February 22, 2024

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Pros and Cons of an IT Managed Service Provider for a Small Business

Just as some businesses outsource email support services, some outsource their IT processes to third-party organizations. This way, they can focus on their core competencies, lower costs, and stay updated with the newest technology trends without investing in hiring and training.

What Are Managed Service Providers?

Managed service providers (MSPs) specialize in handling and offering IT solutions and technical assistance to businesses. By letting them manage all the IT processes, organizations can gain access to exceptional technological skills without having to manage them themselves. These professionals monitor the entire business’s network remotely to troubleshoot all IT-related issues.

Pros and Cons of an IT-Managed Service Provider

Hiring an MSP can be beneficial to the business but it can also have a few drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons that can help businesses decide whether to opt for an IT-managed service provider or not.

Pros

  1. Skills and Knowledge 

When businesses hire a managed IT service provider, they outsource their IT processes to highly trained professionals. These individuals have the right skills and technical expertise to manage all types of networking issues that businesses face. Hiring them can make the organizations step ahead of the competition with updated technological tools.

  1. Proactive Management 

Usually, businesses have an in-house tech department with one or two members who have many problems to resolve. An MSP, however, proactively monitors the business system to spot problems before they occur. This helps in keeping the downtimes at a minimum level, which saves costs and helps maintain the reputation of the business. Moreover, customers are ensured consistent quality of service through a legal service level agreement.

  1. Business Continuity 

Technology is so powerful that if not handled properly, it can cause chaos. Lack of the necessary skills to counter technical issues quickly can be disastrous for the business. Insubordination write up may also be required if employees fail to adhere to established protocols and guidelines for using technology. Therefore, they must hire a managed IT service provider who can help in such scenarios, so they do not have to worry about restoring their system and crucial data themselves when something goes wrong.

  1. Cost Effective 

The cost difference between an MSP and hiring an in-house IT team is definitely worth comparing. When an organization hires professionals, it also needs resources like office equipment, office space, and more. However, outsourcing to an IT-managed service provider can be much less costly, as it requires no investments in resources. The business will simply have to pay a monthly fee for 24/7 expertise. Moreover, depending on the budget and needs, businesses can easily modify their contracts with the service providers. However, with an in-house team, it gets difficult to lay off and then hire employees again when the need arises.

Cons

  1. Lack of Industry and IT Alignment 

IT-managed service providers do not only have one business to oversee but must take care of many accounts. This makes it impossible for them to get a deep understanding of each business’s internal processes and specific industry and business requirements. To address this issue, organizations must look for a managed service provider that specializes in their industry. This will make it possible for the MSP to work according to the business’s needs leading to a more dependable IT service.

  1. Less On-Site availability 

Another drawback of collaborating with an IT service provider is that most of them are not available on-site. When the business encounters a minor issue like a printer malfunction or a connectivity issue, it has to resolve them itself. This is because MSPs handle all the tasks remotely. Even though some do offer onsite support as well, this facility is an added cost and the package usually does not include it

  1. Limited Scope 

An in-house IT team covers all aspects of technology whereas an IT-managed service provider usually does not. They have certain areas of specialization, which the business can choose from. Sometimes businesses have a limited budget that does not allow them to sign up for a package that covers all software and applications. If they face an issue outside of the subscribed categories, the MSP will not be able to help. Therefore, be careful while signing the deal. Outline all the applications and software that the business uses and ask for a customized package that includes them all.

  1. Reduced Knowledge Retention 

When an organization outsources any of its operations to a third party, it lets go of the opportunity to develop its processes and improve its in-house knowledge of IT systems and software. When someone else is managing all the software, employees hesitate to learn IT skills as they do not feel they will get to use them.

The Last Word

A small business considering outsourcing its IT processes must carefully evaluate its budget, on-site and remote requirements, technical capabilities, and security protocols to decide on the most suitable IT-managed service provider.