What is a Managed IT Service Provider (IT MSP)?
A typical IT MSP is hired to handle common areas of technology for other businesses such as network, application, infrastructure, business continuity, cybersecurity, help-desk support, and on-premises support. Having a proactive IT MSP in charge of your technology can allow your business to quickly expand and grow. In addition, by shouldering most of the routine maintenance work, MSPs can also collaborate alongside internal IT teams and allow them to focus on vital day-to-day tasks instead of using up valuable resources to keep systems from crashing.
Common Differences Between In-house IT and IT MSPs
Most businesses either have an internal IT Solution like an IT Manager or department or they have an IT MSP like PACE Technical to manage all their technology needs. They sometimes even work alongside each other and establish a mutually beneficial relationship.
Some companies prefer having in-house IT because it gives them on-site access to support when they need it. They are also already highly familiar with your IT Infrastructure and what your business is all about. While this option can be very convenient, especially since they are right down the hall, there are also a few drawbacks. Holidays or time off can limit your access to support if your internal resource decides to take off for a few weeks. If they resign, they may also be leaving with all the knowledge about your infrastructure. Their level of expertise sometimes cannot match up to an MSP, since many smaller companies with internal IT are not regularly investing in ongoing training for their employees like MSPs do.
If your business decides to hire an IT MSP, they will most likely give you a detailed list of the services that they can provide and outline all the details regarding the cost of their services (for example during office and after-office hours). When technical issues arise, they may have a system in place to ensure your issues are addressed on a priority-based system. An example of a priority-based issue is when a company-wide data loss has occurred, and no one can access any files. A situation like this would take precedence over a situation where a user simply forgot their password and needed a new login to access their email. If your IT MSP is proactive, they should be able to effectively prioritize issues and react accordingly. They are also there around the clock and most of them are available outside of regular office hours. You never have to worry about vacations because they will always have you covered all year round.
An in-house IT manager or department can be a convenient solution since they will understand your company’s processes firsthand and are right there if something goes wrong. However, an MSP will also work just as hard to fully comprehend all your processes, software, and procedures that make your business unique even before they start managing you. In addition, they will also investigate areas of improvement and upgrades that an internal IT team may not think of, and proactively work towards creating a strategy to achieve success. Not to mention their team of professionals that are normally in charge of all your IT initiatives bringing insights, strategy, training and more that you would most likely not be getting from an In-house resource (or at least not on the same level).
Common misconceptions of Managed IT Service Providers
Now that we have established some key differences between an internal IT solution vs. an MSP, we can dive into some very common misconceptions that business owners have about hiring one to manage their IT.
IT MSPs are overpriced
When compared to the salary of an In-house solution, an MSP usually comes in as more expensive. MSPs may appear to be “overpriced” because they spend more and invest in the right people, processes, and resources that an in-house IT solution simply would not be able to provide at a reduced cost.
An MSP will most likely eliminate the need to invest in costly hardware and other IT systems up-front. In fact, Internal IT is one of the largest and most unreliable expenditures according to a 2017 Cisco study that said that MSPs reduce reoccurring in-house costs by 40%.
To avoid any confusion or miscommunication regarding price, your MSP should be transparent about what their services cost and how they plan on charging your business. When you sign up, be sure to review all the details of your agreement and ask all your questions upfront so there are no surprises surrounding costs.
Managed IT Services will replace your current IT Team
MSPs do not always entirely replace an IT department or manager. Instead, they work alongside in-house IT teams so that they can focus on other key activities. Moreover, MSPs can bring skills and expertise that working with an in-house IT department cannot provide. Simply put, they enter the picture to improve your overall technology efforts and not get rid of your current team. PACE Technical offers excellent Co-Managed IT Services and we have established successful relationships with many companies that internal IT teams.
All MSPs are the same
In many cases, MSPs offer similar services with their own unique approaches and mix of expertise, culture, and specialties. If you are looking to outsource your IT, you need to do upfront research to define the tasks and services your business needs to be more proactive. In some cases, an MSP may appear to offer services at a more favorable cost, but it is important to note that adequate services are not inexpensive and if it is – your business will most likely experience delayed response times, reoccurring issues or even exposure to cyber threats.
Only large organizations can benefit from MSPs
Larger companies aren’t the only ones that hire MSPs, and smaller companies can benefit from them just as much. As businesses grow and expand, so does their technology needs. An MSP can help SMBs to scale as they grow. They will also ensure that there is proactive security, clous solutions and business continuity which is crucial for smaller companies to have as they evolve.
Organizations lose control over their inrastructure
Sometimes SMBs believe that once their IT is outsourced, they will lose control over their infrastructure. However, a good MSP will maintain transparency to keep you in the loop about of your ongoing technical projects and their deliverables. They will act as a partner for your business and involve you in every decision and plan regarding all your IT initiatives. If you are ever in the dark about your IT, then you should probably be thinking about switching your provider. Transparency is the key in having technology success, so never settle for less than that.
While there are many misconceptions about managed IT services, the truth is they are nothing more than myths. Exceptional MSPs will provide services that will improve your business and help you to achieve technology success. If you are concerned about your current IT solution and how effective it is, it may be time for your organization to consider other options. Talk to us about receiving a free IT Gauge to see where your business stands.