With the rise of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), you've probably wondered why so many companies are switching to outsourced IT. Does it save them money? Time? Stress? Do the MSPs understand your unique workflows and tech systems?
Before you fire your whole IT department, let's talk about these questions and the pros and cons of hiring an MSP.
(If you want to learn more about what MSPs are and the services they offer, check out this blog.)
- Prevents Issues Before They Happen: MSPs are constantly checking in and monitoring the different aspects of your organization's IT including your hardware, software, applications, internet, and security to make sure they can catch any issues before they happen. Once a warning sign is detected, a notification will be sent to you.
- The Hardware and Software Can Be Provided: With certain plans, MSPs can provide you with all the tech your business would need such as servers, software, and even workstations. This means you get out of paying capital expenditures for the tech, and allows you to focus your capital towards other resources.
- Comes With Expertise on Many Programs: MSPs will have talented employees dedicated to each function of IT, meaning that their team is probably more equipped to handle your technology than one or two IT specialists. However, like we will talk about in the "Cons" section, they will not fully understand your unique processes.
- Provides a Disaster Recovery Plan: When you hire an MSP, they will create a thorough disaster recovery plan that will help you relax, knowing that in the case of an IT disaster, there is a plan in place and skilled personnel to carry it out.
- No Industry Specific Expertise: Recently we heard about a medical company who fired over 100 people from their IT department and hired an out-of-state MSP. Within months they were tracking down their old IT people trying to get them to come back. Why? Because this large hospital had technology systems that were extremely unique, and the MSP professionals had no idea how to work with them, but their old IT people did. Before you decide to fire your whole IT department, analyze your data systems and processes; would a generally trained IT professional be able to work them? If not, it may not be the best idea to hire a MSP.
- Might Not Cover All of Your Tech: While MSPs will cover all of the mainstream applications and technology systems (Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, etc.), if you are working with a less-common third-party software, make sure to talk to the MSPs to make sure it is on the supported list or in the contract.
- Lack of Physical Presence: Many companies will hire an entirely remote MSP that is located out of state. If there is hardware issue, like a printer or desktop issue, you make have to deal with it yourself. There's always YouTube right? Even local MSPs will probably charge you a visit fee if you need a physical visit to your office.
- Potential High Cost: This is where things get tricky. The number one reason companies get rid of their IT department and hire an MSP is to save on the cost of employees. An average IT Specialist makes $56,271 a year, or $4,689 a month. When you add on benefits, it can definitely seem alluring to just hire a MSP. This decision should be made based on the size of your organization and IT needs. Currently, the average monthly cost for an MSP is $52 per desktop and $216 per server. If you only have one desktop and one server, then MSP is by far the cheapest option. If you have 100 desktops and 50 servers, however, that number rises to $16,000 a month; or the 'price' of three or four IT employees.
Hopefully this post gave you a better idea on if a MSP will be better option for your company.
Ultimately it comes down to your organization's size, budget, IT department, and growth rate.
Contact our VLCM Managed Services department to learn more.