Generally, IT is crucial for the operation of a business. You will likely have departments such as admin and sales that rely on IT to aid your primary focus, even if that focus isn’t entirely based on IT itself.
Wherever IT systems and devices are used, they must be supported – and this is where an IT team comes in to save the day.
These teams come in two flavours – an in-house team employed by yourself, or an outsourced team that has already been assembled. An outsourced team is also known as a ‘Managed Service Provider’ – an MSP.
Based on instinct, lots of people will assume that using a home-grown IT team will bring the best results – because how could you trust that an external company knows what’s best for your business?
Think about it this way though – if you’re not an IT whiz, how could you really know you’d be hiring the right people for your in-house team?
Read on for a quick guide to what your options are. Is an in-house IT team the best choice for your business, or should you outsource to an MSP?
MSPs – An Explanation
Most people have an awareness of what an in-house IT department might look like, but it’s less common to have much information about MSPs.
Essentially, you should think of an MSP as being an IT department that is simply located outside of your HQ.
The majority provide support similar to helpdesk, and also more complicated tasks such as designing and implementing infrastructure.
An MSP could assist you with setting up SD WAN and gaining more understanding of it, for example.
How Expensive Are MSPs?
It can be hard to tell how costly an MSP will be for any particular business – though many will cost a lot less than an in-house team.
There’s still a lot to consider though – how large your business is, your users, the kind of data you deal with, and who has access to it – these are all things that make your business one-of-a-kind.
What this means is that you likely won’t find a ready made solution. It would be best to meet with a potential provider to try to agree on what your business needs.
This will be written up in an SLA – a ‘Service Level Agreement’ – and will fully outline what the MSP will give you, and what you’ll be paying.
You will need an in-depth understanding of what exactly you need from a provider – and what your company does – for your agreement.
A good MSP should also provide another point of view for any plans you have to grow – this should be helpful for you if IT isn’t your primary business as they’ll let you know what’s feasible.
The Benefits of Using An MSP
An MSP may well be a good choice for you – but it may not be the most appropriate. It’s really a decision you need to make with your experienced team.
We can’t give all the answers, but we can tell you what advantages an MSP can have:
No Training Is Required
If you were to hire an in-house IT team, you’d have to pay for their training. You may provide some training already, but there’s also consistent costs of accrediting and certifying when working with tech.
If you don’t like the sound of that cost, why not consider an MSP? They’ll take care of training their team and you won’t have to think about it.
No Money Is Spent on Recruitment
Did you know that hiring an in-house team of two people can cost businesses up to £20k after considering recruitment consultancy, interviews, and lost time?
Partnering with an MSP tends to happen with one meeting and a couple of calls – which definitely makes it the cheaper option.
The Costs Tend to Be Fixed
If you aren’t after anything not outlined in your Service Level Agreement, MSP costs tend to be fairly predictable – unlike the often unknowable cost of hiring an in-house IT team.
While an in-house team’s wages may be fixed, there may always be consultancy costs, or even sick pay to cover. This isn;t the case with an MSP.
MSPs Keep up To Date
Usually, an MSP will be working with various clientele, which tend to be across multiple industries – and they’ll always try to be at the forefront of technology.
In practice, this should get you extremely up to date methods and services – because they’ve used them for other clients – which should give them great insight on how IT can improve your business.
Are There Disadvantages To MSPs?
Of course, an MSP isn’t always the best choice. Your business may have an airtight culture that another company might not mesh well with, it can be beneficial to do your own hiring.
For many businesses, this happens when they don’t like how an MSP handles security, how they protect data.
Some might also argue that when you hire your own team, you can make sure whoever you hire has an in-depth knowledge of your products and services.
What Is Right for Your Business?
At the end of the day, it can be difficult to determine whether to go in-house, or outsource to an MSP.
It’s really only something you can decide once you have a full understanding of what your business is looking for, and also what the kinds of IT support you’re browsing can provide to you.
Whatever you decide on – they need to be able to support you fully, leaving no gaps. Uptime needs to remain consistent, and your data needs to remain secure.
Make sure you can cover both of these to ensure your business doesn’t fail before it even begins.
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