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Should You Partner With an MSP?

Should You Partner With an MSP?

As IT departments in small and mid-sized businesses are being asked to do more and more with limited resources, many are partnering with managed service providers — or MSPs — to help them manage their technology infrastructures more efficiently.

Partnering with an MSP gives small businesses access to IT capabilities they may not have in house, as well as the ability to better predict potential IT support costs and budget more effectively overall.

It’s a trend that is catching the attention of many C-level executives.

But what exactly is an MSP and how do you know if partnering with one is the right move for your business? When should you partner with an MSP?

What Is a Managed Service Provider?
An MSP is a company that remotely manages and troubleshoots your company’s IT infrastructure, end-user systems and mobile devices.

Rather than outsourcing one-off IT projects and paying an hourly rate or fixed price for products, services, repairs and replacement parts, an MSP typically charges a flat monthly fee under a subscription model. Your company signs a service-level agreement (SLA) with the MSP that lays out what is expected and the terms of the contract.

The MSP then manages the day-to-day technology needs of your business. When something breaks or goes down, they fix it. Your MSP also takes a proactive approach to prevent IT problems from occurring and disrupting your business.

MSPs monitor and manage your networks and servers and ensure that your software and hardware are up to date. They also manage your firewall and security offerings, hybrid cloud environments and migrations, and they can help you create a technology plan to handle future growth.

Here are some signs it might be time for your business to partner with an MSP.

#1: There is a lack of planning or viable long-term strategy.
For a small IT team, putting out fires and keeping everything running smoothly on a day-to-day basis doesn’t leave a lot of extra time for planning for the future. MSPs not only work proactively to monitor your network and catch potential problems before they negatively impact the business, but they also help you see the “big picture” of what your business really needs to run more efficiently.

The right MSP helps you choose the best hardware and software and provides the necessary maintenance to keep everything running smoothly, so you and your team can focus on bigger, more strategic issues. MSPs are constantly monitoring your network and can detect issues before they cause bigger problems. They can also recommend innovative technology solutions to help drive your long-term growth strategy and help you prioritize your IT needs.

#2: You have high turnover, a small IT team or low employee morale.
IT departments in small businesses are always asked to do more with less. And when things go wrong, everyone looks to them to fix the problem and fix it fast. Especially in a small business, employees are asked to handle IT issues — in addition to their many other responsibilities — they may not have the expertise to solve. This can lead to frustration, low morale and even high turnover in your IT department.

MSPs can help fill the knowledge gaps on your IT team without you having to hire additional team members with expertise in a certain area. By outsourcing the more complicated upgrades and IT issues, you relieve some of the pressure on your team. When employees are less overwhelmed, they feel better about their jobs overall and are more likely to stay with your company.

#3: Whenever you have a big project, you have to hire temporary workers.
With an MSP, your company has access to a team of IT experts across a wide range of specialties without having to hire temporary staff or another full-time IT team member. MSPs offer the same services you can provide in house and more — and all for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone full time. By working with an MSP, you can supplement your in-house IT staff and gain expertise you might not currently have on your team.

#4: Your employees constantly complain about IT services.
No matter how good your IT department is, systems and networks will inevitably go down and business operations will be interrupted. When technology is slow or constantly failing, employees become frustrated and are less productive.

MSPs understand small businesses and have experience working with all kinds of technologies in all types of environments. You can trust that they are constantly keeping an eye on your systems to make sure everything is running as it should be. When it’s not, they can resolve issues quickly before the business is impacted.

#5: Dealing with too many IT vendors is causing big headaches.
Many times, when something goes wrong with your network network, hardware or software, vendors start playing the blame game. Emergency onsite support for mission-critical equipment is a huge headache when dealing with multiple vendors makes the situation more complex.

MSPs serve as a single point of contact when your business needs help. With an MSP, you and your IT departments don’t have to chase down support techs for repairs or manage multiple manufacturers’ warranties. Remote technical support is available 24/7, and when something goes wrong, you know exactly who to call.

#6: You can’t predict your IT budget.
Technology costs are dynamic and difficult to predict, which makes budgeting a major challenge. Some months you may need major hardware upgrades or repairs, while other months you may need to overhaul your security firewall to respond to a threat.

Most MSPs take care of everything for you, bundled together in a flat monthly fee. This makes it easy for businesses to predict and set a technology budget. MSPs also keep your IT infrastructure up to date and running optimally, which should extend the life of your systems and equipment and save you money in the long term.

Essentially, MSPs can provide small businesses with peace of mind and risk management. Not only can they prevent IT problems before they occur, but when something does go wrong, they are there to fix it.

Is it time for you to partner with an MSP? Contact our team of experts today at 1-855-AVENTIS to discuss the best ways to help your business now and in the future.