Why You Should Hire a Managed Service Provider

Hire a Managed Service Provider West Michigan IT Services

Why You Should Hire a Managed Service Provider

Managed service providers (MSP) offer outsourced IT services to small- or medium-sized organizations. These organizations, whether they are businesses or nonprofits, could have a few IT professionals on their staff who would benefit from the resources an MSP can provide, or it could be a small business with employees who don’t have the time or knowledge to implement IT services.

MSPs do more than troubleshoot your VPN or help you connect your computer to your printer. Much of what managed service providers do involves planning and budgeting for future expenses in addition to reacting to problems you are having with your computers or servers.

So Why Should You Hire a Managed Service Provider?

If you’re a small business owner or a chief financial officer of a medium-sized business, you might be thinking you don’t need to hire an MSP to manage your network. After all, it’s not like your company is a big corporation that requires constant attention and a team of dedicated IT professionals to make sure things run smoothly.

Every company that relies on technology to do business is susceptible to problems and security threats, even if you don’t have to overcome the logistics of running a huge corporation.

Managed Service Providers Help Keep Your Business Running

A managed service provider can increase your business’s productivity by moving your workflow to the cloud. If the power goes out in your company’s building and you rely on a local network to store and share files, you must wait for the power to be restored to access those files. Whereas if you implemented a cloud-based system, your employees could access those files from anywhere and finish the day at home.

Or let’s say you just bought new laptops for your entire workforce, and they need to be set up with video conferencing software, anti-virus software or any other programs you need. It could take one IT person days or weeks to set up several workstations. However, an MSP provides a team of technicians that can dramatically reduce the downtime needed to set up your new devices.

Additionally, an MSP will have experts in each function of IT. Chances are if you have one IT person on staff, they won’t be an expert in everything related to IT.

Managed Service Providers Protect Your Data

Protecting sensitive data is another reason to invest in an MSP. Every business has some form of sensitive data, whether it is employee payroll information or customer credit card numbers. Other organizations, like a doctor’s office, will have patient records that need to be protected from hackers.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are not safe from security threats just because they are smaller than large corporations. In fact, a 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report found 46% of data breach victims were small businesses.

However, network security is more than just having a firewall. One of the commonly skipped steps in security for small businesses is identification. Who and what should be on your network? Who works here? What computers and other devices do you own? Outdated equipment is more likely to have security vulnerabilities and simply knowing what devices you have and how old each device is goes a long way toward protecting your data. Identification is harder than it sounds and is often the first step a managed service provider will take to improve security for a new client.

It’s important to remember network security is subjective, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What is “enough” security for Company A might be inadequate for Company B, and managed service providers have the experience and expertise to provide guidance on determining what is “enough” without being too much.

For example, your company might not want the disruption caused by implementing workstation encryption if it requires entering a PIN in addition to your password when logging in. But another company is willing to put up with it if it means they don’t have to report a lost laptop as a breach since the local data is encrypted.

Managed Service Providers are Cost Effective

From a financial standpoint, hiring a managed service provider can save your organization money. A good MSP will help you budget effectively so you can make room for projects that keep you up to date with security and productivity, avoiding the higher costs of rushing an upgrade or replacement at the last minute.

You will only pay for the tools and services you need, lowering your overall costs and allowing you to spend your time and resources on other aspects of your business or nonprofit.

According to a CompTIA study, 46% of MSP customers cut their annual IT costs by 25% or more, and 50% of customers cut their annual costs anywhere from 1%-24%.

Managed Service Providers Support Your Current IT Staff

If you already have one or more IT people on staff, that doesn’t mean it would be unnecessary to hire a managed service provider. MSPs can work with your IT staff and offer additional resources that a team of a few can’t offer.

In fact, it’s cost prohibitive for a small IT team to purchase and configure the tools to automate and speed up the many aspects of IT support, such as a formal ticketing system for accountability, remote access to devices to limit physical travel time, a documentation system to share company information with each team member of an MSP, a password manager to ensure company passwords are safe and secure, and an alert system in the event of a data breach. But an MSP offers these tools for your IT staff for a small fee so you don’t have to invest in them yourself.

Additionally, managed service providers work with many different businesses in a wide range of industries. This well-rounded experience means MSPs have a much broader exposure to tech trends and best practices to solve problems. Your IT staff’s knowledge is limited to your organization.

However, your IT staff has knowledge of your organization’s market and day-to-day operations that a managed service provider won’t. Think of it as a shared decision-making process, where an MSP provides information and makes recommendations, while your IT team considers those recommendations based on the company’s values and preferences.

Managed service providers ensure your business is covered in all aspects of IT.

Are you looking to hire a managed service provider for your company? Contact Hungerford Technologies to see how we can help keep your business running smoothly while increasing productivity, security and profitability.

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