Engaging MSPs: What Should Customers Look For?
Why Engage an MSP? (Part 1)
Managed IT services is external support for a company’s core IT functions. Specifically, it entails end-user support, cloud, security, and device management. Typically billed at a flat rate calculated on supported users or devices, managed IT services offers professional, expert support at a cost that remains the same regardless of how frequently the support is needed.
There are several reasons why a company should engage a managed services provider (MSP) for their IT needs:
Growing Complexity in Cybersecurity Compliance
First, a limited internal IT team may be challenged by the increasing number of clients asking companies to comply with their cybersecurity standards. These compliance projects are time-consuming to manage and often stretch the expertise of in-house IT, triggering the need for outside tools and expertise. These cybersecurity audits almost always expose areas that require remediation to bring the company into compliance. MSPs can provide much-needed expertise and capacity to help with the additional projects created by an audit.
Limited Internal Capacity
Operations small to large reach a point of maximum capacity with their in-house IT resources. Maybe it’s only one individual who was needed to meet the business’ IT needs when the company was founded. With success, a business grows – and this is to be celebrated.
This growth and success, however, comes with additional IT needs. At this point, businesses can experience substantial benefits from hiring an MSP to supplement their IT needs. An MSP can easily alleviate the burden of in-house IT management and take charge over the company’s IT core operations so in-house staff can focus on strategic IT initiatives, or even projects outside of IT.
Migration to the Cloud
When transitioning to cloud and software as a service (SaaS) applications, the IT professional’s job description changes. Ultimately, cloud and SaaS applications lighten the IT burden for maintaining application servers and all the associated support functions. The nature of IT work changes as the business looks to IT to focus less on keeping the systems running and more on data analytics, information workflows, employee productivity and security issues. A great MSP can help with the complexity of shifting data and processes to the cloud, while helping the company define and manage new workflows that maximize the benefit from all the cloud services that are being used.
Yellow Lights and Red Lights
There are acute emergencies (red light events) like cyber attacks that cause businesses to look elsewhere for help. There are also mid-level pain points (yellow lights), or areas where businesses know they need to improve but are slow to take action. Most MSPs are equipped to handle all the possible events that can occur, but great MSPs will be able to identify minor issues before they become major issues with software tools and expertise that ensure no interruption to your day-to-day business operations.
Employee onboarding, offboarding, device management, SaaS management – think of the bottom half of the list of IT tasks your company needs to handle for things to run smoothly. These are responsibilities that no one internal is particularly excited to tackle but they need to be managed regardless. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else could just handle all of it for you instead? Yes, that’s also what MSPs do – everything that you don’t want to. A great MSP will not only handle these tasks but will also bring software and expertise for ways to automate and improve the operation of these important but uninteresting tasks.