There’s a misguided notion out there that managed services only make sense for large firms. The theory goes that small businesses can’t afford managed IT services, or that the real benefits don’t kick in until the company reaches a larger size. We disagree. Here are just a few of the ways managed services are essential for small businesses like yours.
Lower Your IT Costs
When you manage your own IT, you’re on the hook for everything, in real time. When something goes down that’s beyond the ability of your in-house team to fix, you’re on the hook for pricey specialists. Did your most expensive piece of equipment just die? Hope you have $10,000 (or more!) of funds free for an immediate replacement. Of course, human costs are a real concern, too. How many specialties can you afford to hire in at your current size?
In just about every case your costs are lower when you choose managed services. You aren’t on the hook for pricey specialists; you already have them on your hook! You can limit the number of IT specialists you need to hire in-house because you have access to a wide range of support through your managed services provider (MSP).
Stabilize Your IT Costs
With managed services, your costs are predictable. One monthly fee gets you all the support you need. No more payments to pricey specialists. Also, if you choose a service agreement that includes hardware and software licensing, you’ll no longer be on the hook for pricey hardware replacements or for unexpected software upgrade fees.
Access a Broad, Deep Skill Set
Even the largest small businesses are limited in their IT hiring capability. You likely have some general support staff as well as a few more specialized IT roles, but you still have holes. There are still plenty of things that no one on your IT team does extremely well.
This common scenario creates two problems. First, all-out knowledge gaps once again create calls out to expensive specialist contractors, throwing your budget out of whack. A secondary problem there is that those contractors aren’t always available at the drop of a hat. You may have to deal with outages or work stoppages while you wait for someone with the right credentials to show up and fix your problem.
The second common problem is an efficiency problem, and it’s harder to spot at first. Your IT team doubtless has some hard-working and clever individuals who love to problem solve. When a problem comes along that is outside everyone’s expertise, your team may rise to the challenge and find a solution…eventually. But that solution is rarely arrived at efficiently, and in many cases, it’s not implemented elegantly.
With managed services, you get instant or near-instant access to a broad, deep bench of specialists. No more jerry-rigged IT fixes, and no more calls out to expensive specialists who are slow to respond.
Enhance Your Cybersecurity
How protected is your company’s digital presence? Do you have the resources on your team to stay current on internet security? What would you do if you discovered a data breach or some other network compromise? Do you have a plan in place?
Most small businesses aren’t equipped to handle these questions. By contracting with a qualified managed services provider, you get access to proactive remote network monitoring. If an intrusion occurs, your MSP will see it and take corrective measures.
Some small businesses even think they are immune from the threat because they’re small. This is far from the truth. Most hackers and digital thieves realize they don’t have the skills to take on Microsoft or Google, even though the payoff would be huge. Instead, they look for smaller, vulnerable targets, like small businesses with dated technology and policies. Don’t be a victim; enhance your cybersecurity by contracting with an MSP.
Focus on What Sets You Apart
What makes your organization special? Something does, or you’d be out of business by now. Yet we’re absolutely sure if you asked your customers this question, none would respond, “Wow, their IT department just does a fantastic job!”
Is IT important? Absolutely it is. The thing is, it’s not what sets your organization apart (unless of course you’re working in the IT field). Every minute of every day that someone in your organization spends making IT decisions or problem-solving IT issues is time that they aren’t spending on what makes you unique.
Partnering with a managed services provider will free your in-house staff to continue making your organization uniquely you by focusing on what sets you apart.
Reduce Stress on Leadership
Contracting with a qualified managed services provider is a great way to reduce the stress load on your leadership team. IT worries can cause stress on leadership in numerous ways. For one, when IT issues are handled in house, they frequently require attention from leadership. This takes your leaders’ focus off what’s most important and puts it on more tactical decisions that aren’t in their areas of strength anyways.
Leadership can also incur stress when a company doesn’t have a cohesive plan for defending against cyber attacks. They can’t solve this problem themselves, but they worry about the liability the company would face if an attack does occur. Your finance, accounting, and HR leaders will experience stress when the current in-house team solves problems inefficiently and as that team balloons in size to meet demands.
Contracting with an MSP solves or reduces all these sources of stress, giving your team peace of mind.
If your small business could use help in any of these areas, it’s time to learn more about what an MSP can do for you. Contact us today to get started.