Many small firms have turned to managed IT service providers to solve their technology issues and provide needed maturity in their technology planning. Large organizations typically have large IT staffs that are dedicated to their technology issues with expensive tools that support their processes. What can a mid-sized organization do when budget constraints limit access to necessary tools and staff to help grow the business?
Managed IT Services can be the answer. With managed service providers, a mid-market business can address key technology challenges and allow you to focus on business growth.
Improved efficiencies at a lower cost
The tools needed to drive IT efficiencies, increase IT proactive measures, and reduce downtime for an organization are often designed and priced for large organizations because they can spread the cost over many business units. Most Managed Service Providers (MSPs) use enterprise grade tools to service many customers and spread the cost of those tools across those organizations. A mid-market business can use a managed service provider to gain access to tools and associated processes to realize all the benefits at a fraction of the cost and effort to implement them.
A managed service provider that has been in business several years understands that driving the cost out of tools and processes is the key to being successful. A mid-market business can leverage this efficiency success by working with a managed service provider to have them manage all their commodity IT tasks such as patching, proactive monitoring, license management and other similar activities. This exposes the business to minimal risk and provides the benefits of enterprise level tools and processes that they need.
Focus IT staff knowledge on critical business processes
As mentioned above, enterprise tools are expensive to purchase. They are equally expensive to operate. They often need knowledge and expertise that may reside in several people. These people need to continue to improve the tools thru upgrades, change internal processes and implement more thorough integrations. It is also often very difficult to retain these people or replace them if they leave.
The efficient operation of these tools is the life blood of a managed service provider. While these services are extremely important to any sized business, they can be provided with very minimal understanding of key business processes. The key to growth in any business is to spend in critical areas of the business while minimizing cost in other less critical areas. A mid-market business can use a managed service provider to minimize cost in the commodity IT processes and invest in a technology team that is focused on key line of business applications and associated processes. This allows your IT team to address business specific issues that may not be something that just anyone can resolve.
Security is a requirement for any size business. The larger the business the more complex security issues become. Staffing a security team is just not feasible for most mid-market businesses. A top-flight managed service provider will often have a security team on staff that provides implementation of key security tools, organizational security assessments, security remediation services and SIEM tools that can help pinpoint the source of security breaches. Security is another service that can be very expensive to staff internally but doesn’t require intricate knowledge of your business processes to perform. Leveraging a managed service provider’s security team is a great way to provide best in class security without breaking the bank.
Strategic Technology Approach
One of the key benefits of a managed service provider is their experience in implementing and supporting technology in many different environments. A managed service provider that combines that experience with a long-term strategic outlook can be a strategic advantage for any company, but particularly to a mid-market business. Many IT teams in mid-market firms don’t have the time, budget or experience to create a technology ROADMap™ that supports their business objectives. A partnership of internal IT business knowledge and a managed services provider’s technology vision can help drive revenue with a minimal investment.
Where to turn when you want Managed IT Services
It’s easy to find managed IT service providers. However, finding a provider that focuses on best in class tools, continuous improvement of processes, enterprise grade security and a desire to provide the strategy you need can be much harder. When talking with managed IT service providers, if you don’t hear a focus on your business’ strategy and security, consider talking to someone else.
By Tom Nohelty
Tom Nohelty is director of Strategic Services at ABC member Applied Tech Solutions, LLC.