The process of hiring a decent number of skilled IT professionals can end up being rather expensive – which tends to be a problem, as many businesses find that as they expand and grow, their IT needs grow at the same rate.
The problem gets even worse when you consider that approximately 95% of modern businesses rely on IT systems to function at all. When you consider this in tandem with the expensive process of recruitment, it becomes easy to see why businesses are desperate for a cheaper option – and outsourcing to an MSP can be just that.
If you’re unfamiliar with MSPs, you’re in the right place – in this article, we’ll take a look at what MSPs are, what they can bring to a business, and the big question – can an MSP help a business grow?
MSPs, or Managed Service Providers, are essentially teams of IT workers that come pre-assembled with talented individuals. What makes them different to an in-house IT team, is that they won’t be on your payroll or working from your offices, despite working on basically the same tasks.
The secret sauce, if you will, of MSPs, is their business model. They work with multiple companies at once – which requires a team of exceptional and experienced workers – meaning that starting working with a new business, like your own, is a breeze for them. Their high level of skill when it comes to dealing with businesses also means they can be incredibly quick to begin working with – commonly businesses will find themselves fully set up with an MSP within a fortnight of starting the process.
Here’s how it usually goes: you’ll pay your MSP a predictable fee, usually monthly, in exchange for their support for all your IT needs. Their business model allows them to keep costs relatively low, since they work with so many businesses at once – but you’ll still be getting an incredibly dedicated and fluid team of workers.
As we mentioned earlier, recruitment is something that can really add to the costs of keeping a business running. Did you know that to fill a single IT position, everything considered – including on-boarding, covering any resources lost, and any other additional fees – it can cost a business a staggering £3000? Needless to say, if you’re looking to hire a team of let’s say, three people, before you even consider the cost of paying for their training and their wages, that’s £9000 gone just like that!
The majority of these costs can be avoided if you decide to hire a Managed Service Provider. A lot of MSPs will also personally cover all the work it takes for them to become a fully integrated part of your business. If you choose to opt for an MSP over an in-house team, all the money you save can be funneled into another area of your business – there are always plenty of options. Why not put some money towards research or marketing, or even designing and creating new products? There are countless possibilities, all of which can encourage growth in your business.
So we’ve established that outsourcing IT work to a Managed Service Provider is a great way to save your business money. All the money you saved can be put towards various other worthwhile endeavors, helping to give a boost to your growth. Fantastic! But there’s also another thing to consider – growth can be facilitated by IT itself.
Think of it this way – you don’t want to decide to work with a good looking MSP, only to find that they actually aren’t particularly invested in your company, so you end up missing out on the growth that a great MSP’s cutting edge knowledge of IT tech can bring to you. This situation can be avoided as long as you’re prepared to do a little bit of research.
The fact of the matter is that there are a massive amount of different MSPs, many of which won’t necessarily be worth your time. However, chances are, there will be a lot that actually would be a good choice. If you’re interested in using IT to encourage growth, the best fit for you would be an MSP which offers consultancy as part of their deal – it may cost a little extra, but the knowledge and experience really will be top notch.
MSPs which do offer advice and consultancy alongside all their other offerings will be a fantastic asset, especially if you have questions relating to improving your business IT network. Considering adopting SD WAN? Unsure if the managers of your accounts would find a hosted telephone solution to be helpful? These questions and more can be answered by the right MSP.
When all is said and done, making the decision of whether to go with an in-house IT department, or to use a Managed Service Provider, is not entirely straightforward. You really need to understand what kind of IT support is out there, how the different types work, and what your business really needs to improve its IT.
Don’t be afraid to ask providers questions either – this can be a great way of helping you make a decision. It’s a good idea to ask to compare future plans to see if they also have plans to grow, as this can show you whether or not they’ll be able to keep up with your business. You could even just try finding out whether they’ve previously been successful working with businesses that are similar to yours – if they have, that’s a great sign!
A perfect MSP will be able to understand you and your business, as well as ensuring your business is kept up and running at crucial points. Obviously that’s the most important goal, as downtime and data breaches can spell disaster for any business! The right MSP really can make all the difference.