Small and medium-sized businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to sell their products and services and meet customer needs. SMBs now spend more than $600 billion on information technology each year. As a result, a large industry has grown up around outsourced IT functions. Managed services providers, or MSPs, are third-party companies that take over the burden of IT services from small businesses. Here are four of the key benefits you should be looking for from an MSP if you’re considering outsourced IT services for your small business.
Lower and more predictable IT costs
One of the primary benefits your SMB should look for when choosing a managed services provider is a reduction in overall IT expenditures. By cutting costs on hardware, staff and training outsourced IT can provide you with good technology services at a lower price than you could achieve on an in-house basis. As an added advantage, most IT service agreements involve a fixed monthly price for services. With more predictable pricing, you can more accurately anticipate your expenditures and create your IT budget accordingly.
More latitude to focus on your own business model
By outsourcing specialized IT tasks, you can focus more of your resources on your company’s core business model. Functions such as cybersecurity and virtualization can improve the way your company runs and uses technology, but aren’t directly related to developing, marketing and selling your products or services. By turning these tasks over to an MSP, you can put more of your team’s attention on work that will bring in revenue and expand your business. This ability to redirect your team’s focus to your core business is one of the reasons that outsourcing, in general, is considered to be a leading growth strategy for smaller companies.
Access to more tech assets
Rather than simply taking over tasks from your in-house team, an MSP should be able to give you access to new and improved technologies. Services such as cloud hosting and customized cybersecurity solutions that are beyond the scope of your in-house IT staff should be expected from your MSP. This aspect of outsourced IT also ties into the cost savings associated with it, as a service provider can help you access new technologies without the cost of training your staff on their use and implementation.
Smaller businesses have to be especially mindful of cybersecurity, as 58 percent of all cyber attacks are targeted specifically against SMBs. The growing prevalence of cyber threats and data breaches is one of the many reasons that outsourcing can be beneficial for a small company. MSPs that offer security services can afford to hire cybersecurity specialists, while a full security staff would likely be too much of a drain on your SMB’s resources. With an outsourced IT arrangement, your company can work with specialists who have access to top-notch software resources, allowing you to be more secure without developing a costly in-house cybersecurity team.
If you’re planning on outsourcing your IT services to an MSP, you should be looking to realize some or all of these benefits as a result. Of course, the benefits you see will depend on exactly which services you choose to outsource and the model of your particular business. In most cases, though, you should expect to see savings, improved efficiency, enhanced security and access to technologies your SMB would not otherwise be able to afford.