Just about every day, I am contacted by business owners who are facing a dilemma: Do they hire an in-house staff to handle their organization’s IT services or do they employ the services of a managed IT service provider (MSP)? Why should they choose one over the other?
In truth, there are benefits to each. Unlike in-house staff, MSPs are providers who manage many day-to-day functions of IT business technologies, including
- IT support;
- Networks and device monitoring;
- Servers and other data storage;
- Firewalls and other cybersecurity protections; and
- Disaster recovery and data backups.
However, regardless of whatever route you choose — to build an internal team, hire a group of third-party experts, or even hire an internal team and use an MSP for specific functions — the most important thing is to just be sure to make a decision that ensures your organization’s data and other sensitive information are protected.
It is becoming an increasingly dangerous virtual world for businesses. Cyber attacks and other virtual crime are on the rise, as demonstrated by the recent Equifax and Deloitte data breaches. In fact, 2,882,725 records have already been exposed via 140 reported data breaches so far in 2018 (as of Feb. 21), according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). This number doesn’t include any data breaches that haven’t been reported or have yet to be discovered!
What kind of benefits does a managed IT service provider offer your business or organization? Allow me to explain some of the advantages. Using an MSP:
1. Provides an Affordable Solution for IT Security Needs
For many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), resources and funds are often limited. This sometimes can mean that important jobs or roles, such as IT and cybersecurity services, may get pushed to the back burner because they’re viewed as being too expensive. However, not investing in your IT infrastructure and cybersecurity defense can be an even more expensive mistake.
You actually may be surprised to learn that a managed IT service provider is a cost-effective solution. A reputable provider can help you meet your organization’s IT needs without breaking the bank. Experienced MSPs, like FPA, offer a wide breadth of industry knowledge, reliability, and strategic value you need without the salary, benefits, ongoing training, and other associated costs of staffing an in-house team. Our managed IT services allow you to pay a fixed fee to gain access to our proven procedures, processes, and qualified in-house IT experts.
2. Reduces Vulnerabilities Through Enhanced Security
No network or device is 100% invulnerable to cyber threats. However, there are things that can be done to help fill in the gaps to help keep your data as protected as possible.
One of the greatest benefits of using a trusted MSP is that your networks and cybersecurity are being proactively monitored. FPA’s managed security services (MSS) are designed to detect and prevent intrusions, hacks, and other cybersecurity events in real time and aid your organization in achieving a speedy recovery.
3. Reduces System Downtime Through Regular Backups
Is your business prepared for a disaster? Disasters aren’t limited to just cybersecurity attacks, hacks, and malware. Catastrophes for your business can include natural disasters, such as fires or floods, intentional or accidental misuses of company systems and devices, or system overloads. All of these things can result in downtime for your business or, in many cases, can even put you out of business.
One of the best ways to protect your business, network, and data is to create system redundancy by regularly backing up your data. Disaster recovery data backups should be performed regularly using on- or off-site tape storage, Cloud data storage, or (preferably) both. Backup & Disaster Recovery (BDR) will help you to ensure that, should your network or system fail because of a cyber attack or another disaster, you can quickly get your system back online and operating.
I’m happy to say that many of our clients — 95%, in fact — have recognized the value of our BDR solution and have adopted it for their businesses.
4. Improves Organizational Productivity
Hiring a managed IT service provider can help to streamline your organization and increase the productivity of your employees through the use of proactive maintenance, active monitoring, and automation. By investing in a reliable MSP who understands your industry, it means that you can focus your resources and attention on what matters: We focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.
5. Provides Access to More Resources
Having access to good resources, information, software and other virtual tools often can be expensive. But, when you use a managed IT service provider, they typically have a wide variety of tools and software at their disposal. This means that any business, regardless of size, can have access to a level of technology they otherwise may not be able to afford.
6. Helps to Ensure Industry Compliance
Effective managed service providers are well versed, knowledgeable, and experienced in IT and cybersecurity best practices and industry standards. By hiring a team of dedicated professionals who can ensure that your business effectively protects your clients’ data, it’s one less thing that you or your team needs to worry about, removing a huge weight from your shoulders.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about the benefits of IT managed services. How have IT services and/or IT support from a third party provider helped your business? Share your thoughts in the comments box below or send me an email to discuss this topic in-depth.