If you’re a small business owner, you know that there are a lot of tasks to manage. Between operations, products and services, finances, marketing and sales, IT and Data Security can become an afterthought. Outsourcing IT to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) is becoming a common practice for small and mid-sized businesses. A MSP manages the network, users, services and devices that are integral to a company’s operations and ultimately their success. The MSP helps to guarantee that the small business’ network is current, secure and follows best practices.
In our experience as an MSP, there are 6 main reasons why Small Businesses should outsource their IT Support and Services:
Training and maintaining in-house IT Staff is costly. The most basic IT Support Technicians in the United States earn around $50,000 per year. In larger Metro markets, the number jumps to around $70,000 per year. Setting labor costs aside, the costs required to keep a business’ IT up and running (software licensing, backup programs, security software, network monitoring, and the list goes on) can quickly add up. Acquiring, implementing and maintaining computers, servers, firewalls, wireless connections, storage and a whole host of other components is pricey and can quickly consume your business’s capital. Outsourcing your IT can transform fixed capital costs into variable, but predictable, operating costs, giving you room to budget accordingly. In short, you only pay for what you use.
Stay Focused on Your Core Business
It’s neither practical nor possible to be a jack of all trades. Suzy in Accounting should be spending her time focusing on A/R, not researching the best ways to backup QuickBooks. Max, the new Marketing guru should be building brand awareness, not spending a quarter of his day trying to figure out why the boss’ calendar isn’t syncing to his iPhone. Distractions such as these lessen employee productivity and will eventually impact your bottom line. MSP’s handle all IT tasks so your employees don’t need to spend time on them. Perhaps more importantly, the MSP is accountable for the IT tasks, not your employees.
So you’ve hired an in-house IT Tech? – Congrats! You just spent 3-6 months interviewing, hiring, and training your new employee. In turn, due to their specialized job requirements, the new IT Tech will spend another 3-6 months getting up to speed on your IT systems. You’ve invested a lot of time and money on your new IT Tech. Hopefully he or she stays with your company for the long haul, however, in the IT industry this is not the norm. The average tenure of IT employees is around 2 years. So, what happens when they leave your company for a more lucrative salary and title? MSP’s solve this problem by adhering to strict processes of documenting your IT environment and spreading this knowledge across their organization. No single person holds the keys to your IT Systems. An entire team of IT Professionals are trained on your business, its systems, processes and requirements. Should you need to part ways with your MSP, it is standard practice for them to transfer that knowledge base to another provider, or to someone within your organization.
There’s no way around it: every business carries a certain level of risk. An ever-evolving palette of government regulations, competitors, economic conditions, and technologies ensures this is the case. Companies who provide IT Support assume much of this risk. They harbor specific industry-related knowledge—most importantly, those about security and compliance issues. With this knowledge, they can better ascertain and avoid inherent risks.
Guaranteed Service Levels
Have you ever found yourself in dire need of IT support after your workday has finished or on the weekend? Things can go wrong, whether it suits your schedule or not. An in-house IT Tech can’t be everywhere all the time. They have lives too! MSP’s have the processes and staff in place to guarantee that IT issues will be responded to and resolved in a timely manner. Further, MSP’s provide staff around the clock to ensure that issues are dealt with whenever they come up.
Access to Expanded Resources
Although large businesses often have the resources necessary to maintain cutting edge technologies and services themselves, smaller businesses generally do not. Not only do MSP’s have access to a large and diverse pool of technical talent, they have special relationships with software/hardware and other IT vendors. Small Businesses can leverage a relationship with their MSP to gain preferred pricing on IT Services, as well as have access to Enterprise level Technologies such as Cloud Hosted Servers, Desktops and Applications as a Service, and Mobile Device Management.
Outsourcing your IT Support and Services has too many benefits to ignore, especially for small businesses. Nevertheless, some businesses are hesitant about working with an outsourced MSP due to cost. When thinking about your total IT costs don’t forget to include soft costs such as employee productivity, data loss, and other risks inherent with doing IT yourself (or not at all). Get an instant quote for outsourced IT Services and Support. We’re more affordable than you may think!