needs and security risk, while balancing cost considerations. A critical benefit of the MSP model is that it offers a predictable cost. Once you sign a contract, you know what the spend is every month. One less thing to worry about, right? This way the business can plan better, stick to a budget and keep the owners/shareholders happy.
Benefit 2 – Supplement existing IT support: The MSP model can also benefit organisations with in-house IT staff. Sometimes in-house staff are inexperienced with new tech or they just don’t have the expertise to manage the wide array of technology challenges that can present themselves in your typical IT environment. Partnership with an MSP can fill the skills gaps when and where they appear, ensuring you have business continuity. MSP’s often employ very experienced IT practitioners who can act as a Chief Information Officer, providing insight and continuity for the implementation of medium to long term IT Roadmaps.
Benefit 3 – Manage and Mitigate Risk: Most businesses face a raft of risks on a daily basis, which, if left unmanaged, could bring the whole organisation down! Cyber security is a good example. Would you prefer a novice to do an Essential 8 Audit of your precious IT infrastructure, or a seasoned expert who has tested the security of literally hundreds of businesses? The capability that goes with years of experience, purpose built IT management tools the latest infrastructure, software, compliance knowledge and security tools is often a better choice for businesses who must mitigate their IT risks to remain viable or stay ahead of the pack.
Benefit 4 – Stay in Front of the Innovation Curve: MSP’s often provide a shared knowledge pool that is far deeper than in-house IT support. They have experts in specified fields that work across companies and industries, always learning, poised to solve customer problems at the press of a button – literally! Without access to an external specialist resource, often times businesses don’t know what they don’t know… There could be a solution to your expensive IT challenge, that you have never heard of, that could save (or make) you literally thousands of $$$ in the next quarter. Let that sink in for a moment…..
The MSP model is a great fit for organisations that:
- Need to keep their business safe from cyber-attack
- Don’t have any/enough internal IT resource to handle maintenance, updates, and repairs
- Want to maintain a high level of IT service to the business to support operations for a manageable monthly cost
- Need to keep their business purring with minimal IT downtime and no lost data
- Have a need to scale up and down their IT resources to deliver projects that require specialised skills or supplement existing BAU IT functions
If any of this strikes a chord with you or draws a match with your business, it is probably time you had a conversation with a trusted, reputable MSP that is local to you. Good luck!