One of the options you’ll come across is to outsource the maintenance and security protection of your IT environment by working with a managed IT service provider (MSP).
While you research what managed IT services can do for your organization, you’re bound to wonder if you’re a good fit. In fact, as a technology services provider, this is one of the most common questions The KR Group receives about our managed IT services.
The good news is that managed IT services meet the IT needs of many different companies. Here are a few examples:
- Organizations looking for a better return on their IT budget
- Small- and medium-sized businesses looking to outsource IT completely
- Companies anticipating fast growth and increasing IT support
- Larger companies that want a portion of their IT managed
- Businesses with industry regulation compliance mandates
This list is by no means exhaustive, and if you don’t find yourself represented by one of these scenarios, it doesn’t mean managed services aren’t for you.
Additionally, contracts can vary slightly among MSPs. So, if the first provider you talk to doesn’t appear to offer exactly what you’re looking for, don’t count yourself out right away.
Managed IT Services Provide Value and Availability
MSPs offer two significant advantages compared to in-house IT departments:
1. Better value
The first option means you’re paying around $100,000 plus benefits for a single employee to take care of all your IT needs.
You’re also putting all your eggs in one basket, so if your sole IT manager is out of the office or leaves your organization, your IT environment is unsupported.
On the other hand, the price of managed IT services starts around $25,000 per year but may cost more depending on the size of your organization.
The price scales as your company grows. It’ll increase with each new user but in increments easily budgeted around.
The other notable benefit of managed IT services is the availability of engineers. Since an MSP employs a whole team of engineers, you have access to them at any point you require IT support.
This means you don’t have to coordinate time-off or worry about continuity within the IT department. Instead, this is all handled by the MSP.
Managed IT Services for Small and Medium Businesses
At The KR Group, we specialize in serving companies in the 25 to 100 user range. While other MSPs have different user ranges, typically, they provide managed services for organizations in the small- or medium-sized business category.
Managed services are an excellent option for these size businesses because it allows them to tap into the high-knowledge base of an experienced engineer for a fraction of the cost.
Executives in small businesses often wear multiple hats, and sometimes that includes the IT hat. If you want to pass the hat to a professional, managed services provide a cost-effective option for small and medium businesses.
Example – Lori’s Law Firm
Lori opened a small law firm in 2015. Originally, it was just her and a paralegal working out of an office, but now, she has grown her law firm to include 10 other employees.
Lori still boasts about her 310 on the bar exam, however, she nor her partners have much to brag about when it comes to their knowledge of IT networks. They’ve been getting by with the bare minimum, but Lori knows they could and should do better.
To hire an experienced in-house engineer, Lori would need to find a minimum of $100,000 in her budget, and she needs a less expensive option.
For less than $40,000 per year, Lori could get a whole team of IT engineers to support her organization, provide cybersecurity protection, and help her be proactive about future IT needs.
Growing your Company with Managed IT Services
Managed IT services are also beneficial when looking for ways to tackle and support business growth.
Your IT needs will increase as you add more users to your company. Not only will each person require a laptop, desk phone, and possibly other individual IT appliances, but your overall infrastructure needs will change as more users place increased demand on servers, routers, switches, etc.
By working with an MSP, you can easily scale your IT support. Since you already have a team of engineers supporting your technology, they can seamlessly support additional users as they’re added to your company.
And for you as the business owner, you’ll notice incremental changes to your monthly rate, but you won’t be stuck trying to determine where the line is between having a single to multi-person IT department.
For growing companies, these benefits ultimately save you money and ensure your growing IT problems are addressed alongside your company’s growth.
Example – Rich’s Manufacturing Plant
Rich’s Manufacturing Plant is a relatively new business. Over the past few years, he’s grown from a five-person operation to having 30 employees.
He plans to continue to grow the company over the next several years. In fact, he hopes to triple the number of employees he has in the next 5 years.
But Rich can’t accomplish this goal without looking for IT support. He can’t address issues and run the company well, and he knows it’s time to have a consistent plan for supporting his IT environment. So, Rich looks to managed IT services.
With this option, Rich can continue to focus on expansion, knowing his MSP has the availability and knowledge to address any IT problems that arise.
Co-Managed IT Services for Larger Organizations
In some cases, you may consider outsourcing only a portion of your IT environment. The industry term for this is co-managed or augmented IT services.
With this option, you’ll contract with an MSP to handle the support of some of your technology, but you have an internal IT person or team to take on the other responsibilities.
Most businesses interested in this option are larger organizations, over the 100-user count, and are looking to fill a skills gap.
Example – Mark’s Insurance Company
His IT team is great at help desk support and ensuring users can access the applications they need every day. However, Mark has realized the new workplace reality means he has to change some of the solutions he previously relied on.
He’s looking for an MSP to manage his cloud phone system and provide cybersecurity solutions to support his employees across West Michigan.
Mark will still pay subscription fees based on the number of users, but it’ll be less than a standard managed services contract because he’s consuming fewer services.
MSPs offer knowledge of industry-specific programs and regulations because they serve multiple clients in the same industry.
This back-tested knowledge makes MSPs an attractive option for companies who must adhere to strict industry standards and want to know whoever is handling their IT will help them adhere to those standards.
Highly skilled and knowledgeable IT personnel are already difficult to recruit. When you tack on more requirements, like experience with education, finance, or healthcare regulations, you’re only making the right match more difficult to find.
Example – Dr. Jill’s Pediatric Office
Example – Stafford Credit Union
Are Managed IT Services Right for Me?
As you read through the above information and scenarios, did any of them resonate with you?
If you’re a small or medium business with between 25 and 100 employees, managed IT services are a cost-effective and highly available option for meeting your technology needs. This is especially true if you’re a growing business.
Additionally, if you’re a larger organization looking to outsource a specific portion of your IT environment, an MSP can provide co-managed services and partner with your existing IT team.
Or, if you’re trying to find IT support that gets you closer to industry regulations, like HIPAA or FINRA.
Managed IT services can help you support and maintain your IT environment in any of these scenarios.
And even if you don’t identify with any of the use cases mentioned above, don’t assume managed IT services aren’t for you just yet. You may still benefit from managed IT services with the right MSP.
You can learn more about managed services and how they compare to other IT solutions by downloading our free quick guide.