Can managed IT service providers really save SMBs time and money?

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Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are constantly searching for ways to lower costs and at the same time boost productivity and performance. Unfortunately, that often means the first area of their business they turn to when looking to cut costs is information technology. It may not seem like it to the average business owner not well-versed in the ways of all things IT, but IT operations are actually what can make or break today’s organisations. Without fast, agile, flexible, and scalable IT or the security and backup services that come along with it, businesses cannot expect to survive or beat the competition in the long term, let alone stabilise growth and success in the short term.

Reducing your investment in IT is not a viable option if your organisation wants to satisfy the demands of modern consumers, drive more sales, and combat risk in 2019. So how can you expect to keep your IT department ahead of the curve while reducing expenses?

The obvious answer is to partner with a managed service provider (MSP) to help manage your IT operations, save you money, and significantly reduce risk. Yet for many SMB owners, it doesn’t appear to be an obvious choice because paying for an IT partner seems like a large chunk of your IT budget. It’s not. Let’s dive deeper into why an MSP is the most practical and positive change you can make in the year ahead to move your business forward.

Does this sound familiar?

Some interesting stats gathered from 2018 reveal the current reality of most in-house IT operations and business concerns. These numbers show that while keeping up with technology is an important to-do for many leaders and they recognise its significance in facing competitors, budgets still stand in the way of them making a change. It appears that these business leaders don’t have the information they need about managed IT services and providers to make the right choice for their companies, and instead, they’re relying on internal IT staff to support a shaky foundation and find the time and resources to successfully lead the business into the future. But this is a dangerous choice to make. Do the statistics below sound familiar to you and your team? If they do, taking the time to learn about the realities of MSP work can help you make a more educated decision about your IT.

  • Almost 50 per cent of business owners reported their top challenge as staying ahead of rapid technology changes
  • 23 per cent of business owners consider budget constraints a factor in both maintaining and growing their endeavours
  • Enhancing security and having peace of mind when it comes to IT was a top concern for many business owners in 2018

Adding it up

While it’s true that IT expenses can add up fast, when businesses partner with a managed service provider, they often see savings of around $580,000 per year and say goodbye to the headaches that can accompany added IT stress. How is this number possible? Let’s break it down.

On your own

When you manage your IT in-house, you’re spending on all of the elements below to setup and maintain your IT environment. This can total $700,000 a year or more.

  • Infrastructure
  • Data Centre & COLO
  • Hardware & Software
  • IT Director & Administrative Salaries
  • Ongoing System Maintenance & Fixes

With an MSP

Outsourcing some of your IT operations to a managed service provider means your internal IT team is relieved of stress and can find time to work on more strategic IT investments, but your business also gains the security and capabilities of the MSP to continuously drive your entire team forward. With an MSP, your total can go down to $120,000 a year or less.

And here’s everything you would get from your MSP partner:

  • Infrastructure
  • Data Centre & COLO
  • Hardware & Software
  • IT Director & Administrative Salaries
  • Ongoing System Maintenance & Fixes
  • Enterprise Capabilities
  • Expert IT Professionals That Act as an Extension of Your Team
  • 24/7/365 Monitoring
  • Proactive Maintenance & Security

It just makes sense

For hundreds of thousands of dollars less per year, a managed service provider can provide modern businesses with all of the IT infrastructure and oversight they need to be successful in a competitive market—plus additional tools and resources. It just makes sense that business leaders looking for a hassle-free and cost-effective way to improve their IT operations and scalability would opt for an expert solutions partner to take on some of the load and better prepare their organisation for growth.

In addition to the services above, what else can you expect to gain from working with an MSP? Here are some more tangible benefits of welcoming a managed service provider into your IT space.

Scalable, Best-in-Class Hardware & Software

With an MSP, you’ll be getting future-proof hardware and software to support all operations. The MSP can also help you eliminate the expenses of costly data centres and instead supply you with digital centres that scale with your business growth.

Greater Internal Productivity

Get more from salaried personnel by freeing up their time to work on strategic operations. And with around-the-clock monitoring, your MSP can stand as a proactive team that can help minimise system downtime for staff and alert your team of possible threats and areas of improvement.

Full Staff of Experts on Call

Get instant access to top IT professionals who act as an extension of your team. Because they’ll be coming from an MSP that knows everything IT inside and out, you can trust that they will have broad and deep expertise in a variety of IT areas, carry top certifications, and are always available for strategy help and quick fixes when you need them.

Proactive System Maintenance

MSPs are all about proactivity, channelling great effort into backups, patches, and security features that come into play well before any issues arise.

Greater Cybersecurity & Training

Did you know that 43 per cent of cyberattacks target small businesses?2 If you think you’re exempt from online threats because you’re a smaller everyday business, then you’re leaving your team, partners, and customers vulnerable to potential dangers and business mishaps. With an MSP, you’ll be getting proactive data backup and disaster recovery to prevent critical information loss and downtime issues, and you’ll have an educated partner that can train your employees on cybersecurity measures and best practices.

If you’re ready to ditch the costly DIY model of IT operations, consider partnering with a managed service provider and make it your New Year’s resolution to better your business through improved IT. The benefits are clear and the risks of standing still are even clearer.

Jane Fish, Marketing & Customer Engagement Manager, Razor Technology
Image source: Shutterstock/Tashatuvango