Obviously, the specific reasons businesses adopt managed services depend on the unique needs of the organization. For example, the IT needs of a five person company with no in-house IT will be quite different from a 100 person company with a dedicated IT team. However, generally speaking, businesses adopt managed services to improve upon all or some aspects of their IT strategy or infrastructure. How this occurs will largely depend on the in-house IT expertise of a given business.
There are a variety of reasons organizations need help from third-party IT firms. IT skill and expense tops the list for smaller businesses. Very small companies stand to reduce IT costs while getting the IT expertise they need by partnering with a service provider. Larger businesses typically work with IT providers to offload a number of difficult or time-consuming tasks, allowing their internal IT staff to focus on mission critical activities.
The ongoing infrastructure monitoring managed service providers deliver can help SMBs avoid IT issues, data loss and downtime. Small business IT teams face budget and time constraints that make it difficult to deliver the level of monitoring an MSP can. This may be the most important benefit of working with an MSP, because IT downtime can completely derail a small business.
The new, strategic “Hybrid IT department” is the perfect fit for many larger organizations. This collaborative approach allows companies to offload a number of difficult or time-consuming tasks, allowing their internal IT staff to focus on mission critical activities. A managed service provider works almost like a subsidiary of their IT department.
For example, a local company outsources an MSP to help design the wifi network, establish and support email hosting, Microsoft licensing and provide data protection solutions. Beyond those services, they use the MSP for network maintenance/troubleshooting. The MSP has remote, secure access to the company network and all the documentation, so they can access systems when internal staff is unavailable. This hybrid approach is a valuable support the company’s IT staff rely on when they are occupied with other things. An MSP also steps in to help guide decisions on choosing appropriate hardware when internal IT departments don’t have the time to do research and put together plans for deploying new technologies, providing a helpful, expert outside perspective.
The flexibility and customization an MSP offers allows you to find the outsourced IT solutions and services that fit within your business structure. For instance, outsourcing daily network management frees up your internal IT resources for important strategic projects and core competencies. Or vice versa. If your IT staff manages the day-to-day IT then outsource complex infrastructure projects and technology upgrades for an MSP Professional Services engagement.
Whether you need full service or selective IT solutions, MSPs can help you in three distinct ways:
* Outsourced support for companies without a dedicated IT department
* Serving as professional support to streamline existing IT departments
*Project based infrastructure engagements (Professional Services)
If you’ve never considered an IT managed service offering and are trying to manage your own IT, it’s worth being aware of this cost effective way to have your IT burden lifted. If you are working with an IT provider on a project basis, it is worth investigating whether they offer managed services as well. Or, if your current IT team is running ragged, perhaps you can offload some difficult IT tasks. MSPs can help keep you focused, and keep your business safe and help you plan for the future.
Portions of this blog are shared from the Datto eBook ‘Should Your Company Outsource IT?’ Download the full eBook HERE.