It’s no secret that most small- and mid-size businesses these days are fully reliant on their computers and IT to function at their optimal level.  Often, when the computer system fails or a small issue arises, businesses see real revenue and profit losses.  In order to minimize these problems, businesses need to properly control their IT management, support and maintenance.  There are two ways to accomplish this.  Hire a full-time employee or outsource the responsibilities to a qualified Managed Services Provider (MSP) dedicated to this responsibility.

Hiring a full-time, dedicated IT employee can be cost-prohibitive for small- and mid-size businesses, so most turn to MSPs to manage their IT.  However, there are pros and cons to doing this.  And, the more you know before heading down this path, the better you will be prepared to mitigate any problems.

Pros of Managed Services

  1. It is the responsibility of the MSP to fully manage IT to the expectations of the business owner and/or management team (Client). This frees the Client to fully focus on its core activities to achieve their business goals.
  2. A knowledgeable and qualified MSP can bring best practices to projects and IT management that can provide short-term and long-term benefits.
  3. Employee and knowledge retention are no longer a concern, as MPS bring a full team of experts and tools to you, not just an individual.
  4. When Managed Services are implemented correctly, a MSP can save the Client real dollars when compared to the cost of a full-time employee.
  5. Managed Services allows the MSP and the Client to develop a long-term partnership for a positive impact on the long-term strategic investments the Client makes in the business.
  6. The service level driven approach inherent to Managed Services can result in IT improvements that deliver measurable benefits to the Client.

Cons of Managed Services

  1. Unqualified MSPs can be reluctant to assume full management and support responsibilities for IT.
  2. Miscommunication between MSPs and a Client can lead to lack of understanding and misaligned priorities.
  3. If the MSP is executing the job properly, resulting in IT functioning properly and smoothly, it is often difficult for the Client to understand what they are paying for.
  4. Clients are often caught in the middle between an application provider (or any other vendor) and the MSP when there is a problem. This is mitigated when the MSP takes responsibility to get the problem fixed by working with the other vendor.

Take some time to assess whether your business would benefit from outsourcing your IT function to an MSP. The pros outlined above more than justify removing this critical function from your operations if you are subject to employee or knowledge retention, budget restrictions or lack of other resources.

KLH – Minneapolis IT Managed Services Provider

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Scott Johnson COO, KLH  651-328-6121