With technology consistently evolving, you have probably heard the term Managed Service Provider, or MSP. But what is it? A “Managed Service Provider is a Third Party that a company uses to take over the responsibility for maintaining, and anticipating need for, a range of processes and functions in order to improve operations and cut expenses.” In other words, you outsource your IT team. They are experts in their field and have a broader range of knowledge and expertise than a single IT person. So, why should or shouldn’t a small business use a Managed Service Provider? We will be looking at the Pros and Cons to hiring an MSP in hopes that you will be better able to decide whether your business will benefit from using one.
Benefits of Hiring a Managed Service Provider:
It will Make Your Staff More Available to Focus on other Aspects of the Business.
Small Businesses typically do not have a massive budget and, as with all companies, payroll is a major cost. So, it is imperative that all resources that are used go towards making sure the business is profitable. Having IT support is definitely important, but having all team members focused on growing the business and working outside of the IT department could be a better allocation of time and energy. A managed service provider would take over IT responsibilities and would free up your staff to work on other projects.
It will Provide Broader IT Expertise:
Typically, small businesses do not have an in-house team dedicated to IT or if they do it is usually one or two people who handle the IT issues and can also be pulled onto other projects as well. A managed service provider would bring to the business a wealth of knowledge and experience that is broader than what one person would have. MSPs sole focus is to manage the business’s IT and operations.
The benefits of Hiring an MSP seem amazing, but what are possible reasons to NOT hire one?
Things to Consider:
Having an outsourced team to manage your services comes at a price. Typically, it is a very hefty cost. Now, of course, not all MSPs charge outlandish fees, but it is not unheard of. Small Businesses may not have the budget to allocate to hiring a Managed Service Provider. When considering budget, a business should weigh the value of being able to use their whole team on business growth and what that can do for profits.
Location of Service Provider:
Since an MSP handles IT and other related issues, it would be ideal for them to be local to the business that they are serving. Finding an MSP close to your business is not that easy, but with cloud computing on the rise, there is almost no need for them to be local. Cloud computing and remote access allows the managed service provider to remotely fix software issues and act as a remote help desk. The only potential problem that could arise from not having an MSP local to the business is if there were to be a hardware issue. In certain cases, hardware cannot be fixed remotely. Many MSPs have a plan set in place in case of hardware issues or they outline the fact that they do not cover them in their terms and conditions.
Also, time-zones could pose as a problem. If a company is on the east coast and the MSP is located on the west, then there could be business hours that are not being actively worked on and covered by the MSP. Small businesses should talk to their potential providers to be sure that they will be covered during hours of operation or agree on a plan that takes both company’s hours into consideration.
How to Find An MSP:
Now that we’ve gone through some of the pros and cons of hiring an MSP, how do you do it? Well, one of the most common ways is to Google Managed Service Providers and click the first option or two. However, the first five or six results are just paid advertisements. Once you find a provider that seems like it could meet your needs, you will need to research the company to be sure that they are a good fit. Typically MSPs will want to schedule a consultation as well.
Another option is to consult with us, BrightCyber, to see how we can meet your Managed Service Provider needs. During the free consultation, we will walk through the options you have and what sort of coverage your business will need. That way, you are more aware of what will be genuinely useful for your business.
Small businesses need to consider the pros and cons to hiring an MSP. While having more manpower focusing on the business could increase productivity and profitability, finding room in the budget to accommodate the change could be tricky. A great first step is to schedule a consultation with BrightCyber to see what your business is looking at.