Contracting a third party to take care of certain tasks within your business is a practice that is becoming more common across the world with businesses of all sizes across various industries. The process of assigning a portion of your company’s workload to another business is called outsourcing, and when done correctly, can save your company money, time and unnecessary staff related stress.
What is IT and how has it changed over the years?
Information Technology (IT) is the use of any computers, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes used to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data. Businesses of all sizes across the world utilise IT across multiple facets to conduct their businesses efficiently.
Across the past two decades, IT infrastructure has been marked by incredible progress and innovation. Twenty years ago, the majority of businesses were conducting operations with either limited or no technology. Fast forward 20 years and technology is fundamental to the success of any business. It’s hard to imagine a world without internet, however today nearly 89% of the global population has access (Pew Research Center).
Today, the internet has transformed virtually every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to how we shop, consume and conduct business. Due to this, IT infrastructure within businesses has drastically changed to allow businesses to connect with consumers, provide the services they require and secure their infrastructure and business model from cyber criminals.
What is MSP and how has it changed over the years?
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a business that is solely dedicated to remotely managing a client’s IT infrastructure. The services provided by an MSP will vary depending on each company, but typically include network, server and specialised application support to end users. In most cases, MSP’s tend to own the physical back end of infrastructure and provide support to the end users remotely via an on-demand basis.
Originally, MSP’s were developed to fill a gap in the market which required a host to provide facilities to securely house IT equipment whilst providing an online presence at the same time. Overtime, this model quickly evolved into providers managing hardware and OS (operating systems).
A hybrid IT system (such as the public cloud), provide benefits such as quick updates, automation and improved accessibility, however there is often a lack of clarity regarding which software systems are to be kept on the cloud. This is where an MSP’s is incredibly beneficial. The role of an MSP is still evolving, and at a rapid rate, however currently MSP’s play a central role in business migration strategies. By utilising an MSP, you’ll have access to expert operational and business support 24 hours a day across both the cloud and traditional IT infrastructure.
Factors influencing why you should look to outsource to an MSP
Hiring the services of a Managed Service Provider provides your business with multiple benefits, which adds value to your business and increases overall productivity. Some of the benefits that you may experience as a result of outsourcing to an MSP include:
- Enhanced data security: Cybercrimes are on the rise, and to protect the data of both your business and your clients, outsourcing your IT services may be the most secure option. MSP’s provide the experience and the latest firewall software to stay ahead of the ever-changing technology climate. If you have an inhouse IT department, your employees may lack the knowledge, experience or tools required to maintain a secure IT environment.
- Cost savings: A Managed Service Provider is an extremely popular option due to their cost. By hiring the services of an MSP, a business can typically reduce their operational costs and lower IT operating expenses. An MSP typically operates on a subscription-based model where the clients would pay a fee for services, usually billed monthly. Businesses who hire the services of an MSP typically pay for the services that they require rather than for a package where multiple services may never be utilised, therefore making an MSP a highly cost-effective option where your IT budgeting may become more predictable.
- Access to top talent: According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2018 Talent Trends research, 62% of human capital and C-suite leaders say that getting the skills that they require for their business is one of their top priorities. When utilising the services of an MSP, businesses will have access to a large number of employees across a large variety of skills and experience levels.
- You will experience no operational overheads: When hiring the services of an MSP, you are paying for the services received rather than the person who provides them.Due to this, you will experience no operational overheads such as payroll, employee taxes or employee leave benefits. The workload and productivity of the MSP will typically tend to be higher than that of an Internal IT department. This is because if one staff member from your MSP is away on leave, another equally qualified employee will continue to work with your business, meaning the downtime is significantly reduced and productivity is increased. This is one reason why MSP’s are such a highly popular and cost-effective way of maintaining your IT infrastructure.
- Improved flexibility and scalability: Today’s business landscape is continually growing, and to stay ahead of competitors, businesses need to be highly flexible and continually adapt to the ever-changing environment. Having an internal IT department may slow down your business growth when it comes to the hiring process. If your business needs to scale up or down quickly, this may be halted if your business is struggling to hire accurately qualified employees. By utilising an MSP, your business will be able to increase production when required due to having access to multiple people with similar qualifications at any stage.
Small businesses can no longer afford to ignore AI and automation developments. With customer expectations changing, they expect businesses to anticipate their needs.