Companies that find themselves in the predicament of needing cybersecurity assistance, but don’t have the necessary funds to keep everything in-house could go a few different routes. They could either have a part-time IT crew filled with individual freelancers or call on the services of a managed IT service provider (MSP).
The benefits of managed IT services offer these companies an extreme amount of flexibility and scalability that they typically cannot find anywhere else. Above and beyond the flexibility aspect, managed IT service providers offer businesses of all sizes a plethora of great cyber solutions that they can use to effectively scale without the growing pains. Let’s look into the benefits of managed IT services and how your enterprise can see immediate changes from implementing this functionality in your network infrastructure.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT service providers (MSPs) allow businesses of all sizes to outsource their IT work towards an experienced team that provides servers, a network, and other specialized services related to IT. This can lift a tremendous weight off a small team working on a bootstrapped budget, helping them to receive the necessary support they need to tackle their IT problems while using proactive methods that help to make their network more robust.
MSPs can relatively decrease the overall IT support expenses up to 30% to 50%, thereby allowing businesses to retain their focus on growing their business rather than simply protecting themselves against a data breach. These networks of IT experts can help to manage the servers that your network runs on, making sure that it is consistently patched and updated to ensure optimal security. This can boost your network’s reliability and performance, leaving your company to be perceived as one that is more trustworthy and responsible when it comes to your cybersecurity.
MSPs will handle your system upgrades and implement the most effective software to keep your organization on task and ready to undertake whatever the future holds for your enterprise. MSPs also act in a remote tech support role and offer on-site support if there is a need for it.
Who Needs an MSP?
MSPs are one of the most cost-effective IT solutions that small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can call upon for IT solutions. For a nominal monthly fee, MSPs provide organizations with an acceptable priced answer to the complex technology pains that small businesses experience.
What do businesses get in return for this nominal fee? Well, for starters, they get access to expertise, best practices, and world-class tools and technologies that will then be used to reduce risk, enhance efficiencies, and even change the culture. This can be done by introducing internal IT operations to new technologies and processes that can become a new catalyst for business development.
Of course, MSPs aren’t all about optimization; they are also key for smaller businesses to utilize when it’s time for them to scale. Tasks such as routine tracking and maintenance that are typically abandoned by an internal IT person or team can be easily picked up and made better by the MSP. In this way, MSPs are a solution for organizations seeking to relieve their internal staff of regular network operations maintenance, daily operations, and even help-desk tasks.
When you outsource your IT tasks to an MSP, you never again need to be distracted by constantly having to train new individuals on the ins and outs of your in-house computing system. This can be cumbersome and difficult to manage if you plan to keep your business consistent and on track with continually evolving technology, support, and productivity demands.
Does Turnover Play a Factor in Choosing an MSP?
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) assessed average turnover rates across all industries at around 19% in mid-2017. Of course, the turnover varies by industry, with stable professional jobs maintaining turnover rates closer to 8-10 percent.
Although, 32 percent of respondents from AON Hewitt’s Global Cyber Security Talent Survey in 2018 said that they had a turnover rate below 2 percent, a staggering 24 percent of respondents claimed cybersecurity role turnover rates of greater than 5 percent. This latter cohort of higher turnover rate companies are prime candidates for having their IT functionalities handled by an MSP.
What are the Benefits of Using an MSP?
The majority of Small-to-Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) lack the resources to hire top-level IT talent. Using an MSP allows them to level the playing field with their competitors that carry a higher resource level because MSPs are staffed with the caliber of talent demanded by big companies. Let’s look at some of the key benefits that companies of all sizes and industries.
Flexibility is by far one of the most sought after benefits of using an MSP. The unique subscription model that MSPs use means that when times are slow, businesses can decrease their IT servicing needs. In contrast, when times are good, you can use your MSP to help your business scale more than ever before.
This increased flexibility allows businesses to breathe easier knowing that if they fall on tough times that they can still keep their key internal employees. This means that your business doesn’t have to pause its regular operations if something unexpected comes up; it can just pivot towards handling things in a different manner altogether to keep up with increased or decreased demand.
Handing over your IT to a managed service provider means you don’t need to think about training employees on new software or processes. With an MSP at your service, your team can focus on their core strengths and leave IT tasks to qualified, off-site personnel whose own core strengths cover the full range of IT-related issues.
MSPs are also critical for businesses who are just transitioning to new systems that are filled with bugs that need to be handled quickly. These businesses understand that if their network goes down for even a minute that their reputation is at stake. MSPs tackle these types of issues head-on from multiple layers, giving internal teams the ability to stay agile all the time.
Other times, a new technology that a business employs for the purpose of improving the productivity of the internal staff (i.e. a SaaS tool), can end up making the staff members more frustrated and less productive. If you keep these tasks in-house, the steps that involve program implementation and network adaptability could leave your operations in limbo for weeks on end. But having an MSP team at your beck and call means that troubleshoot technical solutions is a breeze (not to mention handling the backlog of questions about how to use the new technology from your internal staff).
Another key consideration regarding the productivity benefits of an MSP is that you’ll never have to worry about whether you’re compliant or if your back-ups are done correctly. The MSP has that all covered and will keep you in the loop on each task instantly and give you network-wide compatibility that helps you focus your attention on your business and what you need to do to succeed.
Massive Cost Savings
Outsourcing your IT services to an MSP can help you save on both physical spaces as well as hardware costs. When it comes to growing your business, those overhead costs can really cut into your bottom line if you’re not careful. Thankfully, MSPs house all of your IT infrastructures so you don’t need to have any servers or hardware besides your computers and workstations under your budget.
This means that your organization can free up an incredible amount of physical space at your brick and mortar location that would have normally been occupied by technology. This allows you to save money on the cost of maintaining that hardware and the energy it uses and, in turn, you can pass these savings to your customers.
Another key benefit of using an MSP from a cost-saving perspective is that you won’t have to hire or train IT personnel. This means that your company can avoid the costs of retaining an in-house IT staff and allocate more money toward expanding its business. This gives your business the flexibility to keep your core computing system small and agile, allowing you to pay for the minimal necessities of IT and scale up as your system arsenal grows in proportion to your business.
If your business fluctuates in demand on a seasonal basis, an MSP can help you scale back or ramp up your IT needs based on your needs at that given time. This gives your organization the ability to drive high ROI and cost-saving measures that helps your team pursue new revenue streams as well as marketing strategies that can give your business the upper hand against the competition.
Optimized Risk Management
Besides the productivity and cost-saving specifics, the core of an MSP is to keep your business on top of national and international developments that ensure your organization is always in compliance with the right committees. This is a big deal because if your business is found to be in non-compliance with government regulation and not properly securing your data is a much larger risk, it could potentially mean millions of dollars in fines headed in your direction.
Staying up-to-date with changing technologies, markets, software, licensing and regulation can be overwhelming, but MSPs can keep your data secured in both physical space and storage space on your networks. This virtually eliminates the possibility of crippling cyber-attacks that could set your company back and damage its reputation.
Data Security is Magnified
Recent projections show that over one-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud by 2020. What’s worse is that in the first half of 2017 alone, cyber-attacks stole or lost over 2 billion data records. This represents a massive shift in data responsibilities, focusing more on cloud storage rather than physical storage (i.e. physical servers).
This is why an investment in good security via supplementing your internal IT team with an MSP can help your organization keep up with innovations. MSPs use secure technologies and processes such as penetration testing to protect your data making it nearly impossible for bad actors to penetrate the defenses that they have set to thwart them.
By using the services of an MSP, you can keep data breaches from compromising the financial and personal data of clients as well as trade secrets and confidential information at all times. This can have a profound effect on the sentiment of your current clients and customers, allowing you to possibly generate new leads based on testimonials from their positive experiences with your brand.
Having a Reliable Expert Whenever You Need One
MSPs are verifiable experts in a variety of businesses and industries. They are adept at everything from software and technical troubleshooting to the best practices specific to your business. What’s more, MSPs can offer advice on how to make your processes more efficient.
Since MSPs bring years of experience and knowledge from a wide array of related industries, they can offer insights that internal teams didn’t even know they needed. This means that if your most senior IT staff member is not available and there needs to be a decision made on a specific IT task, the MSP can step up and cover your team on all fronts.
Creating an Effective IT Team with an MSP
MSPs take IT extremely seriously. They understand how to handle a wide variety of client IT requests and can work autonomously to find a solution and possibly help your team out with learning from their solution along the way.
This type of disciplined response ensures that your internal IT team doesn’t get sidetracked by menial tasks that take away from their core responsibilities. Giving your internal IT team access to an MSP can help them grow by having them emulate the good work habits of the MSP for their own tasks. In the end, this means that your organization can have more budgetary breathing room to help decrease your compliance risks, lower your overhead costs, and increase your ROI thanks to more productive, well-informed IT decision making. If you need help choosing the right one for your company, Contact RSI Security to get started with Managed IT Services.