used with permission from Tektonika (HP)
by Jasmine W. Gordon
Managed service provider benefits can be a life ring for IT pros at small and midsized businesses (SMBs), as many SMBs struggle to maintain their aging infrastructure on limited resources. It’s time to consider strategies to improve business performance and determine whether it’s time to outsource.
A managed service provider (MSP) can act as a trusted partner that helps you solve your IT headaches. More than one-third (37 percent) of small businesses currently outsource a business process, according to Clutch.co, and more than half plan to partner with an MSP in 2019.
Top 6 managed service provider benefits for SMBs
If you’re wondering what’s so great about MSPs, here are six benefits they can bring to SMBs:
As a small or midsized business, you can’t necessarily hire a new team member each time you need to add a new skill set to your arsenal. An MSP can help you scale your internal expertise based on need, so you don’t have to create and hire for a 40-hour-per week FTE position. The right partnership means not having to pick between a cloud or security expert on a limited budget. Increased efficiency is the single most common reason small businesses partner with an MSP, per Clutch.
A 2019 Salesforce study revealed that hiring the right types of talent is the top IT challenge for 60 percent of SMBs, and an MSP can give you access to enterprise experts on a limited budget. Sometimes, an unbiased third-party perspective makes all the difference.
Imagine for a moment that you’re able to outsource all of your least favorite tech chores to an MSP, like dealing with the printer that constantly needs maintenance or patching your endpoints. If your IT team isn’t constantly fighting fires, you could focus more on strategic advancements.
Chances are good that your network and endpoints are a patchwork of many different vendors. The right MSP for your SMB is one who doesn’t just manage one brand of devices; your partner should be able to expertly assess a multi-vendor network to rank and identify risks without giving a hard sales pitch.
5. Financial flexibility
Resources tend to be limited at SMBs, and 57 percent of SMB leaders surveyed by Salesforce say access to capital is a source of stress. An MSP can introduce new financial models that play to your business’ advantage, like device-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings that increase innovation without the need for impossible financial commitments.
Cybersecurity risks have never been greater, and there isn’t exactly an excess of qualified security pros waiting to be hired. Nearly half of all SMBs anticipate that half of their cybersecurity needs or more will be outsourced within five years, according to DarkReading. One-quarter of these businesses have already hired or switched MSPs after facing a costly data breach. Get ahead of the curve by partnering up now.
How to Pick the Right MSP
The right partnership is crucial to unlocking the potential of managed service provider benefits. The following questions can help you to identify the right set of advisors for your SMB:
- Are you flexible?
An MSP who specializes in partnering with SMBs should offer flexible services that can scale with your business.
- What services do you offer?
Your MSP should help you access a deep, broad range of experts to increase automation, innovation, and security.
- Do you work with businesses like us?
An MSP should have experience working with small businesses and understand your industry, especially if you’re in a highly regulated space.
- Are you proactive?
A partnership should help you get ahead with services and tools to manage, monitor, and improve your network and endpoints proactively.
- What about disaster recovery?
A cybersecurity attack or natural disaster can devastate a small business. Can your MSP help you prepare for the worst-case scenario with self-healing hardware, monitoring, and business continuity planning?
Managed service provider benefits (without the risks)
It’s no secret that “outsourcing” is a scary word to many small business IT pros. However, it’s important to approach this process as an opportunity. The right MSP can help you develop strategies to improve business performance at a speed and cost that make sense for your business. How might your business evolve if you could outsource your least favorite chores and gain better visibility? The potential is limitless.