Small business owners and leaders often ask why their company needs managed service provider solutions if they already have an IT staff?
As with most things, the answer depends on the specifics of the situation, but here are 5 top benefits of managed services to your existing IT team:
- Enhances ability to address business needs - In some cases, in-house IT staff are part time with other duties or are at full capacity dealing with tactical issues. This makes it difficult to take the time to be proactive, let alone think about IT strategy. Supplementing existing IT staff with appropriate managed services better enables business owners to focus on business needs and drive technology decisions based on those, rather than operating in silos.
- Ultimately saves money - if the true economics of IT expenses are considered, including in-house, vendor, activity and hidden costs, they are almost always higher than realized. By offloading activities to a provider that has best practices, processes and automation, precious in-house resources may be freed to do more important work and problems may be avoided through proactive IT management.
- Reduces risk - generally a small business is only able to afford a small internal IT staff, if any. By supplementing with an outside team, not only are individual dependencies eliminated (e.g. unexpected absence), but domain-specific knowledge and capabilities may be brought to bear on such critical areas as information security and compliance.
- Strategy and tactics rather than tasks - if the internal team does not have the bandwidth to go beyond a task list of IT activities, a third party is often useful to help with the creation of an overall IT strategy, aligned to the business, that drives specific tactics. A good managed service provider also feeds back the results of these tactics into an on-going review to ensure that all areas of technology that may drive toward business goals are highlighted and sized. In this way, informed investments may be made rather than reacting to the latest IT problem.
- Objectivity - the other traditional reason to supplement internal resources is to get an outside view. Sometimes, it is difficult to get a clear understanding of best practices when one's domain is limited to one company. Good managed service providers have experience with hundreds or thousands of like companies and do not have a bias associated with any given company's standard operating processes. This fresh view is a great complement when an internal resource does not know what all of the possibilities are at their disposal.
What is your number 6 for things that would benefit your IT staff?
- Managed services provider solutions may enhance your internal IT team's ability to address business needs
- IT costs often go unanalyzed and are typically higher than realized
- Prudent use of external services may reduce costs and risks and enable objective strategic IT analysis
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