Outsourced IT support or In-house IT team?

It’s not uncommon for larger businesses to have a dedicated in-house IT team. However, for small to medium sized businesses having an internal IT team is simply not cost effective. In this case a managed service provider (MSP) can become your IT department. That said if an organisation is able to build up an internal IT team it can bring many benefits. An in-house team can build on specific knowledge and experience related to your organisation. But, even with an in-house team knowing your business inside out, with the speed that IT moves at, regular training would still be required to keep your IT department up to date. The cost of training on top of salary will have a significant impact on company finances. You may feel that you can combat this by keeping your team to just one or two people. If that is the case, keep in mind that the most experienced will lack in certain areas not to mention that sickness or holiday could leave you without your entire IT department.

So, is an IT Managed Service Provider the right option for your business? There are many benefits, which our previous blog – 8 Benefits of a managed IT service provider – spoke about. Here we will discuss why it could be the right time to partner with an MSP and what to look for when choosing the right one for you.

What if you already have a small IT team?

If you choose to partner with an MSP it doesn’t mean you have to scrap your existing IT team. Many businesses are now using MSP’s for certain services such as system and network monitoring, data backups and recovery, cyber security or for outsourcing more complex projects too. This will leave your existing team to focus their expertise where it is best suited. You will also have the experience and expertise to call upon as and when needed or if your internal team hit a road block.

Additional signs your business needs an MSP

  • Do not have dedicated IT team/staff - You may be a small/medium sized business that doesn’t have an IT team of any sort. In which case in today’s IT based world a managed service provider is a must to make sure your IT demands are met.
  • Want to save money/do not have the money for a dedicated team - The cost of employing a dedicated IT team and keeping them up to date with training is high. Partnering with the right MSP can make those costs manageable whilst still having the expertise at your disposal.
  • Never-ending IT related tasks causing an overwhelmed IT team - Can the strain on your existing in-house team be reduced by outsourcing certain services or projects?
  • Experienced an attempt or successful cyber attack - The disruption from any cyber attack is massive and your reputation could be damaged. Working with an MSP will help minimise the risks and help identify any weak spots.
  • Your in-house team is stuck in a reactive state - Without careful planning this can happen as your business grows. An MSP can help you create a plan for growth that will ensure you can scale effectively.
  • Your IT budget has become unpredictable - Most IT MPS’s will provide a managed IT service plan for your business that can provide you with predictable monthly costs.
  • Your current IT setup is stopping you reaching your business goals - Your IT shouldn’t stop you reaching those goals, instead it should be helping you reach them. Check out our guide ‘Defend and Invest’ which looks at defending your business from cyber-crime and investing in technology that helps you keep moving towards your business goals.
  • Your IT is inhibiting your productivity - Is your IT slowing you down in some way? Perhaps things aren’t setup as smoothly as they could be or data isn’t readily and securely accessible to all that need it. Or maybe you’re just not sure of the best tools for the job. Your IT should be an investment in helping you increase productivity. Check out our guide ‘The 7 Key Performance Indicators for Return on Investment from IT’ to ensure your IT and technology provides your business with an excellent return.

What to look for when choosing a managed service provider

  • Support/Help desk - Can you call when needed or log a ticket with their technicians?
  • Fast response time - Are they there and ready to respond when you need them? How quickly can you expect a response?
  • Proactive IT support - Are their IT services proactive rather than just reactive? It’s important that the MSP you are looking to partner with doesn’t just fight fires, but prevents them from starting in the first place.
  • Layered cyber security solutions - The impact of a cyber attack is massive. The threat of cyber crime is only increasing and therefore effective cyber security solutions is a must.
  • Scalable support - Are they able to scale up your requirements as your business grows?
  • A proven track record and a good reputation - Ask for examples or case studies of their work.
  • Digital transformation/Cloud migration services - There are many benefits to moving your business data and applications to the cloud. It’s complicated but could save your business money and improve your data security. Experience in this area is a must as so much in the world of IT is cloud based now. Check out our guide ‘your cloud migration checklist’ which walks you through your migration and also includes a helpful checklist.
  • Options tailored to your specific business needs - Does the MSP attempt to understand your business so they can tailor services to suit or is it a one size fits all approach?
  • Clarity on what you are getting - Is what your offered blurred behind a lot of technical jargon? Is it clear exactly what services you will get and how they work?
  • Experience in remote and hybrid working environments - The reason for this has become obvious over the last few years with the COVID-19 pandemic. And it looks as if remote and hybrid working is here to stay is some form for many businesses.

Don’t be afraid to ask your potential managed service provider questions. Make sure they are the right fit for your business and that they understand your goals and what’s involved in reaching them.

Could PS Tech be your MSP?

If you feel that an IT managed service provider is something your business would benefit from and you feel PS Tech could be the right one, please get in touch. We would love to partner with you and help your business thrive.

Whether you are thinking of switching or are looking to partner with a managed IT service provider for the first time, we have a guide that will help. In it you will find some very important questions to ask and things to consider. You can read our IT Services Buyers Guide by clicking here.

April 19, 2022 — Paul Stanyer