As an IT professional, there comes a time when you have reached your limits, exhausted your current repository of knowledge and simply said, “We have a problem.” Good for you! After all, acceptance is the first step. When you realize a problem exists, there are generally three options to remediate your woes:
- Hire a new employee
- Buy software (i.e. backup solution, security monitoring tool, etc.)
- Partner up with a managed services company
Hiring an employee isn’t a bad idea, but it can be expensive. Also, your new employee will probably be an expert in only one key area (i.e. Microsoft server technologies, Networking, etc.), which means that your dollars with be focused on just one area of your IT ecosystem. Check out this article that covers the pros and cons between Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services for more information. Software can work, depending on your issue. This typically helps for backups (like Veeam or eVault), however, you will still need to manage and maintain it yourself, which ultimately means more time and responsibility.
If you are on the fence when it comes to using a managed services provider or a hosted solution, here are a few points to consider.
Efficiency and Reliability. In a recent study, 56% of companies said that added efficiency and reliability were key drivers for moving to a Managed Services provider (MSP). Efficient and reliable systems are two of the top demands on IT professionals, so this is a pretty good reason to start considering a managed services provider. Managed services providers employ a Network Operations Centre (NOC) that will monitor your systems 24 hours a day with a combination of manual and automated procedures. With a NOC in place, system issues are often detected and resolved before your IT staff even knows they happened. Also, the increased security provided by a managed services organization will help fend off hackers and viruses, which will ultimately boost the overall reliability of your systems.
Flexibility and Scalability. As your business grows and evolves, your systems need the ability to grow as well. With a managed provider, you have the ability to scale up and down as required, which can be a big cost saver as well. Managed Services providers also can help by solving an immediate problem, and then helping you build up to improve your overall IT strategy. This cannot really be said about the software or new employee options that were mentioned above. Along with this, flexibility is another benefit that MSP’s have. For example, an MSP can take on a variety of your IT services including managing your servers, data backups, and cloud services (among others), giving you flexibility in service provision. Hiring a new employee in such a case would require a new individual for each technology. Additionally, they can take on more or less of your IT support based on changes in your business. An example of this is if you are acquired by a new company, you might need an MSP to take on less than your initial requirements because your new parent company has an IT division. MSP’s are flexible to relinquish some of these duties, whereas an employee might have to be let go.
Expertise and Experience. Added experience and personnel is a big reason you should consider Managed Services over hiring a new employee. With a managed services partner, you are essentially adding 100+ IT experts to your team. This gives you access to IT experts in many different technical areas, and also to an entire team of help desk analysts who will monitor your systems and handle day to day IT tasks so you don’t have to. Additionally, because MSP’s hire individuals who are specialists in their fields, you have the support of IT professionals with years of experience who work as a part of your team.
Overall, Managed Services can support your business in many different ways, but it’s important to focus on your needs and finding a provider that can properly fulfill them. Now that you know what a managed service provider can do for your day to day IT needs, here’s an article to help you figure out if you are ready to take on an MSP as part of your support team:
Is your business ready for Managed Services?
Thinking about making the jump into Managed Services? Check out this quick infographic on the 6 Tests for Choosing the right Provider?