Firms of every size are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) for their day-to-day IT tasks. The managed services market is expected to grow by over 9 percent by 2023, with spending reaching $282 billion according to Markets and Markets.Some IT directors may be hesitant to hire an MSP, though. They may be concerned about losing control over processes or that they’ll be replaced by the MSP. With the right MSP, it doesn’t need to be that way. High-quality MSPs will work closely with IT directors, ensuring that they provide support when and where it is needed.
As your company grows, you may be considering whether to work with an MSP. There are clear signs that indicate it’s the right time to outsource and work with local, expert managed IT services in Grand Rapids, MI.
The 5 Signs It’s Time to Hire an MSP
Many small and medium-sized businesses are turning to MSPs for assistance with time-consuming tasks that take up the bulk of their IT team’s time. These firms saw one or more of these signs and decided it was time to explore managed IT.
1. Your Staff is Stretched Thin
IT departments are often expected to do more with less. Your organization may have digitalization, expansion, or infrastructure goals that require the expertise and focus of your IT staff. Small businesses may not have a dedicated IT staff, leaving staff members without expertise handling IT issues and bringing in outside consultants on an as-needed basis. Managed IT for small business can serve as an in-house IT team without the cost of additional staff.
For larger businesses, managed IT can handle day-to-day monitoring and troubleshooting tasks so your team can work on larger projects. MSPs can also step in and provide specialized support in areas where your team needs expertise, such as long-term network infrastructure planning or collaboration solutions.
2. Maintenance and Patching Aren’t Being Completed on Schedule
Many IT departments are, understandably, fighting fires such as connectivity issues, log-in and password issues, and uncooperative printers. Maintenance and patching get pushed back, but at a cost. Without ongoing maintenance, networks may not perform at peak capacity, and there may be slowdowns or downtime.
Patches are also critical to performance and security, but finding the time for patching, and ensuring there’s a roll-back plan if the patches cause issues, is a challenge for many IT teams. An MSP can take routine maintenance and patch management off your plate, increasing uptime and improving security.
3. You’re Concerned About Cybersecurity
Although data breaches are often associated with larger firms such as Equifax, small- to medium-sized businesses are frequent target of cyberattacks. Almost 60 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses, according to the Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report.
Some of the biggest cybersecurity concerns facing small businesses include:
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
- Password attacks
- Social engineering
In the changing landscape of cybersecurity threats, an anti-virus program and a firewall are just the starting point. An experienced MSP will work with your business to develop and maintain a cybersecurity plan that’s regularly updated to combat the latest threats.
4. You Need a Predictable IT Budget
Unexpected IT issues such as emergency hardware replacement put a serious dent into your budget. If you need to call in an outside expert on short notice, that adds even more to your IT budget. By working with an MSP, you have fixed costs that you can count on, simplifying and making the most of your IT budget.
5. Troubleshooting Tickets Are Piling Up
Every time a ticket is resolved, three more are there to take their place. This puts IT staff members in a reactive position, often putting short-term solutions in place so they can move on to the next task. In this position, it’s difficult to do long-term planning and prioritizing.
An MSP can help you sort through your IT priorities and put together a proactive plan. They may take on daily troubleshooting or assess your network infrastructure and put a plan into place for improvement. A high-quality MSP will work with you in the areas you specify, helping you prioritize so that tickets are handled in a timely manner.
4 Areas to Consider Outsourcing
With the broad range of issues and challenges facing IT teams, it can be difficult to know where an MSP might fit into your business. Many small and medium business use MSPs for:
- Networking—In addition to assessing your network and making upgrades according to your goals and specifications, an MSP can also monitor your network for performance issues, intervening quickly when problems arise and minimizing downtime.
- Security—MSPs can develop a robust security plan that hardens network security. They actively monitor your network for threats and intrusions, and some MSPs, such as IP Consulting in Grand Rapids, also offer end-user education to ensure your employees don’t inadvertently fall for phishing and social engineering schemes.
- Collaboration—Today’s collaboration solutions include video conferencing, instant messaging, and other tools that improve your workflow while cutting costs. An experienced MSP can evaluate your current collaboration set-up and make recommendations for improvement, resulting in a more productive work environment.
- Maintenance and service—MSPs can take over routine maintenance, ensuring your business devices are up-to-date and compliant.
MSPs are there to improve your business and help you meet business goals. Their mission is to strengthen and support your IT staff, helping you stay under budget and ready for tomorrow’s technology needs.
Specialized expertise with a Local Touch
At IP Consulting, we have engineers who specialize in collaboration, security, and network solutions. We provide managed IT services in Grand Rapids, MI to numerous local businesses, giving us insights into local business needs and challenges. We have a national reach as well, so we can easily work with growing, expanding businesses across multiple locations. Contact us today to find out how we can help you meet your technology goals and provide stellar results to your customers.