Today, we operate in an era where businesses of all sizes are undergoing digital transformation, and cyberthreats are becoming more prevalent and difficult to prevent. Companies have three ways to address their IT effectively and securely.
The first way is to handle all IT in-house. With this approach, businesses gain the benefits of full control and accountability of their IT. However, this becomes a risk when those handling IT are not fully equipped to handle challenges that arise. And those few tasked with IT management become key people that hold a disproportionate amount of responsibility; time-off becomes extremely risky if there’s no one fully capable to fill in, and breaches and downtime fall squarely on their shoulders.
The second way involves outsourcing. Some businesses choose to outsource all of their IT to focus on business initiatives without compromising IT security, functionality or peace of mind. While it can be difficult to give up full control, a quality managed services provider can understand your unique business goals to develop custom strategies that you can trust. Further, outsourcing your IT provides you with diverse and expert experience as well as access to their extensive resources. And while there is a harder cost of hiring an external advisor than paying someone internally to take on the work, IT outsourcing costs are predictable and prevent surprise expenses down the road.
The third approach falls somewhere in the middle: the helpdesk approach. Here, businesses outsource some of the more task-level IT services while keeping the higher-level elements in-house. This balance works well for businesses that have certain IT elements they are confident they can address independently; just make sure you find a balance that meets your needs.
IT Management Necessities
Whether you choose to stay in-house, outsource or use a combination of the two, the same things need to get done. Your IT plan should address IT risk management, disaster planning and cybersecurity, among other areas critical to your operation. Because many businesses do not have this full range of capabilities in-house, partnering with a managed services provider is a common and reliable way to improve efficiency, regulate costs and reduce risk.
The Benefits of Using a Full Managed Services Provider
Using a managed services provider offers businesses a great deal of cost control. Instead of paying independently for every service, a managed services provider takes a holistic approach to your IT planning, strategy, service and maintenance with a predictable cost structure. Further, a provider’s full spectrum of services eliminates surprises and risks that can be quite expensive.
For example, many businesses that lack sufficient support run into downtime, which can lead to direct financial losses as well as the loss of customer trust and reduced productivity. IT downtime is estimated at $5,600 per minute; paying for holistic IT services upfront is almost always more cost-effective than piecing together a solution after an incident (not to mention recovering from any permanently lost data or work).
Moreover, a managed services provider helps stabilize costs and improves overall business functionality. These companies offer strategic budget planning advice related to IT upgrades, align business goals with tech strategy (e.g., configuring data management and analysis tools) and help improve productivity by providing greater reliability and support across all IT services.
Find Out If a Managed Services Provider Is Right for You
While many businesses benefit from the use of an IT business advisor, it’s important to take stock of your current IT capabilities and resources to determine the level of support your organization needs.
Peters & Associates has deep experience as a partner to small and mid-size businesses, providing full advisory services to help organizations get the most out of their IT. To learn more about our managed services work in Oak Brook, IL, speak with our trusted advisors.