Outsourcing your IT

Why it might be the best thing for your business - COVID-19 and beyond

The economy has taken a tumble and businesses worldwide have had to adapt to new ways of working.
Your company has likely had to make a lot of changes to settle into the new normal. For many the pandemic has changed the way we use and rely on technology to work. 

Before March, many people hadn’t heard of Zoom, it’s now part of our everyday vernacular like Google and Facebook. If you are still adapting your working culture this may be the right time to look at IT operations and how outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider could be of benefit.

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company, like SupportWise, who provides IT services, alongside the management of the devices in which they support. 

An MSP can help with desktop and server support, helpdesk operations, network operations and VOIP and hosting solutions. 

The ‘Managed’ aspect refers to monitoring, updating, securing and proactively supporting devices such as end user PCs, servers, firewalls, switches and other equipment within their remit. 

Most companies with a team would benefit from outsourcing support on some or all of these aspects of your IT infrastructure.


How outsourcing to an MSP can benefit your business

There’s many ways in which working with an MSP such as SupportWise can benefit your business. Let’s have a look at 10 reasons how it can help to grow your business, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Technical expertise when you need it most

Managed Service Providers offer access to a range of qualified technicians, which can be split by speciality (servers, websites, networking), or they can all work in the same team. 

This provides you with a single point of contact for all of your IT needs, while also filling in any technical gaps you may have with your in-house team. 

An external IT team will; 

• Have access to the latest training and technologies.
• Be up to date with advancements and progressions in the IT sector. 

One of the ways to succeed in any business is by investing in capabilities – MSPs have fully-trained teams who can pass this wealth of expertise onto your business for a fraction of the cost of hiring full-time IT specialists.


Scales at your pace

As your business grows, so will your IT needs. Outsourcing your IT through an MSP will ensure that your IT scales with your business. It’s natural that your IT infrastructure grows more complex as your business expands and shifts. As this happens, you’ll want to futureproof any investments, so they don’t fall short as you grow. 

Working with a team of experts (and with an MSP this will be at your fingertips) will give you confidence that any decisions made will be the right ones, now and into the future.


The latest and greatest

When you invest in IT equipment are you certain it is the latest and the best for your company? 

Working with a Managed Service Provider gives you access to a host of suppliers which you may not have had previously. Additionally, most MSPs subscribe into partnerships, ensuring they are also kept up to date with what is available at any time. 

Have a niche requirement? An MSP will be able to find a solution to it. 

Need to upgrade but worried about data loss? An MSP can advise and oversee any upgrades required.


Controlling the costs and often, reducing them

When outsourcing to an MSP, there is a controllable, transparent pricing structure usually based on number of devices managed. This fixed-price approach means you know exactly what you’ll pay each month as well as how this will increase as your business grows.

Whether you need to add or remove devices from support, an MSP will adjust the cost as appropriate, keeping your IT budget in check all year round.


Saving you and your business time

An MSP is not just there where things go wrong. They are at your fingertips for help with all aspects of IT; technical as well as administrative. When you onboard a member of staff, for example, a simple call to the helpdesk and the new accounts are created; on time and in line with your company policy. 

The same can be said for when an employee leaves – the account is removed, data backed up, licenses adjusted…all on the back of an email. This frees up other members of staff internally to focus on their day-to-day tasks.


Reducing your risk

The security landscape is changing constantly. Beyond the protections in place (antivirus, firewalls etc.) there are a plethora of other, potential, attacks which could impact your business from a financial and reputational point of view. Installing the software is no where near enough protection for your and your clients’ data. 

However, outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider means that they will be looking at all of these security aspects, all of the time. They’ll be alerted in real-time and be able to react, often without needing any intervention from you, and often catching a threat before it becomes a problem.


Proactive Monitoring

How many times have you seen an error message such as Hard Disk Full or Windows Updates need to be installed?

 How many times have you simply ignored the message or postponed the updates? 

However, doing this may save you five minutes at the time but it will inevitably slow down your business, reduce your productivity and ultimately, sales. 

A good MSP will have systems in place to prevent this from happening before it becomes a problem. They’ll also check each device to see whether there are any outstanding updates, any failed installations, or if the device is fully up to date. 

Don’t believe this is a benefit? As part of your ongoing service, your MSP will be able to show you exactly how much time has been saved on the most routine of tasks.


Helpdesk and Support Services

Keeping your business up and running, sometimes 24/7/365 can be challenging. 

However, your IT team needs to be able to work to that standard too. 

When using Managed Services, they offer help desk and support whenever your business needs it most.
As all of the technicians are IT specialists, they’ll be able to respond to most, if not all queries on the first call. 

Outsourcing to an MSP can be, long term, more beneficial in both time and cost savings, from the helpdesk perspective alone, than hiring in-house IT.


Reliability and Standards

Do you need to take your business to another level? 

Are you looking to complete ISO 27001 and need to ensure that your systems (and processes) meet the requirements?

Has a client approached you with a list of requirements and you’re not sure where you stand? 

MSPs work with clients like you on a daily basis and have access to Account and Project Managers on the end of the phone, to help you achieve your business goals. Often this means you won’t need a separate outsourced team uniquely for this mission.


Reduction in HR costs

We saved this one until last as we didn’t want it to be misconstrued. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on businesses to make some challenging decisions.
Continuous Professional Development and Training are expensive for a small, in-house IT team. 

An advantage to outsourcing is that this will be managed by the MSP themselves, reducing your outlay on training costs and allowing you to re-allocate resources to other areas of the business which may need more attention or staffing.

Some objections to outsourcing:

Not everything IT related can be outsourced

Anything IT related can be outsourced, from the technical to the administrative.
MSPs can assist with: 

• Account creation
• Modification or termination for employees
• Setting up new services
• Provisioning phone lines
• Solving IT issues. 

They often provide assistance with auxiliary services including:

• Web Hosting
• VOIP solutions
• Access Control
• ERP/Accounting software

A Managed Service Provider’s aim is to streamline your operations and let you run your business.

I lose control of my whole IT fleet or infrastructure

When outsourcing IT you are ultimately in control of what you hand over. So when taking on a new client, an MSP will discuss what that client is and isn’t comfortable with.
MSPs will need some level of access for their various functions (usually administrative access) but the end goal is that the customer and the customer alone remains in control of their IT assets. They are yours after all.
Good communication between both parties will ensure that there is no feeling of loss of control.

I'll be tied into a long contract

We don’t want to blow our own horn, but SupportWise has the option of 30-day, 6- month and 12-month contracts. The industry norm is 12-24 months and generally this is a good thing.

The longer an MSP works with your business the more time they have to learn your business and systems, as well as work together along the way to resolve any opening issues. A review will be held at least quarterly, sometimes monthly and a yearly assessment is made by the MSP and the client to keep everybody on the same page.

Here at SupportWise we have a monthly call with all primary contacts, often more, to remain in contact and check that everything is ticking over.

Should I reach out? Is it worth it?

We genuinely believe that the benefits of outsourcing your IT to an MSP outweigh the risks.

This is one of the reasons we offer 30-day and 6-month contracts; to give our clients the best possibility of getting to know us on a risk-free basis.

For any business struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, having a discussion with an MSP such as SupportWise will give you a good idea as to how partnering with an external IT team can help you achieve your business goals as well as saving time and money.

We’ve popped a contact form at the bottom of this page to make contacting us easy.