Whether you started digital transformation before the pandemic, or were catapulted into it during the shutdown, it’s never been more apparent that as technology only continues to grow and expand, managing it is growing more and more complex too.
Many businesses, large and small, have turned to outsourcing their IT and technology management to MSPs: Managed Service Providers. So many that in 2022, the global managed services market was valued at almost 279 US dollars and is expected to surpass 400 billion USD by 2026.
MSPs can give small-to-medium-sized businesses a distinct leg up, as they offer a chance to compete with not only your peers but larger-sized companies too, a deep bench of experience, improved user experience, greater security and decreased risk, and better-controlled costs.
But if you’re on the fence about partnering with a MSP, how do you know you’re ready and how do you assess what sets apart a great MSP?
Questions to Ask to Determine If You’re Ready for a MSP
How big and how complicated is your current IT infrastructure?
Do you have a solid inventory of it today? Would it be easy to know when your software licenses and registrations are up for renewal and when maintenance needs to be completed? If you either currently rely on technology heavily, or plan to continue your digital transformation journey, and have a complex network of systems and devices, a MSP can help streamline your operations and ensure everything is well-maintained. Because they have such extensive experience, they have the expertise and ability to handle even the most complicated and intricated infrastructure.
What are your security needs?
Cybercrime is up 600% since the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime study, 43% of attacks are targeted at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. Partnering with a reputable MSP will help ensure cybersecurity is a top priority at all times for your business; they’ll be on top of measures including regular vulnerability assessments, data encryption protocols, robust firewalls, employee training, and data recovery plans, so your sensitive business and customer information remains safeguarded from threats, even new and emerging ones.
What is your IT team’s current bandwidth?
Are they spending the majority of their time reacting to technical issues and struggling with downtime? It’s common for IT teams, especially at SMBs, to be overburdened—often with routine support tasks. Technology is only going to continue to grow too, which means the work isn’t going anywhere—unless you outsource it to a MSP, who can help you and your team get proactive, provide monitoring and maintenance services, minimize your team’s workload, and ensure the entire company is able to be more productive.
How is your IT budget currently allocated and how would you like it to be?
For one, hiring in-house IT staff can be expensive, especially when resources are limited. A MSP can be a surprisingly cost-effective solution, providing access to a deeply experienced team of skilled professionals through a flexible service plan that makes your IT spend more consistent and predictable. And then there’s all the hidden costs—like how much are you spending reacting to and fixing things as quickly as possible when they break, and how much are you allocating towards innovation and investing in the future of the business? What would a data breach of your customers information cost you? A stellar MSP can not only help you control your costs, but they can also help act as an advisor through your technology budgeting process.
What are your plans for scale?
Speaking of innovation and growth, do you have plans for your business to continue to grow and scale? What role will technology play in that? No matter how technology-driven your growth will be, as your business grows, the technology you use and rely on will only grow with you. Bringing in outside experts can help you plan that scale so you can adapt and grow flexibly, without hassle or ballooning costs.