As you know, the employment situation is in a constant state of flux, and capable technology professionals are hard to find these days.  You may wonder if hiring a new internal IT technician is the best choice—Especially when you have the option of outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that has expertise across all areas of IT and can solve multiple issues simultaneously.

Tier One Technology Partners can not only manage your talent supply chain but also provide strategic insights and advice on market conditions, talent scenarios, risk-mitigation measures and innovative approaches to workforce procurement and management. With their help, you can easily meet your clients’ IT HR requirements.

The benefits of using Tier One are endless, and the proof is in the number of companies that are currently outsourcing IT services.

Onsite IT Staff Can No Longer Keep Up with The Complex Changing Tech Environment.

Information Technology (IT) is now the primary driver for operations in most businesses.  And with this, companies have typically employed IT techs to field problems. But as technology, hardware, and software have become more abundant and complex, organizations now need the support of IT experts with deep skill sets across a variety of functions.

Security alone has evolved into a field all in itself. The array of responsibilities for IT employees has increased many-fold. It’s all too much for a small team of people to handle.  As a result, more companies are using an MSP instead.

Technology’s growing complexity is to impact IT management and planning. If not planned well, this can lead to redundant applications and silos of information that not only waste money and human resources but negatively affect productivity and efficiency. This results in unsatisfactory outcomes and customer dissatisfaction.

More organizations today outsource to MSPs. According to an Aberdeen Group report, 63% of “Best in Class” enterprises choose to work with an MSP to “avoid the issues that plague self-managed contract labor program.”

What Does Managing IT Require Today?

Here’s a basic list to start.

  • Network administration
  • Systems integration
  • User support and assistance
  • Adding or removing users.
  • Password management.
  • Email problems.
  • PC issues.
  • Internet connectivity.
  • Software problems.
  • Network connectivity.
  • Lost files and documents.
  • Viruses and Malware.
  • General user problems
  • User training
  • Cybersecurity
  • Email and Anti-Spam Filtering
  • Anti-Virus Software
  • Perimeter Security Firewalls
  • Backup & Disaster Recovery
  • Patch Management
  • Web Filtering
  • Email & File Encryption
  • Password Policies with Two-Factor Authentication and Controlled Imaging
  • Hardware and Software Procurement
  • Licensing and renewals
  • Lifecycle Management
  • Budgeting
  • Research and evaluation of new technologies
  • Communications
  • Technology audits
  • IT Compliance with regulations like HIPAA, FINRA, etc.
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Strategic Planning & Technology Roadmap Design
  • Presentations to Company Management

This list of tasks is a daunting one. Plus, some of these responsibilities are reactive and some are proactive.  When dealing with tasks in a reactive mode (such as system downtime), it’s difficult for in-house IT staff to switch mindsets and think in a proactive way.  If there are many “fires” to put out, the preventive strategies get put on the back burner.  This sets a business up for more “fires.”

There are a variety of advantages to outsourcing to an MSP over hiring staff.  Below are some real advantages to why outsourcing IT services may make the most sense.

An MSP derives value out of the relationship by proactively reducing the root cause of issues.

Improved Productivity & Efficiency

Unlike a one IT guy or a small team of techs, an MSP has a full staff of professionals, each with their own area of expertise.  They will provide both reactive and proactive strategies that any business needs to flourish.  Some have as many as 30 to 40 technical professionals with entire departments devoted to individual clients’ unique needs. This expansive and multi-faceted expertise simply isn’t attainable for most businesses, and a reason why using the MSP model is the preferred choice with senior-level managers today.

With an MSP like Tier One Technology Partners at ready access, they know they’ll be covered by a team of skilled professionals who can eliminate and prevent IT issues before they have a chance to affect the staff’s productivity.  Plus, with an outsourced MSP, businesses and employees can concentrate on their core competencies, while benefiting from up-to-date technologies.

Reduced Costs

Some think that outsourcing to an IT Managed Service Provider will cost more than hiring full-time employees.  This is wrong. The MSP business model provides your clients with a team of qualified individuals at a price that saves money in the long run. What many people fail to take into account when comparing the cost of an MSP vs. the cost of hiring employees is that they’re not only paying the salary of the employee, but also the overhead cost associated with him/her (e.g. taxes, insurance, vacation, sick days, 401k, training, etc.).

With salaries for in-house IT professionals reaching $100,000 or more, plus the costs for benefits, many businesses are turning to MSPs.  An MSP provides 24/7/365 coverage, so unlike when using an in-house IT employee, illnesses, vacations, family issues, and holidays won’t disrupt the management of your clients’ systems.

Using MSPs make IT expenses more predictable and cost-effective, often providing flat-fee services that cover a spectrum of services.  They offer a monthly payment without expense surprises. In addition, it can be difficult to budget for the technology aspect of a company.

When buying your own servers, how can you predict how long they’ll last? Plus, an MSP can handle all network issues and work with multiple users in your company at once. And you can scale downwards to reduce costs if your company’s business slides.

A knowledgeable MSP can make the budgeting process easier, and even help your clients develop a long-term IT plan.

You Don’t Have to Hire and Fire Employees.

You need to spend time and energy recruiting, hiring, training, or managing IT employees if you outsource to an MSP. Most business owners and senior-level managers don’t even know what discrepancies exist in their IT system, or what to look for, so if they’re using in-house techs, they’re literally being “held hostage” by what they don’t know.  This could put their IT system in jeopardy.

History reveals that you’re likely to have a longer-term relationship with a competent managed service provider than with a single employee.

Already Trained, Experienced, and Certified.

A quality managed services provider already employs trained, experienced and certified technicians to meet your clients’ needs.  They have the ability to spin-up resources on an on-demand basis for you. For example, if your client needs a Systems Administrator you can pull from the pool of resources available from the MSP.  And, you can contract their services for specific periods of time, rather than hiring one until you fire them.

The MSP model maximizes resources to match the workload as appropriate. The time and energy you would have put into managing staff can now be put into managing customers’ needs. Outsourcing can help your clients stay focused on their core business and not get distracted by complex IT decisions.

And, although your clients’ businesses are unique, a qualified MSP has experience working with businesses spanning a number of industries.

Consider outsourcing IT services to increase technical excellence and provide a higher level of service for your clients.  A Managed IT Services company offers a higher value for any sized organization as opposed to hiring internal IT resources.

Customer Service

Some think that not having a full time IT employee in the office means a lag in response time when an issue arises. However, most MSPs get help from multiple people rather than relying on one person to solve problems for an entire company. Their 24/7/356 help-desk personnel are dedicated to their roles, while there are others who are solely responsible for handling specific needs for your clients’ businesses.  This ensures they’ll receive the best service possible.

Reduced Risk

MSPs know they must mitigate not only security risks but financial ones for their clients. If not, they’ll lose their client base.  Therefore, they insist on a more effective and efficient workforce to ensure quick recovery times in case of a hardware failure, proactive solutions to prevent problems from occurring, and the knowledge to leverage known best practices to ensure a clients’ infrastructure is running properly.

Fast and Efficient Implementation of New Technology Projects

A well-staffed MSP will have the resources on hand to begin new projects right away. An MSP will designate separate teams to implement project and support work. If you rely on in-house staff for new technology projects, you’re taking them away from their day-to-day activities, so user support can lapse.  And, the new project suffers as internal staff loses their focus when being pulled away to support users. With internal staff, there are many factors that can contribute lack of efficiency—rapid growth, technology changes or lack of time for professional development and upgrading. You won’t suffer this when outsourcing to an MSP.

And again, you can contract with an MSP to pull in the new project team for whatever period you desire. Some projects can take weeks or months.  Trying to hire the right people, train them, and provide the support they need uses up valuable resources. The MSP already has these people on hand with years of experience who can show up tomorrow if needed.

Knowledge of Industry Best Practices

An MSP’s knowledge of industry best practices, along with their experience will enable your clients to achieve increased efficiency, cost savings, and stability in a changing marketplace. The MSP’s experience with different industries provides an advantage in a changing job market. They offer a superior tactical arsenal to face different contingent worker sourcing and management challenges.

MSPs offer cost-efficient business solutions to leverage emerging technologies while increasing overall productivity.

IT Security and Compliance

Security and Compliance are essential to every organization. Maintaining this is an ongoing, never-ending project. Given the high risk and cost of data breaches and the challenges of security threat prevention and vulnerability assessments, an increasing number of companies of all sizes are taking advantage of the expertise and services offered by MSPs to enhance network security.

An MSP has the resources on hand to apply security best practices and address changing regulations.  They’ll help your clients leverage the specific knowledge required to ensure their infrastructure stays current and is always protected.

The MSP can speak knowledgeably to your clients about their security concerns and implement a multi-tiered layer of security solutions (which is required to prevent data breaches).  Their solutions will meet any and all requirements for compliance regulations and policies. In addition, they can hold security awareness training for your employees, as 75% of security issues are caused by employee error.

Some of the Managed Security Solutions they’ll employ and keep current include:

  • Firewall Service
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems
  • Antivirus Protection
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Endpoint Threat Protection
  • Authentication and Identification Services
  • Content Filtering
  • Vulnerability Assessments
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service Protection

With the ability to pull in cybersecurity experts from an MSP, your clients can gain tremendous value and peace of mind.

Improved Transparency and Accountability

When you outsource to a managed services provider you’ll receive written, monthly reports of all IT activities. They will provide a Service Level Contract to ensure your senior managers have the visibility they require to know the IT infrastructure is being managed and maintained properly.  On the other hand, if you have in-house staff who aren’t performing to their maximum potential, and you ask for a status of the work they’ve accomplished, they may withhold information in fear of being reprimanded, demoted or fired.

Access to Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) Tools

MSPs use RMM tools to constantly monitor the performance and capacity of your clients’ security, file-system space, network bandwidth and more. And, all of this information is captured and held as historical data that can be pulled up at any time. The client always has ready access to this data and can use it to analyze trends in capacity and performance to make informed decisions about future IT needs.

Technology Road-Map Design

An MSP can deliver executive-level strategic roadmap design for IT infrastructure-based solutions.  With the advent of the cloud and complex IT solutions, the decisions can be overwhelming—There are so many choices IT personnel simply won’t have the time-intensive research. They also often lack the knowledge of everything that’s currently available.

An MSP can do so much more. They’ll help your clients develop IT Roadmap for their businesses that include:

  • Data Security. Security is an essential factor for any organization and it is especially important when it comes to IT. With the ever-increasing threats from cybercriminals, your clients need to plan for risk assessments, data protection, data recovery, staff awareness and ensure maximum security for critical data.
  • Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity. This refers to an organization’s ability to recover data after a disaster occurs and where IT services are shut down or compromised. Both practices involve the process of backing up data and preparing policies and procedures to recover IT in the event of a disaster.
  • Optimization and Consolidation. This involves analyzing and resolving inefficiencies in existing IT assets and consolidating resources and operations to improve efficiencies and reduce IT costs.
  • Efficient Use of Cloud Computing. Properly hosted cloud solutions provide easy, scalable access to resources, applications, and services. Software as a Service utilizes cloud-computing infrastructure to deliver a single application to multiple users in any location, rather than using the traditional one application per desktop. This can reduce the need for costly hardware and software.
  • IT Budget and Cost Control. The budgeting and cost-control process define and implement IT service, support and equipment procurement strategies to achieve your clients’ priorities and plans with savings in mind.
  • IT Mobility. Mobility solutions ensure secure and simple access to data, tools, and applications from any location. With the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, your clients’ staffs have the ability to work from home or on the road. Businesses today are competing in a mobile, technology-driven economy. They rely on their mobile workforce to ensure customer satisfaction and product innovation. If implemented in a secure fashion, BYOD will enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. Your MSP will consider applications, support, ownership, security, communication issues, and mobile policies to ensure the mobile workforce is always productive and secure.
  • Data and Voice Communications. Data communications refer to the electronic transmission of information for storage and processing, while voice communications refer to systems such as mobile devices and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems to enhance your clients’ internal and external communications, and to promote business continuity.
  • File Sharing. Many parts of your clients’ businesses use the same services and resources. Through secure file sharing services, authorized employees can collaborate more effectively on projects, by sharing, accessing and editing files in real time.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). This involves using business management software that combines a variety of integrated applications to store and manage data for all aspects of your business operations. It includes product planning, manufacturing, marketing, inventory management, shipping, invoicing, accounts receivables and payables, and more.
  • Virtualization: Servers, Desktop, Storage, Applications, Data Center. Virtualization in technology refers to the creation virtual servers, desktops, storage devices, applications, and computer network resources. Virtualization allows your clients to virtualize their entire IT infrastructure or just specific aspects of it and simplifies the overall IT infrastructure to promote efficiencies and reduce costs.
  • Legacy Application Modernization/Renovation. Legacy application modernization is the process of refactoring, re-purposing, or consolidating legacy software programs to align to your clients’ current needs and plan for future ones. They’ll benefit from the advantages of new development without the risk and cost of replacing legacy systems.
  • Business Intelligence and Business Analytics. Business intelligence refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze a business’s raw and big data (massive amounts of data). Business analytics is the process of exploring and investigating an organization’s data with emphasis on statistical analysis.

Procurement & Budgeting

You’ve probably seen how rapidly software and hardware become obsolete. An MSP will work with executive teams to understand business needs, procure the exact hardware and software needed now and in the future. The best MSPs partner with leading IT innovators (like Microsoft, etc.), and can purchase hardware and software solutions at a reduced price vs. what in-house techs can do.  Additionally, they can contact other technology vendors and work with them to resolve user issues, so your clients won’t have to act as the middleman.

Emergency Support

In the instance of a disaster, your client can call upon the MSP for emergency support. Most MSPs provide a guaranteed response time and can provide additional resources as necessary, such as multiple techs onsite for as long as you need.

An MSP will be more than a third-party vendor, they’ll be a loyal IT Partner.

Your Clients Will Reap Additional Value When Outsourcing IT Management.

  • Automated maintenance the mitigated downtime and security issues
  • Release management when upgrades become available
  • Change management before, during and after transitions
  • Project management for new and existing technology endeavors
  • Strategic Partner to help you plan for the future

Whether you’re hiring for a smaller company with a less complex IT infrastructure, or a large corporation with sizeable IT needs, outsourcing to an MSP can provide exactly what your clients require, when they require it.

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