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SMBs, an IT MSP can help you compete

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 and filed under

Leading up to Q4, 2017, IBM published a report about how in today’s complex IT environment managed services can not only save businesses money but help them stay competitive.

Starting with today’s consumers, who have access to more devices and more digital services than ever before, meeting consumer expectation and reaching them where they are looking is driving new business models that aim to embrace digital transformation to keep up with demand.

Within this, companies are looking to mobile, to analytics, and to the cloud. The intersection of multiple systems, platforms, and data sets that drive business operations is creating complex IT environments that require diverse skills, infrastructure, and management practices.

Questions emerge.

With limited IT budgets, can today’s IT department (or perhaps today’s in-house IT specialist) keep up with consumer expectation and stay current with all of the knowledge and skills required to execute complex systems and manage them effectively?

If so, how much does keeping IT teams in house cost?

And, is there a better way to stay head of the curve?

According to IBM, the answer to these questions is: IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can do the job better for less money.

Admittedly, I’ve long seen evidence of this while leading the IT MSP Firm that I launched 18 years ago and continue to manage today. This is also a good time to admit my bias. However, after many years of working with SMBs in the greater Ottawa area — especially in recent years during the rapid proliferation of connected technologies — I am increasingly convinced this is the case.

Here’s why:

  • Companies focus their resources on what they do best
  • IT MSPs focus their resources on what they do best
  •  Managed services bring a breadth of in-house expertise to creating solutions for business challenges in a bottom-line-friendly way
  • The relationship and expectations are managed by Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to provide company oversight of the MSP’s role to ensure value for expenditure
  • At NeoLore Networks, we don’t lock our clients in to lengthy agreements. If we don’t deliver performance or value, there’s no obligation to continue contracting our services.

Here’s why, according to IBM:

Capital Expense Reduction

Typically, there is a little more wiggle room in operating expenses. When a business leases space on infrastructure someone else owns and operates, for instance in the cloud, the expense of upgrading and maintaining that infrastructure falls on the service provider. Rather than a capital investment in infrastructure, leased services fall under operating expenses and free up space for companies to invest in other assets.

Increased Efficiency

An MSP can help a business strategize, procure, and manage multiple services across multiple models and suppliers. Simply, there is a knowledge-economy-of-scale that happens inside a managed IT services firm that is applied to operational challenges.

Access to Skills

Again — more people, more skills. The responsibility for attracting and retaining talent falls to the service provider.

Better Service and Reduced Risk

Service quality is the value offering from an MSP. Because service providers deal with multiple clients, they’re exposed to problems or challenges more frequently compared to in-house teams that may only see an issue when it arises once or twice. Foresight and quality come with experience.

Access to Technology Innovation

MSPs have the skills and resources to implement and test new technologies before bringing these to clients, which means they take the risk.

Flexibility and Scalability to Adapt to Changing Business Conditions

If a business needs to scale up or down, many service-provider resources can be applied to making this happen efficiently, which speeds time to market or saves money when scaling down.

For more information about engaging with an MSP in the greater Ottawa area, visit www.neolore.com.

Author Jim Stackhouse is the founder and president of NeoLore Networks Inc., an Ottawa-based technology services company that designs, implements, manages and maintains computer networks for small and medium sized businesses.