Businesses with over 250 employees are usually large enough to carry a full internal IT staff – a team of 6-10 people who can not only cover all daily employee helpdesk needs but who, between them, have enough expertise to manage network architecture, email protection, backup and disaster recovery, active cybersecurity threat protection and more.
Smaller companies, particularly those with fewer than 100 employees, fall into one of two categories. They either have no technical employees on staff, or they employ one or two IT people. Such teams are often not only overworked and subject to churn but cannot have enough breadth of knowledge to cover a full range of IT support needs.
To address the needs of these smaller businesses, a particular type of IT services company evolved: the MSP, or Managed Services Provider. MSPs can supplement small internal IT teams or serve as the fully- outsourced IT department for smaller businesses like the ones described above.
Types of Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
Organizations looking to engage the services of an MSP like KaufmanIT should know that there’s a goldilocks nature to managed services providers. Ours is a highly-fragmented industry, meaning MSPs typically fall into one of three categories:
- Too Small: These are 1 or 2-man IT shops, and there are a LOT of them. The challenges such MSPs face is that they’re stretched in the same way small company IT teams are: they’re often hard to get hold of as the run from one client to the next putting out fires. Also, they may not have the bandwidth to stay current with industry certifications and trends.
- Too Big: There are a few very large MSPs. As you might imagine, the experience we usually hear is that they’re too impersonal, too expensive, too cookie-cutter.
- Just Right: You’re looking to outsource an entire IT department, right? Why not bypass the small shops and hire one comprised of enough technicians to serve as a well-rounded unit? Firms like this are still small enough to understand your business challenges, to know your needs and your culture intimately – to serve as though they’re actually part of your team.
As a team of 20 ourselves, we at KaufmanITof course believe we fit in that “just right” category, but we also think we can prove it: that customer satisfaction score you see on our homepage is genuine, and it is based on hundreds of client reviews of closed service tickets over the past rolling six months.
If there’s another IT company willing to so openly show its performance for all to see – let alone one with a higher score – we’re interested in seeing it.
Signs You Might Need an MSP
- Difficulty Troubleshooting Tech-Related Issues: If you find yourself spending too much time and resources trying to fix tech-related problems, it’s time to consider managed IT services.
- Lack of an IT strategy: “Call Fred when your computer isn’t working, he’ll get back to you within 24 hours” isn’t a strategy. Are there any new trends in technology that could help or hurt your business? Is there a disaster recovery plan in place if something catastrophic happens? Can you plan for the replacement of aging hardware licenses and warranties well in advance?
- Strained Resources: If your company doesn’t have enough staff or budget allocated for IT management and maintenance services, managed IT services can provide the resources needed to stay competitive and up-to-date. Without the proper resources, your business may be at risk of falling behind.
- Cyber Insurance: It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to obtain cybersecurity insurance, as underwriters are looking hard to see if cybersecurity systems and practices are actually in place. Those businesses who can prove good cyber hygiene, however, can save meaningfully on their premiums.
- Regulatory Compliance: Are you in an industry with defined cybersecurity needs like healthcare, financial services or aerospace and defense? Find an IT partner that can help not only meet the requirements of your industry but can help you create an actual culture of strong cybersecurity habits among your employees, too.
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they can handle their IT needs on their own but the truth is, it’s more than a full-time job – it takes a team. The good news is: companies can hire exactly a full IT department by choosing the right MSP, and usually at tremendous savings vs. trying to find, hire and retain an internal IT staff.
Convinced that the services of an MSP might be right for you? Contact us for a discovery meeting about your organization’s needs.