Evaluating IT in times of change.

a new norm for IT support services

IT Management & Support: new standard

Technology is the primary force transforming businesses today. With its constant evolution small and mid-sized (SMB) companies must deal with an increasing number of information technology (IT) complexities and make faster IT decisions to stay afloat. This was never more true when COVID-19 hit businesses worldwide with no warning. Almost overnight employees were forced to work remote, prompting businesses to quickly implement or ensure the right technologies and strategies were in place to support distributed workforces.

Many organizations were not prepared to address this sudden change for several reasons — lack of internal expertise, limited or no technology strategy to support the remote workplace, improper IT infrastructure, or 24×7 end-user support for remote workers. To meet these challenges a growing number of SMBs are now turning to managed service providers (MSP) or re-evaluating their relationships with current MSPs during these changing times for help with their IT needs.

75% of SMBs outsource or plan to outsource IT services

While it may seem obvious that outsourcing IT is driven by your technology needs, a big part of your decision to adopt this model comes down to one question. How do you want to run your business? Do you want to hire staff, outsource, or take a hybrid approach. Do you want capex versus opex? Today, many SMBs outsource various components of their businesses to gain access to expertise, improve operational efficiencies, cut costs, and simply remain competitive. Why – because outsourcing in its many forms makes good business sense.

Techaisle recently estimated 46% of SMBs outsourced IT services to an MSP in 2018 with another 29% of companies planning to do so in the future. Given this level of adoption it is easy to understand why today’s executives are buying into the MSP model. It simply is a more effective way for them to run their companies, allowing them to adjust quickly to unexpected events like COVID –19, scale IT more easily, better align their current IT staff with strategic initiatives, concentrate on revenue-generating activities, and provide a better customer experience.

What are Managed IT Services?

There are many different types of managed IT services, but the idea behind all of them is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to a service provider. In a successful relationship, the SMB benefits from having access to IT expertise, staffing stability, predictable pricing, and the ability to let their IT staff focus on key initiatives rather than mundane IT management chores. Managed IT services typically include the following:

• remote services for desktop and end-user support
• network monitoring and management
• application management
• cloud services
• security and compliance
• data backup and disaster recovery
• business continuity
• training and adoption
• strategic guidance

6 Reasons: why outsourcing makes sense

Remote Work & Cloud Services
Remote work is here to stay. To support this new way of work organizations are turning to and investing more in cloud technologies and remote support services. As employees and IT infrastructure become more distributed from the central office there is less reliance on traditional on-premise IT support and more need for remote IT and strategy services to support the modern workforce.

Grow your Business
SMBs turn to MSPs to compliment their existing IT staff by providing access to specific skills needed to complete projects cost-effectively and on time. By accessing these niche specialties IT departments can move away from managing mundane day-to-day IT support issues, gain a seat at the executive table, and focus their attention on the strategic IT initiatives that will help grow their businesses.

Reduce Costs
SMBs can reduce their IT budgets 25-50% by leveraging a managed service model. Hiring, training, and maintaining IT departments is expensive and does not always guarantee companies will have the specific skills on staff needed to address today’s growing IT complexities. By outsourcing IT services companies gain access to a long-term strategic partner who has the expertise on staff to address evolving IT complexities and can provide staffing stability at an affordable cost.

Predictability
Cost savings is one of the most compelling reasons to outsource IT, but predictability is high on the list as well. With an MSP companies can expect to pay a fixed monthly fee for services, allowing them to predict IT related expenses and control capital outlay.

Access to Expertise
Technology leaders are continually looking for more efficient ways to run their departments while also having access to skilled IT professionals with expertise not available on their teams. Outsourcing provides these leaders with access to the specialized expertise they need for as long as they need it.

Skill Gap
SMBs are turning to MSPs for help as they deal with an ever-increasing number of cyber threats and regulations that can significantly impact their businesses. With nearly 55% of SMBs experiencing a security breach in the last several years there is a growing need to access IT security personnel who can detect and quickly respond threats. The combination of increasing threats and security personnel shortfalls is exposing companies to unnecessary risks that can destroy futures. MSPs can help fill this void and assist in protecting its clients’ data and reputations.

50% of SMBs said that working with an MSP has helped them grow their business

Who should consider outsourcing IT?

Companies that rely heavily on technology to run their businesses but do not consider themselves technologist and do not want to be in the business of managing IT are ideal candidates for managed IT services. Outsourcing can benefit companies of all sizes and in almost any industry — but specifically, companies experiencing the following challenges should consider outsourcing IT services:

•  IT staff are reactively addressing IT issues;
•  The company lacks the financial resources to hire full-time staff;
•  There is a need for specialized technical skills;
•  IT staff are unable to focus on strategic initiatives because of a lack of time; and
•  There are too few IT staff to address the growing list of daily IT support issues.

What makes outsourcing IT successful
– Buy-in from executive leadership and board.
– Business culture that embraces the outsourcing model.
– Outsourcing model aligns with meeting business objectives.

According to small business trends, 43% of cyberattacks target SMBs. 60% of SMBs go out of business within six months of a cyberattack

Outsourcing IT does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Companies can use this “as-a-service” model just when needed, outsource it all and stay lean internally or supplement an existing IT team with a hybrid model for specific areas of need to meet short or long-term IT and business objectives.

About FSi Strategies, Inc.

FSi Strategies is a recognized Microsoft Partner and managed service provider with over 17 years of experience supporting our clients’ IT needs across multiple industries. FSi has established itself as a pioneer of the modern workplace. We empower our clients by delivering enterprise class solutions that offer mobility, collaboration, security, insights, and productivity that today’s workers demand to perform their jobs from anywhere at anytime. FSi couples its visionary workplace consulting practice with its core managed IT and cloud services for clients requiring ongoing reliable support and innovative technology strategies to run their businesses.

•  Microsoft Gold Partner and Direct CSP (Cloud Service Provider) specializing in Microsoft Cloud and Modern Workplace solutions
•  Microsoft Certified architects with a focus on the Microsoft Cloud Platform, Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content, Enterprise Mobility Management, Communications, and Messaging
•  Microsoft Certified Trainers and active participants in the Microsoft community such as hosting events as MTCs and conferences
•  Dedicated to success, our ACM (Adoption and Change Management) platform is paired with custom learning paths to ensure user adoption and implementation success
•  Microsoft Teams TAP (Technology Adoption Program) partner for both devices and features

Updated: June 11, 2020
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