Managed Expectations: The Benefits of Using an IT Managed Service Provider

network security

You might be wondering if it’s necessary to hire a managed service provider for your IT.

Managed IT services can handle all or part of your IT needs. These service providers can do everything from managing your network, updating software, providing security, and emailing solutions for your company.

The market for managed IT services is expected to grow from $171 billion in 2017 to over $229 billion in 2020. What’s driving this growth?

More companies are realizing that outsourcing IT services has a lot of advantages. They far outweigh any potential disadvantages to keeping everything in-house.

The truth is, you can’t afford not to. There are many benefits of managed IT services. Keep reading to find out what they are.

World Class IT for Minimal Investment

If you were to keep your IT Services in-house, how much money would you need to invest in servers? Then you’ll need employees to keep everything up to date and fix problems. There are additional costs, such as software maintenance, and user errors.

On average, large companies spend about $6,400 per month per employee on IT solutions.

There’s a lot of economic uncertainty around the world, and it takes one event to put the economy into a tailspin. If that were to happen, you’d risk losing your IT investment.

Hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can dramatically lower your IT costs. They already made the investments in IT infrastructure and they assume all of the risks, so you don’t have to.

Data Security

One of the top topics in the IT world is security. The average cost of a data breach for American companies is $7.91 million.

The costs of a data breach aren’t just on the IT side. Your company will lose trust among customers, vendors, and employees. That can cost your company in lost revenue, and employee morale. These are things that are very difficult to regain in the long term. That can do a lot of damage to your company’s reputation in the long term.

Every day, it seems that we learn of a new data breach within a major company. On average, it takes companies 196 days to identify a data breach. At that point, most of the damage has been done by hackers.

A managed service provider will have a plan in place to identify and deal with the threat quickly. After all, it’s not a matter of if your company will experience data loss, but a matter of when.

They’ll also work with you to develop a plan to notify the appropriate authorities in the event of a data breach. They can also assist you in training your employees to prevent a security lapse since they’re often at fault for cyber attacks.

Even if you have the best anti-spam service in place, things can still occur.

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Industry Compliance

If you’re in the healthcare of finance industries, how your data is stored and accessed is under great scrutiny. Regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley govern how healthcare and publicly traded companies use data and complete financial reports.

If you’re a global business who does business in Europe, you need to make sure your privacy policy is updated to comply with GDPR.

It can be very costly to your business to overlook these regulations and your business is at risk for heavy fines. A HIPAA violation could cost your company up to $50,000 per violation. GDPR non-compliance can cost companies up to 20 million euros or 4% of global revenue, whichever one is greater.

Rather than putting your company at risk, doesn’t it make much more sense to outsource your IT services to IT of experts who are well-versed in various industries? They also understand the complex and always changing regulations, so your team can focus on other things and they don’t need to become legal scholars.

Minimize Downtime

Do you find that your employees are often at a standstill because your systems are down? While downtime can be great to build camaraderie among employees, it’s killing their productivity.

That downtime can cost your company up to $5600 per minute.

Similar to a data breach, downtime can harm your business reputation and public trust. Remember when British Airways experienced a system failure that grounded 75,000 passengers? That cost the company about 80 million pounds.

Every second counts in your IT services, that’s why you’re going to want to have a team ready to help you manage them.

Stay Up to Date

Some security breaches occur due to a hacker’s ability to exploit known security flaws in software. Once these security flaws are exposed, software makers publish updates and security patches as soon as possible.

If you don’t update your systems with the latest software, you’re leaving your systems at risk for an attack.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to update your IT systems on a regular basis. If you can’t get to it, then you need to outsource these critical pieces to a service provider who can.

Easy to Budget IT Services

One of the best ways to budget for IT is to have fixed costs. When you keep everything in-house, your costs will vary from month to month, making it hard to budget.

Your staff costs will be predictable. If you’re in a situation where you need to upgrade or replace a server, then your costs will spike, throwing your entire budget off.

By having a managed service provider handle IT, you know what your costs will be from month to month, making budgeting a lot easier.

Focus on Important Tasks

Does your business rely on research and innovation to stay competitive? If it does, then you have to decide what the best use of your IT resources are. Should they be putting out fires all day long or should they focus on important tasks like innovating new products?

If you want your resources to go to important tasks, then you need to outsource your IT services to a firm that can put those fires out for you.

Scale Your Business on Your Schedule

If you’re a small-medium sized business, a major IT investment could force you to scale your business at a pace you may not be ready for.

For example, you may find that you need sales and customer service solutions, but you’re not in a position to hire an IT staff for maintenance. Nor are you in a position to invest in servers to store and run those programs.

Rather than having to make those major investments at once, an IT service provider can help you scale up on your timetable. Since they have the infrastructure in place to house those programs and the staff to maintain them, you can make a smaller investment and get what you need.

You can then invest in expanding your IT services when your business is ready. That beats making a major investment and hoping that your company will grow into it.

How to Hire a Managed Service Provider

You decided that these benefits are worth the cost to hire a managed service provider. Now that you’re ready to pull the trigger on outsourcing IT, where do you begin?

The first thing to do is to search for providers in your area. If you’re based in Los Angeles, you’re going to want a provider like Be Structured Technology Group.

Since they’re near you, they’re in a better position to fully understand the needs of your business. They’re also able to respond quickly if something comes up. The proximity to you also gives you a chance to develop a relationship with your IT service provider.

Those are all big wins for your business and for your investment.

Once you have a few providers lined up to interview, these are the important questions you’ll want to ask each of them.

What services do you provide? You want to be sure that the MSP you work with can handle your exact needs.

Is there a contract? You want to know if you can go month-to-month or if you need to commit to a long-term contract.

Do you work with vendors if there’s a problem? One of the most challenging things (and time-wasting) is dealing with a software vendor if there are any issues. If you can hand that off to an MSP, that’s a big bonus.

Are there additional fees for on-site work? If you need to have an IT consultant go to your facility, you’ll want to know if there are any additional labor charges.

What Can a Managed Service Provider Do For You?

It’s no secret that managing IT is one of the toughest jobs out there. Companies have the choice of either keeping those services in-house or leveraging a managed service provider to handle the work and the risk of IT services.

By hiring an MSP, your company can rest easy knowing that you have a professional team of experts to rely on for anything IT related.

That allows your team to focus on the most important tasks like innovation and research. Those are things that will keep your company moving forward.

Would you like to learn more about IT? Be sure to read these tips to protect your network.