In the early days of a company, business owners are often forced to wear many hats. This usually means having most, if not all, members do a share of IT-related tasks such as setting up computers, configuring operating systems, and connecting everyone to Wi-Fi. However, as the company grows, business owners find that what worked for a small team doesn’t necessarily work for much larger teams. They realize they need a team of dedicated IT experts, but do they build one in house, hire an external managed IT services provider (MSP), or have both?
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here is a list of the pros and cons of working with an MSP.
Pros of outsourcing IT services to an MSP
Outsourcing your IT responsibilities to an MSP offers a host of benefits:
- Cost savings – A major benefit of outsourcing IT services are the significantly lower costs. MSPs often provide IT services for a fixed fee that's merely a fraction of the cost of an in-house IT department. This is because MSPs have economies of scale and can leverage their expertise to deliver IT services more efficiently.
- Access to expertise – MSPs have access to a pool of experienced IT professionals who can provide a wide range of IT services. This can be a valuable asset for businesses that do not have the in-house expertise to manage their IT infrastructure.
- Improved uptime – MSPs can help businesses to improve their uptime by providing around-the-clock monitoring and support. This can help to prevent downtime and productivity losses.
- Compliance – MSPs can help businesses comply with industry regulations by providing security and compliance services. MSPs often have access to advanced security tools and cybersecurity experts who can identify the gaps in the company’s security framework. They can then advise their clients on data management best practices and implement multiple layers of protection to mitigate risk.
- Flexibility – MSPs allow businesses to scale their IT services on demand. When a company hires more people, they can simply request the MSP to provision and support more workstations and applications. The same process applies for when businesses have to downsize. A simple request is all it takes for an MSP to shift their services according to the business’s needs.
Cons of outsourcing IT services to an MSP
Below are some of the downsides to hiring an MSP:
- Partial loss of control – When businesses outsource their IT services, they lose some control over how their IT infrastructure is managed. This can be a concern for businesses that are sensitive to security or compliance issues. But this issue can be addressed by siloing off sensitive areas and giving internal IT teams sole purview of these.
- Resistance to change – Your staff may hesitate to adopt new solutions or outright reject them, especially when the changes are made by a third party. When implementing changes, the MSP must know how to win staff over, train them adequately, and monitor them for regression, progression, and opportunities for improvement.
- Vendor lock-in – Businesses that outsource their IT services to an MSP may become locked in to the vendors that MSP offers. This is because the software or systems of those vendors might not be compatible with those of other vendors. Fortunately, compatibility issues are becoming less and less of a concern, thanks to the proliferation of data and application integration services.
What should you consider when outsourcing to an MSP?
If you do decide to outsource to an MSP, there are several things you should consider.
- The size and complexity of your business – If your business is small or has a simple IT infrastructure, you may be able to manage your IT needs on your own. However, if your business is large or has a complex IT infrastructure, outsourcing IT services may be a better option.
- Your budget – Outsourcing IT services can be a significant expense. It is important to factor in the cost of the services you need and the cost of managing the contract with the MSP.
- Your level of risk tolerance – Outsourcing IT services can involve some risks, such as loss of control and security breaches. It is important to assess your level of risk tolerance before outsourcing.
- Your company culture – Some businesses prefer to have their IT services managed in house, while others prefer to outsource. It is important to consider your company culture when making this decision.
When outsourcing IT services, it’s important to do your due diligence and research different providers. You should get everything in writing, including the scope of services, the cost, and the terms of the contract. And by carefully considering the pros and cons of outsourcing IT services, you can make an informed decision that is right for your business.
To learn more about whether outsourcing IT services is right for your business, schedule a consultation with us today.