Why wait? Seeking a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP)
Starting and running a small business is a significant achievement, but maintaining one is an even bigger hurdle. While the experience can be a rewarding and profitable enterprise, it's also one of the most challenging and stressful ambitions anyone can take.
Because of the many everyday challenges every company faces, including hiring the right professionals, developing their brand, growing a book of clients, many small business owners admit they work harder than they ever had as an employee.
Challenged daily with unanticipated obstacles, these people are putting out fires and wearing so many different hats that other responsibilities and essential functions can get overlooked.
That's when a crisis is most likely to occur.
Smart business owners know that they can't do everything on their own. IT issues have long been some of the most frustrating and time-consuming culprits, often requiring expertise and experience that most small business owners just don't have. So, small business owners who wonder whether they're limited to an expensive dedicated IT staff or unreliable on-demand break/fix services finally have an answer.
The solution is strategic delegation and a reliable IT partner that frees you from focusing on tasks that you're too busy to manage or too stressed to enjoy a well-earned day off.
Obstacles Faced with In-house IT Staff
While securing dedicated IT personnel as part of a small business staffing team may seem like an appropriate response to your technology issues, it can come with its own share of obstacles to face..
Did you know: In 2020, the average hourly rate of a Computer Support Specialist was $26.69, with an annual average wage of $55,510.
When you consider cybersecurity specialties and server administrator salaries to climb from there, for many small businesses, the ROI on maintaining dedicated IT personnel simply isn't there. This is particularly true if a pressing technology problem occurs outside of regular business hours.
In addition to the long-term staffing expense, initially finding and vetting potential IT staff can be a real headache. According to industry experts at Tech Republic, "hiring new IT employees is both art and science." Even the most exact and thorough personality tests, background checks, and skill testing can fail, with deal-breaking problems arising that can take you back to square one.
And as repeated Coronavirus infection surges threaten to push companies back to remote working, many small business owners are looking for more cost-effective and dependable remote IT solutions than the conventional/expensive team and break/fix standard.
This is where a quality Managed Service Provider (MSP) can really make a difference.
The Benefits of an MSP
Outsourcing the responsibility for managing IT infrastructure and end-user systems to a top-notch MSP can provide small business owners with impressive returns. Among these benefits, businesses are able to:
- Lower costs related to IT services
- Accurately predict IT support costs to improve budgets
- Ensure IT service reliability
- Stay up-to-date on new technologies
- Customize IT services to align with organizational needs and maintain the continuity of business goals
- Access 24/7 IT support
- Easily transition to remote work models through virtual desktop systems and cloud-based productivity suites
- Integrate automation to reduce the risk of human error
- Proactively mitigate security risks and manage operational tasks related to backup/recovery
- Work with structured support teams for maximum success
Besides the obvious cost savings, the goal of your partnership with an MSP is process optimization, cybersecurity protections, and retaining top-tier talent that your company needs in contingent situations. For small business owners with a limited IT budget, MSPs can prove incredibly useful. However, choosing the right MSP can be challenging and is a critical factor that significantly impacts the overall ROI, so it is crucial to select the right MSP for your specific business needs.
How To Find the Right MSP
Because not all MSPs were created equal, selecting the right MSP can seem daunting at first. Having some of the essential qualities will help you have the confidence to find an MSP with reliable, cost-effective, and comprehensive IT support services.
Here are a few of the qualities you should look for in a quality MSP:
- Proven Track Record – A top-notch MSP will be fully licensed and accredited, composed of a team with years of experience as highly skilled IT professionals. A proven track record demonstrates an MSP as a reliable resource, so they should be able to readily provide references, testimonials, and endorsements from other small business leaders in the same industries as yours.
- Understanding Your Business and the Desire to Know More – The best MSPs will provide you with a clear problem statement that demonstrates a thorough understanding of your organization's needs, challenges, and goals. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in IT. An MSP can't develop appropriate strategies for any business unless it fully understands the organization and is experienced enough to work with any specialized software and regulatory compliance that may apply.
- Cloud Services – Using a cloud-hosted service provides you with a convenient, flexible, and cost-effective solution. Cloud services reduce the need to support any large, expensive server equipment and make remote and hybrid work models easy to implement, giving organizations the ability to adapt successfully to unpredictable pandemic disruptions. With cloud-based systems, businesses can confidently move forward, even amid uncertainty.
- Scalability – One of the most important things to consider when choosing an MSP is the opportunity for scalability. As your business grows, your IT needs will grow and change along with you. Look for an established MSP that will support growth through flexible scalability solutions.
- Fast Service and Response Times – Quick, reliable service available 24/7 is a major indicator of excellence in an MSP solution. You know your IT support will be there when they need it, providing fast and effective remedies for any covered issue.
- Proactive Approach that Moves Beyond Break/fix Service – A forward-thinking MSP will provide services that anticipate problems before they occur, working to prevent them before they can cause unnecessary downtime, data loss, or disruptions. By closely monitoring systems and managing system backups, the best MSPs take a proactive approach to IT service.
- Network Security – As digital security threats continue to rise, you need the assurance that your systems are as secure as possible. A good MSP will prioritize an organization's security as part of their service models by pro-actively monitoring systems, utilizing proven authentication and advanced data encryption, and supporting incident response/recovery plans.
Why Wait if You are Seeking a Managed IT Service Provider?
The time has come for your company to choose a Managed Service Provider to support the growing demands of your business. When you report a problem, it's very likely it is not the first time your MSP's tech has seen the issue and can evaluate resolutions faster. Due to their limited exposure to new technology, in-house IT may not realize when to upgrade systems.
As a less expensive solution than in-house IT, when you upgrade to an MSP, you gain a significant advantage over the competition. So why wait?