Using a managed IT service provider (MSP) is often an appealing option for a company looking to outsource the support of their entire IT infrastructure.
Maintaining modern IT systems requires a specific and high-leveled knowledge base, which you can tap into by utilizing an MSP. As a bonus, managed IT services also provide solutions to some of the problems accompanying in-house IT services.
There are many benefits to an MSP.
Managed IT services are a great option for small- or medium-sized companies looking for redundancy, knowledge and cost savings when it comes to addressing their IT needs.
Managed IT services monitor and manage your IT network remotely. An MSP can detect problems and solve issues before they cause disruption, give you insight into your IT system, and address technology needs as they arise.
There are four primary benefits of using managed IT services:
- Managed services offer redundancy.
- MSP engineers are knowledgeable.
- Managed services are cost-effective.
- Managed services are easy to find.
By touching on each of the above topics, we’ll give you an idea of what to expect with managed IT services. However, if you’re looking for a longer, more in-depth explanation of managed IT services, check out our ultimate guide.
1. Managed services offer redundancy.
The top benefit of choosing an MSP versus an in-house IT department is it provides redundancy.
With a managed service provider, you’ll have access to an engineer ready to address your IT problems 24/7/365.
In the world of managed services, redundancy means there are additional resources so you never go without service.
Like any other employee, an in-house IT engineer takes sick days, vacations, or personal days. Often, IT issues aren’t resolved until that person returns to the office. Your assigned MSP engineer will still have days he or she is out of the office, but redundancy ensures there is still an engineer to address your problems.
Redundancy also prevents your IT engineer from being overwhelmed by the requests that piled up while he or she was gone. With an MSP, you have a pool of resources at your disposal to keep your IT systems running smoothly.
This is also true for augmented managed IT services where an MSP supports your existing IT team. Your in-house engineer can rely on the MSP to stay on top of requests when he or she is gone.
With an MSP responsible for all your IT needs, the engineers support each other.
2. MSP engineers are knowledgeable.
To ensure an in-house engineer can address all levels of problems your IT system may encounter, you’d have to hire an extremely skilled engineer. Some of the things your engineer will have to know:
- Windows and/or Mac operating systems
- Network troubleshooting and set up
- Virus and malware removal
- Antivirus installation
- Voice and email set up and troubleshooting
- Writing and troubleshooting script
- Troubleshooting and configuring web applications
- IT stack set-up, configuration, and migrations
- Network and security solutions
- Routing protocols
- Configuring hardware platforms
The majority of items on the list requires the knowledge of tier 1 or 2 (entry-level) engineers. The more complex components, like network and security solutions, routing protocols, and configuring hardware platforms, require a more experienced engineer to address them. Those components of IT services are less common, though.
In other words, small- and medium-sized companies with in-house IT have to pay for more resources than they’ll need most of the time. They need the depth of expertise available for the instances when they’ll need to handle some of the more finicky components of your technology stack.
An MSP hires engineers with expertise in specific IT disciplines. This means they should have an engineer with an answer to any problem you have.
3. Managed services are cost-effective.
For the amount of expertise you receive with managed IT services, you’ll have significant cost savings. Most managed IT service plans cost as much as the salary and benefits of a tier-1 or tier-2 engineer.
Hiring an IT engineer with the knowledge most companies need easily starts in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.
This doesn’t include the cost of benefits.
According to the US Department of Labor, the average employer pays around $24,000 per employee for paid leave, bonuses, overtime, insurance, retirement, and other legally required benefits.
Most small- and medium-sized businesses are hard-pressed to find a surplus in their budget of $125,000 or more for one employee.
With an MSP, you’ll pay less and get more. Your expense will cover continual service and provide you access to every skillset you need.
The cost of managed IT services is complex. As a guide, you can expect to pay $150 per site for an audit and around $100 per user per month. You’ll also need to purchase a firewall for each site.
A year of managed IT services typically costs between $13,500 and $118,500, depending on your size and needs. The high end of the cost for managed services is still less than the low end of a salary and benefits for a qualified in-house engineer.
4. MSPs do the recruitment for you
If the cost isn’t prohibitive in your IT plan, you might find yourself hindered when it comes to recruitment. To find someone with the mastery of the skills you’ll need in an in-house IT engineer, you’re going to have to search far and wide to fill the position.
Recruitment also costs more money, and the elusiveness of the right candidate can draw out the recruitment process and rack up a bill.
Without having to spend any additional money, a reliable MSP will assign you an engineer who is a good match for your company. He or she will work closely with you, get to know your unique problems, what programs you rely on, and your company individually.
Even though you won’t choose the engineer from the pool of candidates, you’ll still end up with an engineer best suited for your company’s needs.
Not only does an MSP, like The KR Group, provide the most for your money, but we’re also easy to find.
Where to Start
You could draft a job description for a highly skilled and knowledgeable IT engineer, pay to post it online, and spend time (and money) on the recruiting process to ultimately end up with an expensive line item in your budget.
However, if the process of hiring your own in-house engineer sounds difficult and expensive, choosing an MSP provides a better, simpler option.
To review all the options for IT support, download our free IT solutions Quick Guide.