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Your IT Guy vs. a Managed Service Provider

There is no question that reliable IT support is a necessity for all of us, including small businesses. The reason is that most transactions and business functions are completed online. Business owners need to decide on the type of IT support they need. Whether that be an internal IT department or a Managed Service Provider. Let’s take a look at some typical IT scenarios.

Internal IT Support

This protection means keeping an in-house IT person on your regular payroll. It’s straightforward, but this is a practice that is not frequently considered unless your business uses a lot of technology. For one thing, having someone on your payroll that you don’t need regularly is not the most economical approach. Also, you will be limited to the skills and expertise of the individuals in your team.

The Break-Fix Model

Small businesses favor the break-fix IT model because it is a simpler option. What this means is that you only hire an IT professional whenever your system fails or there is some tech-related problem. In other words, when something breaks, you hire someone to fix it. 

When working with the break-fix model, you don’t have a regular IT support team to keep things running. This setup sounds like a feasible and more economical plan if you are not expecting to encounter many system problems. But this approach is also idealistic because the truth is that things will break, and more often than you would like. That usually translates to unexpected costs and a runaway budget.

Managed Service Provider

Larger companies that have more complex online systems will hire a team of experts in the form of a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, that can offer complete and diverse IT solutions. Small businesses don’t follow this path because they focus on the monthly bill and not the benefits. The typical reasoning would go like this: What if nothing breaks this month? We would still have to pay the fee for nothing, and that would be a waste of money! 

But here’s the thing. When hiring an MSP, you get to choose the kind of services you pay for. It’s not a one size fits all offering. You can decide what kind of IT services or support your business needs, and the monthly flat-rate fee will be computed based on only the services you choose. 

And what if nothing breaks? Well, that’s the goal of a good MSP. Your Managed Service Provider will be proactive and keep your technology operating and not approach things reactively, like a break/fix service.

Advantages of MSPs over the Break-Fix Method and In-House Tech Support

If you are still on the fence about hiring an MSP for your business, take a look at some of the advantages MSPs have over other types of IT support.

Expertise

A Managed Service Provider consists of a team of highly skilled experts in practically all areas of business technology. If you hire an MSP, you will have access to this vast pool of professionals to help you with any tech issue you might encounter. This approach is in sharp contrast to having your own internal IT guy who may be very capable, but his skill set pales to a team of experts from different backgrounds. 

Convenience

With the break-fix method, you can hire top professionals for your issues, but the process of locating them and getting them on board takes time. With an MSP, all you have to do is call and tell them your problem, and they will immediately send someone over to fix whatever is wrong. 

Cost-Effectiveness

Most businesses that use the break-fix model do so with the assumption that this method will save them money, but as it happens, they usually end up spending a lot more than if they went for an MSP instead. MSPs will charge a monthly fee – that is true. But this is a flat rate. No matter how many services you ask them to perform or how arduous some of the tasks may be, you won’t have to pay a single cent more than the monthly rate. On the contrary, the break-fix model requires you to pay for each service separately, and the expenses can quickly pile up faster than you would have anticipated.

Many businesses perceive the monthly flat rate for IT support to be high. But when you take a close look at your total monthly expenses that go to IT-related services, you might be shocked at how much you are spending. 

Reduce Your Expenses by Switching to a Managed Service Provider 

Your flat-rate fee will vary depending on the extent of IT support you require. Contact us so we can calculate the monthly fee that fits your requirements. Chances are it’s lower than what you are spending now, which means that hiring an MSP could save you a considerable amount. Ready to find out?

The Top 5 Red Flags in the IT Industry

l businesses today rely heavily on IT support. Some have their own in-house IT experts, while many others choose to hire managed service providers, or MSPs, to perform specific IT functions for their company. These services are needed to oversee the office hardware and software and stay ahead of the competition. Like all industries, the IT industry has a few red flags that need to be addressed. 

With all the available services, you wouldn’t think that it would be that difficult to find reliable IT support for your business. We live in an almost entirely digital world, so tech services are available around every corner. The IT industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and so have the red flags in the industry. These issues make it harder to find reputable service providers that will give you the quality service you need. 

So what are these red flags, and as a business owner, what can you do about them? Read on to find out. 

Red Flag #1: Your business is getting nickel and dimed

Many business owners today do not have extensive knowledge or skill in IT. This technology gap is the primary reason they hire MSPs in the first place. Unfortunately, many providers are taking advantage of this. They will charge businesses for extra services that they do not need. In other words, they end up spending more on additional services even if they are not necessary for solving the problem at hand. 

The Solution

Make sure to do your research and find out exactly what IT services you require. Search for a provider that will deliver these services without trying to hoodwink you into paying for other services you don’t need.

Red Flag #2: Lack of communication

Clear and constant communication is essential in any business relationship. But for some reason, many IT service providers are failing in this department. Many of them will take your specs and get to work right away, probably because they are confident that they know what they are doing. More than likely, they are hoping to impress you with a fast turnaround. This approach can lead to more problems like wasted time and resources.

The Solution

Choose a provider that communicates well. The MSP should assign someone from their team to act as a point of contact to communicate and coordinate with you at any time.

Red Flag #3: No consistent business reviews

What previous clients say about a service provider is one of the best ways for you to gauge the quality of their performance. If the reviews are inconsistent, would you still want to risk hiring them for your business? The same is true for MSPs with very few business reviews because they are new. There might be a chance that they are good, but when it comes to your business, it is better to be safe, especially when hiring service providers for the fundamental processes of your business. 

The Solution

Look elsewhere. Finding a company with perfect feedback is quite impossible. The occasional irate client leaving a 1-star review is inevitable. But at least, you should search for a provider with a large number of consistently high ratings. 

Red Flag #4: Response time is too slow

Time is of the essence in any business, and quick results are highly preferable. There are a lot of service providers these days that provide excellent results but have a slow response time. These delays can be costly for your company and cause you to lose clients and eventually lag behind the competition. 

The Solution

Quality results are great, but not when they come too late. Choose an IT service provider that does not keep you waiting when you have concerns. And make sure they guarantee the fastest possible turnaround when you need them. 

Red Flag #5: They do not know how to help you with your cybersecurity insurance approval process

Cyber attacks are getting more rampant by the day. Because of this, every business with an online presence needs to have a reliable cybersecurity insurance policy to protect against the possible damages resulting from a data breach. And who should be in a better position to help you with the approval process than your MSP?

The Solution

Right from the start, you should ask the managed service provider if they have cyber insurance and can assist you in applying for your insurance policy. 

Steer Clear of Red Flags and Choose Your MSP Wisely 

Beware of these red flags and any possible implications for your business. If you know of anyone who has experience with an “iffy” managed service provider, have them contact us right away! We can show them the value of working with a reliable MSP.