One cost that every new startup has to consider is IT. For most, it’s an unavoidable and likely huge expense – as it’s hard to progress in any field without the benefits an IT system brings, be it simply email, customer portals, your website, databases or ability to administer social media.
While this cost is often significant, there’s large portion of that cost that can be outsourced – and, with an increasing number of managed IT service providers emerging to meet this need. Here, we’ll explore how a Managed Service Provider can help grow and sustain your business.
No recruitment needed
Taking this approach doesn’t just mean staff can work remotely on your network – it means you don’t need staff in the first place. A managed service provider will offer a service staffed by experts, and because of nature of how they operate, those will be experts from possibly any field of IT that you need with relatively little if any cost incurred by your business.
This can save you a small fortune: you simply don’t have to deal with staff or all the processes or costs associated with having an IT department, but you do get all the benefits and much more. Recruitment processes can truly be a pain: an investment of time and money, which in all reality at best leave you with a great new member of staff but heavily out of pocket and at worst, simply out of pocket.
No staff issues
Many MSPs will provide round the clock support as standard – something that you could only have with comparatively expensive multiple man team, once you’ve gone through the laborious process of hiring them all – and that doesn’t even factor in any unavoidable circumstances that might render them inoperable at a key moment.
MSPs won’t need holiday, won’t call in sick, or as rule misbehave or underperform; or be tempted somewhere new – things that all require time and money that are better spent elsewhere. This all might sound a bit cold to the human condition, but many modern businesses live and die by their IT system.
Something that’s often overlooked is that in-house IT staff frequently, due to their workload, don’t have the opportunity to progress their skills in a meaningful way that can expand your business. This is entirely understandable given how involved and high-pressure IT support often is, but it does also tend to prevent growth. Training can be massively expensive, and aside from only being as good as what’s absorbed, also tends to need auxiliary staff to provide support which it’s going on. Your options here for smooth sailing are 1) have a large team, 2) get support staff who won’t be familiar with your workflow or 3) get by and hope for the best. For a small business, none of these could be considered optimal.
A transformative experience
So as mentioned, most MSPS have a catalogue of people they can call on when you need someone with just that little bit more specialism.
Not only do they have access to these people, but they often have access to them fast, and again, with no extra effort on your part. You simply make a support request, and if it’s outside of the terms you agreed to in your SLA at the start, you’ll be given an accurate costing which is guaranteed to be competitive. You can adjust your plan to your needs which is great for when you choose to expand, and you can cut things that you don’t feel you’re benefitting from. There’s a lot to be said for this on-demand approach – it can open doors to expanding your business with little risk on your part.
Another benefit of using a managed service provider is quite how hand-on they can be – even if they’re not physically able to put their hands on your systems. With more and more companies using remote monitoring or SD WAN as part of their IT infrastructure, the more round-the-clock access an MSP can have to your systems.
The business benefit of this is enormous – especially when you consider quite how much downtime can cost even a small business. While having an IT team sitting up thought the night checking that your systems are running smoothly is likely to be cost-prohibitive for your business, it’s something that many MSPs offer for just a small additional cost – especially if they have teams monitoring other client’s networks anyway.
Walking into your business in the morning to find that, 5 minutes before you arrived, a networking issue had been identified is a very different experience to getting to your office to discover an email from your MSP informing you that a networking disaster has been averted – before it’s had an impact.
It’s worth considering what downtime means to your business – whether that’s end users who can’t access your applications – or customers who can’t use parts of your systems. If the cost and inconvenience is low, then having an MSP monitor what you’re doing might not be a priority – but if it’s something that would cost – then the small additional investment could pay itself back hundreds of times over if they’re able to prevent a problem.
So, we’ve touched on the many ways that a managed service provider can replace in-house staff, and by natural extension, the costs that naturally come with them. But how much will such a service cost realistically?
It’s a hard question to answer – but largely for positive reasons. Services such as these are often tightly tailored to your exact requirements, so you don’t have to pay for more than you need. You’re not paying for people to turn up, the majority of the time you’re simply paying for software to take care of your IT. Extra costs are transparent and predictable, and importantly – optional. Your business shouldn’t find itself a huge bill out of the blue to take care of.
Managed IT allows you to keep tight control on personnel costs, allowing you to spend money elsewhere to push things forward.