Whether you are considering hiring a managed service provider (MSP) for the first time or not sure if the one you have is right for you, this post can help. It outlines the many benefits of managed IT support for small business, as well as how quality MSPs help your SMB succeed and grow.
Benefits of Managed IT Support for Small Business
- Partnership. Leaders of MSPs are small business owners themselves and the great ones will go beyond your IT needs, offering their insight and advice on a variety of business-related issues.
- Coverage. No vacations, no illnesses or isolation issues, just 24/7/365 IT support coverage. MSP providers do not need to come to your physical site to handle most of your IT needs.
- Experience. Instead of one or possibly two onsite IT experts working for your business, you get a whole team, which allows for more specialized expertise in areas like cyber security and IT strategy.
- Predictability. MSPs offer all-inclusive pricing so that you know what your cost will be with no hidden additions. The best MSPs do so while also offering customized services with no long-term contracts. So you’re only paying for what you need and you’re free to leave at any time (usually with 30 days notice). This keeps your MSP working hard for your business month after month.
- MSPs have skin in the game. Because you pay your contracted amount no matter how many hours the MSP spends fighting tech fires, it’s in their best interest to PREVENT fires in the first place. That means your MSP works proactively to find (and fix) any gaps and vulnerabilities BEFORE they impact your business.
- Disaster recovery planning. Disasters are by definition unexpected, whether they are natural (e.g., hurricane, flood) or otherwise (e.g., a breach or server failure). With the help of a good MSP providing disaster recovery services, such surprises need not be catastrophic to your business. MSPs make sure you have backups and processes to get up and running quickly with little interruption to your business.
- Cyber security. MSPs load you up with a full cyber security suite (including training your employees on how to avoid scams/breaches) and then actively monitor and address any potential issues. They stop or slow down attacks before they can damage your business.
- Cost-effectiveness. An MSP brings you all these benefits usually for less than the cost of one full-time IT employee with benefits.
What MSPs Provide to Small Businesses’ IT Needs
Yes, it provides a help desk. Yes, it will give you someone to help your computer from crashing. Yes, it will monitor for potential threats. But a managed service provider (MSP) covers a lot more for small businesses. Here are just a few examples:
- They oversee all your business technology, including:
- Credit card processing
- Inventory management
- Customer service systems and more
- MSPs can be your representative to your vendors, helping your systems “talk” to each other and even help you choose the right system for your business’s needs.
- They update your hardware, software and phone systems on every single device your company owns (computers, servers, mobile phones) which is crucial to prevent security breaches.
- They help you get and stay compliant for credit card processing, HIPAA and other data-related regulations.
- They create and maintain a disaster recovery plan, including data backup and recovery.
- They can manage your email, chat and video conferencing systems.
Co-Managed or Hybrid IT Support for Small Business
Managed IT support for small business does not have to be all or nothing. If you already have a great internal person or team, an MSP can still provide benefits, including:
- Strategy and planning.
- After hours and vacation time helpdesk coverage.
- Specialized expertise that your team does not have.
- Experience working with businesses of all sizes and budgets, bringing best practices and lessons learned to the table and to the tasks you need to have completed.
- Extra help for projects too large (or needed too quickly) for your internal team to handle on top of their day-to-day tasks.
This type of managed IT support is sometimes called co-managed or hybrid support because it’s a combination of the MSP’s team and yours managing your technology. Like fully managed support, a hybrid approach can be structured in all-inclusive, customized packages with no long-term contracts.
Use our Managed Service Provider Checklist to Find the Right
Our easy-to-follow checklist can guide you through the process of the best IT services provider for your business.
Are you a first-timer to IT support? Maybe you aren’t happy with your current MSP? This checklist will help you outline and define: