Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and in-house IT departments are often positioned as two different options for businesses looking to support their IT infrastructure.
It’s not always one against the other, though.
In fact, there are many times when MSPs can complement your existing IT department.
At The KR Group, it’s something as an MSP we’ve seen be successful with our customers who need additional IT support.
When you combine managed IT services with in-house IT, you’ll end up with a type of IT support called augmented services.
However, before we get to how augmented services work, we’ll explain more just what they are.
What Are Augmented Services?
With augmented services, an MSP takes over some of the responsibilities of your IT department while your in-house IT handles the rest.
An MSP is a company that employs multiple IT professionals to support the technology needs of multiple organizations. Augmented services (as well as managed services) are offered as a subscription.
Through these contracts, businesses are able to outsource their IT support.
Augmented services are similar to managed services because they’re a subscription for IT support. However, with augmented services, your MSP is supplementing your internal IT department.
For many companies this allows them to tap into the knowledge and scalability of an MSP while still having an internal IT employee.
There are multiple reasons why companies have contracted with MSPs like The KR Group for augmented services:
- An MSP can help with the daily management of IT tasks.
- MSP engineers are highly knowledgeable.
- An MSP can help you scale during growth.
If you need help with any one of these three tasks, you could likely benefit from augmented services – and we’ll explain how. But, keep in mind, if you need help with more than one, you might want to look into managed IT services instead.
1. An MSP can help with the daily management of IT tasks.
In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted by 2020 77% of jobs would require some kind of technology skills.
To support the routine monitoring that comes with an increasing reliance on technology for business operations, you’ll need a dedicated person or team to monitor the health of your IT systems and catch threats trying to exploit your network.
These tasks are imperative to having a functional IT department within your company. However, they can be time-consuming.
If you allocate these tasks to an MSP providing augmented services, you free up your in-house IT engineer to handle the more complicated issues.
2. MSP engineers are highly knowledgeable.
On the other hand, your in-house engineer might be better equipped to handle the daily management of your IT systems but doesn’t have the knowledge to address more complex issues.
A benefit of MSPs is they are able to employ highly-skilled, knowledgeable, and certified engineers who may otherwise be unattainable for small- or medium-sized businesses.
A benefit of managed IT services, which extends to augmented services, is they offer great value for their cost. An MSP contract and an entry-level in-house IT engineer costs about the same as the high-end for a highly-knowledgeable, in-house IT manager.
This means that you could either hire someone to monitor your network, manage your IT environment, and resolve issues. Or, for the same price, you could hire a less skilled engineer plus contract with an MSP. The latter means you have all the benefits of an MSP, including redundancy and highly skilled, certified engineers.
However, one of the problems of managed IT services is the absence of daily on-site support. With this version of augmented support, you can avoid that issue and still benefit from the knowledge and skills of a higher qualified engineer.
3. An MSP can help you scale during growth.
One situation where an MSP is especially helpful in providing augmented services is when companies are going through a period of growth.
As your company grows, so does your need for IT, and this can be a great time to bring in an MSP for augmented services.
If your users require desktops or laptops, you’ll need to set up each new employee. And a larger workforce can also mean you might outgrow components of your IT infrastructure.
The regular IT requests don’t stop because you have new, increased IT needs, though.
Short term, MSPs can help you hit the ground when bringing on an increased workforce. Long term, they can assist you in handling the increased demand on your IT department.
Why should you consider augmented services for external IT support?
If you’re looking for IT assistance for daily management, increased knowledge, or to scale during growth, augmented services can supplement your current IT staff to provide effective, efficient service.
Many MSPs offer some version of augmented services, and you can reach out to many of them to ask how they could work with your in-house IT.
For more information about what IT options are available for you, including more information on augmented services, download our IT Solutions Quick Guide.