Outsourcing has gained a bad reputation over the years, mostly associated with hasty cost-cutting tactics. Particularly for IT support, most people have horror stories about calling a support number and waiting too long for far-less-than-amazing attempts at solutions to their problems.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are actually a lot of strategic benefits for your organization in outsourcing your IT. When you work with the right team, the biggest of these is solving problems and pain points that would be difficult or expensive to handle alone.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:
- Projects requiring specialized skills
- Regulatory compliance
- Projects requiring specific infrastructure
- Staffing and hiring
- Lack of focus
- Reactionary solutions
- The bottom line
PROJECTS REQUIRING SPECIALIZED SKILLS
A managed IT service provider maintains a team of dedicated professionals. They’re not only qualified but practiced as well. Their living centers around technology, its maintenance and its implementation.
You’ll gain access to specialized skills that would be difficult to grow or even hire for with in-house staff. With a group of professionals at your disposal, you can cover a lot of technological ground.
An SMB’s in-house IT professional wears a lot of hats day-to-day – working on network problems one day, setting up a laptop the next, updating the firewall software the day after that. A generalized, jack-of-all-trades skill set works best for that type of environment. But there are times when you need the help of a dedicated network security specialist, for example.
Network security is a vital component of any infrastructure, but it’s often tough to justify the overhead expense of adding a dedicated security professional to the team or even as a consultant. Additionally, their strength in a particular field means that they likely won’t have the all-around skills required for comprehensive in-house support, making them a poor fit for a permanent hire.
However, an MSP is incentivized to acquire niche talent – a security professional or other specialist on the team will serve multiple customers and enable them to offer additional services. That’s when you’ll have access to the professional you need for the job ahead of you.
Many MSPs have a number of specialists on their team. This can include almost any skill set – network security, cloud infrastructure and support, backup and data integrity, hardware repair, legacy software and hardware, and more.
Even if the MSP isn’t a specialist in the specific regulatory compliance for your industry, don’t be surprised if they are at least somewhat knowledgeable about it. After all, the relevant regulations are mostly just best practices.
Typically, the regulations address what data can be accessed by whom – which is inherently a security challenge – and keeping the data safe from loss – which is a backup and data recovery challenge.
Due diligence and proper procedures are also important, so a professional service provider will maintain practices that avoid getting anyone into hot water.
Both of those challenges are commonly solved with the solutions that an MSP offers in addition to any specialization around your specific regulation.
PROJECTS REQUIRING SPECIFIC INFRASTRUCTURE
Besides an extensive array of skills, MSPs typically maintain extensive and powerful infrastructure.
It’s not uncommon for an IT MSP to offer cloud services as well as IT support. This offers similar benefits to the composition of their team – you have capabilities that you wouldn’t have previously, like more effective and robust backup for your important data.
You would be storing your files and programs on the MSP’s remote servers rather than on-site, accessing them via a secure internet connection. Trained professionals will monitor and maintain the servers on which they are housed, ensuring their integrity and your continuity.
Furthermore, cloud infrastructure is typically more secure than the setup that you would be using on-site, both because an MSP’s security know-how is applied to your systems and theirs, as well as the data being stored away from your place of business. In case of disaster – natural or technological (hard disk failure, power surge, etc.) – your data is intact even if your operations aren’t. And all in accordance with your continuity plan. You can get your backups straight from the source and be back up and running ASAP.
STAFFING AND HIRING
IT service providers not only have access to a wide variety of experts in the industry but they’re doing all the management for you. You won’t have to worry about your IT department catching the flu and leaving your tech at a standstill. You also won’t have to worry about putting ads out to hire another person if your IT professional moves to another country.
You won’t even have to worry about hiring on more staff if you have a big project coming up. You can just request more help from your MSP. All of these things would be added stress for you without your MSP.
Furthermore, you won’t have concerns about labor or benefit costs as you rotate through team members – MSPs most often engage in flat-rate monthly billing for the services listed in their service agreement.
LACK OF FOCUS
With a dedicated IT support team, you’ll be freeing up time, resources and energy that were spent on the maintenance of your tech infrastructure to allocate elsewhere – namely running and expanding your business.
The proactive support that your MSP provides will result in less downtime for your team, leading to better business and better communication. Their knowledge and expertise will provide you with expanded capabilities when working in the office or remotely.
If you don’t have a team dedicated entirely to making sure that your bases are covered on the IT front, a lot of your solutions are going to be reactionary rather than preventative.
Additionally, a lot of SMBs are working with outdated equipment or old-fashioned practices that could really stand to be replaced or improved. A dedicated IT support team outsourced to an MSP can solve both of those problems. Not only are they current on the newest technology and best industry practices, but they also can anticipate problems before they pop up.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This is just a general discussion of all of the benefits afforded by outsourcing your IT department. Increased focus on what makes your business unique, improved security and better support. Specialized applications and better infrastructure. These are only a few of the possibilities.
Reach out to us today for more guidance and specific applications that can work for you and take your business to the next level.