One common misconception that small and midsize businesses (SMB) seem to have is that IT is that partnering with an Managed Service Provider (MSP) means giving up all facets of your internal IT department. It’s true that some SMBs turn their entire IT infrastructure over to an MSP, but they are often very small businesses that have no dedicated IT personnel. Other SMBs look at the MSP relationship as a partnership.
The reality is, MSPs work best as an IT support team. The MSP can provide needed equipment and services that fill in the gaps an SMB may have in their existing IT capabilities. MSPs can also add value to your organizations by handling routine IT tasks and providing targeted support during period of growth or change.
If that sounds appealing, ask yourself the following five questions to determine if your IT department needs support:
- An MSP extends your IT department: If your IT department consists of a single person, you may need help. One person can accomplish a lot in IT, but there’s also an ever-growing list of things they’ll never have time to go accomplish because there are a limited number of hours in a day. An MSP supplements your IT by handling repetitive, time consuming processes that hold deep value for your organization. For example, a one-person IT shop might not have time to properly patch and update your IT infrastructure, but an MSP has a dedicated group of people to handle that task so you always know you are up-to-date.
- An MSP provides specialized skills and certifications: The people who make up small IT departments often have a wide variety of skills. Unfortunately, they don’t always have the depth of skill necessary to ensure your IT infrastructure is fully supported. For example, large installations and security deployments require specific skill sets. This is an area where your IT team probably need support. An MSP has a team of specialized IT personnel who have the right knowledge and certifications for the job.
- An MSP makes your IT department scalable: Are you entering a growth period? If so, you may look at how you can add additional people to your IT department to help handle the increased demands on your IT infrastructure. Rather than hiring a person, you could pull in an MSP that will act as a supplement to your existing IT capabilities. Not only can an MSP improve your existing technologies, but it can also give you access to additional technologies and features you didn’t have. The best part is, it’s all scalable. You have what you need, when you need it, and when you don’t, you can scale back.
- An MSP can shoulder the responsibility for your IT infrastructure: Do you ever wonder who is handling a specific aspect of your IT management? If you do, then you need an MSPs help. Your MSP partner will take responsibility for specific aspects of your IT infrastructure so you never have to wonder who is managing or monitoring the capabilities that keep your business ahead of the competition.
- An MSP frees your IT department up to be a strategic part of your business: Probably the greatest benefit of partnering with an MSP is that they can handle the minutia of everyday IT management that can bog your IT department down. Whether it’s a patch program, daily, weekly, or monthly backups, or some other aspect of IT management, the MSP handles it, freeing your IT team up to become a strategic part of your business. This means your internal IT can spend more time on large scale deployments, optimizing your infrastructure, or investigating new technologies to make you more competitive.
For some companies, an MSP may be the IT department, but for others, MSPs are strategic partners who help the business use IT resources more efficiently. MSPs provide tech services and consultation to help SMBs develop competitive processes, best practices, and to identify and mitigate risks. Contact us to learn more about how Advanced Network Solutions can help you leverage the best technological capabilities for your business while allowing your existing IT team to focus on activities that are more valuable to your business without letting any aspect of IT management fall by the wayside.