There are multiple reasons why organizations choose to work with managed services providers (MSPs) and utilize managed IT services for their technology support. But ending the Groundhog Day loop of downtime, lost productivity and frustration is perhaps the most popular motivation for making the change.
We’ve gathered 10 compelling benefits (plus one bonus) of using managed IT services, and this month we’re going to review several in-depth. But to kick things off, here’s our list:
A technology glitch can derail a business for days, and in some cases, mark the end for a company by putting it out of business. In fact, research from Gartner shows the typical cost of downtime to a small business is $5,600 per minute. That statistic doesn’t account for natural disasters, which can also sideline an otherwise stable company.
While some IT outages may still occur, engaging with an MSP can help small to mid-sized organizations avoid preventable outages. By taking a proactive and systematic approach to IT networks, MSPs help businesses navigate the complexities of technology—from planning to procurement, deployment to maintenance—with a keen eye toward stability and security.
Additionally, organizations that partner with MSPs enjoy improved business continuity as their MSP assists with drafting and implementing a well-considered business continuity plan to ensure operations continue in the event of an unexpected outage or natural disaster.
Frustration, wasted time, and unhappy customers are a few reasons that preventing technology outages is a priority for most business leaders. Proactive maintenance, IT health checks and monitoring, and aggressive patch management are simple steps MSPs take to avoid widespread outages—stopping potential issues before they escalate into full-blown problems. When you engage a technology partner to handle your IT infrastructure management and maintenance, you will quickly see the ROI as your downtime woes slow and both customers and employees reap the benefits of a stable IT foundation.
With stable, monthly costs, managed services agreements bring predictability to your company’s budget. In addition to simplifying IT spending, MSPs guide the technology lifecycle, enabling well-informed financial forecasting and aligning your IT strategy and investments with business objectives. By looking at technology as a long-term investment, your organization gains a clear roadmap for systematic IT improvements. Additionally, reputable MSPs are transparent about pricing, helping you to understand cost savings as well as ROI.
Reduced hardware and software expenses by leveraging the provider’s economies of scale for better deals on hardware, software, and other IT resources. You can also access cutting-edge technology with less risk, enabling your organization to stay ahead of the curve with access to the latest IT solutions and technologies vetted by your IT provider.
Let’s be honest, in today’s competitive marketplace, leading-edge technology can provide an advantage. With the guidance of your trusted MSP advisor, your organization can also optimize resources and plan in a way that enables a balance of performance and increased productivity with cost savings.
When a tech outage impacts your ability to work, there isn’t anything more important at that moment, which is why MSPs offer 24/7 expert helpdesk services. However, not all IT problems are equal, which is why MSPs use sophisticated ticketing systems and proven evaluation processes to set priorities for support requests, enabling fast response times for the most urgent issues. Problems that impact critical systems or a large group of employees are usually pushed to the top of the list.
A responsible, reputable tech partner will have documented, established processes and service level agreements (SLAs) that are clearly outlined in your contract to inform your expectations when it comes to resolving technical problems.
MSPs invest constantly in their team’s ongoing training through vendor and industry certifications. They work closely with vendors to understand new products, troubleshoot common problems, and stay up-to-date on technology’s quickly evolving landscape. When you partner with an MSP, you will find their team includes certified professionals, well-versed in cybersecurity threats, hardware and software trends, and cutting-edge technology innovations. Most likely, there will be senior engineers with deep, specific expertise in complex IT issues. Look for industry experience—for example, Exigent’s leadership team alone has more than 150 years experience with technology.
Happy employees mean a productive workforce. When your employees know their IT needs are taken care of, they can focus on their jobs without the stress of technical problems. Plus, research has shown that when your team has the tools they need to do their jobs well, they are a more engaged staff and deliver a better customer service experience to your clients. Make sense, right? If you have spent your morning battling to log in to a tech tool, you are in no mood to solve anyone else’s problems plus, your productivity is significantly reduced.
Many businesses are surprised to hear that MSPs can act either as a full, virtual IT department or work side-by-side with existing technology experts within your organization. Perhaps you need after-hours support and preventative maintenance activities handled by an MSP while your in-house technology staff tackles major IT projects. Most technology partners collaborate well with in-house IT, often sharing access to ticketing systems to enable escalation from the on-premise tech experts to the MSP when the need arises.
Compared to the cost of hiring a full-time person to manage your organization’s network, handle daily support tickets, and troubleshoot large IT issues, an MSP is an affordable, budget-friendly alternative. In fact, the average cost of IT support services is almost always less than hiring a full-time technology specialist, with salaries ranging from about $60,000/year for junior technicians up to $150,000/year for experienced engineers. Generally speaking, the average cost of IT support for small businesses in the U.S. is about $40,000 a year.
Much like other corporate contracts, software and services agreements can be overwhelming, full of legal and technical jargon that can make your head hurt. MSPs will not only help with planning your technology roadmap, but they can also manage vendor partnerships, especially when a support issue needs to escalate to the vendor level. Most MSPs build close, strong relationships with partner vendors, and having a technology partner who “speaks the language” handling vendor and product conversations is invaluable. That tight-knit relationship also offers an inside track when it comes to product releases and new business IT solutions or features—or, on the flip side, knowledge about sunsetting product lines that might impact your business. Both allow for better planning and budgeting.
Sure, most MSPs offer robust managed security solutions, including firewalls, intrusion detection, and malware protection, to keep your data safe from cyber threats. However, some managed IT services companies have cultivated a deep and broad knowledge of cybersecurity. In addition, many have invested in regulatory compliance knowledge, staying current on the complex and stringent standards of compliance rules that impact industries such as healthcare, legal and finance, nonprofits, education, and more.
One way to evaluate the expertise an MSP may have is to ask how they approach regular security assessments and then use that data to identify and address vulnerabilities in your systems using their portfolio of managed security services.