Do managed IT services make sense for my company?

Here’s the real question: Can you hire a multi-disciplinary team of IT professionals to maintain your IT infrastructure?

Obviously, this discussion assumes that you haven’t yet reached cloud nirvana whereby every application your business requires is provided via the Internet. Most customers are somewhere between all on-premise and all cloud.

There are lots of hybrid cloud or multi-cloud initiatives underway, which will create a great deal of complexity for small businesses over the next several years. I still talk with small customers who are happy with the level of response and support they receive from the one-person IT consultant around the corner.

However, that is quickly becoming an anomaly.

The IT industry, and particularly IT security, is changing so fast that no one person can stay up to speed on all IT disciplines.

This is partially responsible for the explosive growth happening in the managed services provider industry. MSPs are designed to be able to provide top-level multi-disciplinary services to many customers.

Due to the growth of the overall managed services market, competition has also increased. This is driving costs down and making this a fantastic time to move to a managed services model. Besides just getting top IT talent at a time-shared, discounted price, here are a few key indicators that you might be a good candidate for managed services in general:

1. Your current IT support model doesn’t provide the level of uptime your organization requires.

2. You don’t want to be in the business of recruiting, hiring and training IT professionals.

3. Your in-house IT resources are unable to keep up with user/helpdesk issues.

4. You’re not confident that security vulnerabilities are being recognized and patched.

5. You’re worried about your overall risk of data loss.

6. Your organization prefers predictable monthly expenditures instead of capital purchases.

7. Your organization has regulatory compliance challenges and isn’t sure how to manage them.

8. You don’t feel like your organization is taking advantage of IT as a competitive advantage.

As you can see, most of my reasons above have to do with either uncertainty or risk. There are many more possible reasons for choosing a managed services model, but most of them boil down to one of those.

Let me be clear about something.

Managed services providers aren’t selling snake oil to just make you feel better. They’re providing a set of skills, practices, procedures, and technologies that can measurably improve your IT operations and give you real peace of mind when combined with service level agreements and response-time guarantees.

The right managed services plan, with a company who wants to be a true partner (valuable, flexible, measurable), can be a game changer for your business.

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