Every business, regardless of its size, can benefit from a dependable and efficient IT department. A well-functioning IT support system offers organizations a greater degree of flexibility, which, in turn, may lead to increased profits. Besides, having an IT team on-premises reduces employee downtime caused by frequent tech outages. This can help save money and increase productivity.
As a business owner, you may be unsure about how to choose a scalable, cost-effective, and practical IT support. Some large enterprises prefer going the traditional route by setting up their own in-house IT department. However, this may be a tall order for small to mid-sized companies with limited capital.
That’s where organizations providing outsourced IT services come into play. Let us see how a competent managed services provider can help your business and how to find them, starting with why IT support is important for your business.
Why Is IT Support Important for Your Business?
Here is why expert IT support is crucial to most businesses:
According to the recent APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report, the average number of phishing attacks in 2020 almost doubled over the year. The report also suggests that modern phishers are using sophisticated techniques, such as encryption, undetectable domain names, and suspicious e-mail addresses to deceive potential victims.
Furthermore, Agility SMB explains that about 43% of cybercriminals target small businesses. In 2019, cyberattacks against small businesses increased by about five times as compared to 2018, owing to the lack of appropriate cybersecurity.
That said, an unprotected network or a network with security gaps is often an easy target for cybercriminals looking to do some serious damage. An easy way to protect your business against cyberattacks is hiring an outsourced IT services provider, who can help strengthen your network against security breaches.
With competent IT support, you can store and manage your business data effectively. As a result, you are less likely to suffer the inconvenience of lost files, virus attacks, and accidental deletions, among other things.
Certified Help At Hand:
When you hire a managed IT services provider, you get unlimited access to a group of competent IT professionals. Apart from resolving any tech issues, these experts can also advise you on your company’s IT needs. Heeding their advice can help you build a stable and secure IT network with an array of long-term benefits.
Even the most modern software tends to glitch now and then. A competent IT support team can help you resolve the issue before it interferes with employee uptime. Additionally, they can also recommend ways in which you can avoid the glitch in the future.
Embrace New Technology:
Unless you take a vested interest in tech developments, it may be impossible for you note every new IT solution launched in the market. This is where an outsourced IT services team can help.
An IT team can help streamline your business processes by infusing them with a range of modern tech advancements. Moreover, they can bring you IT resources that may have been unavailable to you before.
What Is a Managed Services Provider?
Simply put, a managed services provider (MSP) or managed IT services provider is an external company responsible for keeping your tech network on track. The MSP will proactively monitor your IT infrastructure, keep tech problems to a minimum, and troubleshoot glitches as quickly as possible.
As per Mordor Intelligence, the global managed services market was valued at $152.05 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to approximately $274.20 billion by 2026, which showcases the rising popularity of outsourced IT services with companies of all shapes and sizes.
Most MSPs charge a monthly flat fee in exchange for the services they provide. They also present well-defined written contracts listing these services. A few common services offered by MSPs include:
- Network Administration
- IT Support
- Communications and VoIP
- Data Storage and Backup
- Network Security
Benefits of Choosing a Managed Services Provider
You may be wondering why you should opt for an MSP instead of hiring an internal team of IT experts. Here are a few advantages of teaming up with a skilled outsourced IT services company that can help you make your decision.
As mentioned before, MSPs charge a flat fee for the services they offer. As a result, your IT expenses are consolidated into a set amount payable every month or once a year. This can prevent any unexpected expenses from draining your IT budget.
Your IT infrastructure is a complex web of interconnected devices, applications, and software that need constant monitoring and occasional replacements. With an internal team, you are liable for all replacement and repair-related costs. However, since MSPs often include maintenance and repairs as part of their contract, you are not obligated to shell out for any extra expenses.
Maintaining an in-house IT team, especially when your business is trying to grow, can be a daunting task. Scaling up a tech network requires a significant amount of manual labor, intellect, and new hardware/software. Your IT team may not be well-equipped to see these changes through on their own.
Also, an understaffed and overworked team lacking the correct resources can jeopardize your business quicker than you think. To prevent this from happening, you will have to keep recruiting new staff while training your existing IT team, which can prove difficult and expensive.
If you have plans to expand your business soon, you may find it in your best interest to partner with an outsourced IT services provider. An MSP can help you update, upgrade, and scale up your systems as and when required. They can do this swiftly, without taking you away from your primary business responsibilities.
Like any other system, IT networks also tend to run into occasional spots of trouble. However, the cost of repairing a tech component can burn a sizable hole in your pocket. You can always conduct preventive maintenance to resolve small glitches before they snowball into full-fledged disasters.
An MSP can help you do this with ease. They usually monitor your systems 24/7 to identify tech problems and nip them in the bud. As this approach prevents technical glitches from blowing out of proportion, it reduces the risk of tech outages. As a result, an outsourced IT services company can help keep your IT network healthy and running at full capacity round the clock.
Round the Clock Support
A managed services provider implements remote monitoring technology to monitor your systems 24/7. They also receive real-time alerts and can rush to your aid in case a problem arises.
Another important upside to 24/7 monitoring is off-hours support. Your IT network can encounter a major glitch after hours, which may go undetected till the following morning. An outsourced IT services provider can help avoid this issue.
Upon receiving an alert, they can deploy the corrective actions instantly, irrespective of what time it is. As a result, they can protect your IT network against damage anytime, anywhere.
How to Know If Your Business Needs an Outsourced IT Services Provider?
Here are a few instances suggesting that it may be time for you to hire a reliable managed IT services company to look after your network.
- Your IT network is prone to breakdowns.
- Your internal IT team is overworked and overwhelmed.
- Your IT budget keeps changing every month.
- You are unsure about how to prioritize your tech requirements.
- You are just starting with a business and do not have an IT team in place.
- You have no means to track IT usage across your company.
- Your cybersecurity policy is next to non-existent.
- Your team struggles with continuous downtime resulting from system crashes, software lags, and data losses.
If any of these situations apply to you, team up with an outsourced IT services company right away.
How to Find the Right Managed Services Provider for Your Business
However, finding the right MSP may be easier said than done, especially if you are a new business owner. Additionally, not all managed IT services may be suitable for your business. That is why you should weigh some vital pointers before settling upon an MSP:
Find Someone Who Understands You
Your IT infrastructure heavily depends on the type of work you do. The MSP needs to understand your company’s unique offerings in the context of the wider industry you belong to. This includes any special software you may need or any standards and regulations you must follow. Additionally, they should be willing to learn and adapt to your growing needs.
If an outsourced IT services company offers anything beyond IT management, chances are that their attention is divided between multiple areas. So, they will not be able to dedicate themselves to your organization’s tech needs. Always try to zero in on a company that focuses on one definitive area of expertise, i.e., managed IT services.
Ask for Provider Accountability
You have the right to expect that the prospective MSP will live up to the levels of service they promise. In this regard, you can ask the service provider to list a few ways in which they will recompense a dissatisfactory performance. Be sure to have these methods written into the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Seek an MSP Who Transcends the Break-Fix Approach
If your prospective MSP adheres to the break/fix approach, they may not be worth the money. Instead, you should try looking for an outsourced IT services company that provides remote monitoring, disaster recovery plans, on-site and off-site backups, among other things.
See If They Ask Questions
A proactive MSP will probe for more information on your business model, company history, services, needs, challenges, and strategies. They need to know where you want to go with your business to formulate an effective IT strategy for you.
A reliable MSP partner can help you be more focused, resilient, and productive. That said, outsourcing to an IT services provider only works if you choose someone compatible with your needs. As a rule of thumb, you should always lean towards MSP companies that have a staunch reputation and a proven track record. We have listed a few other considerations that you may want to take into account before making your final choice.
Are you ready to team up with an outsourced IT services company but unsure of your next step? We can help you out. Call us now to know more!