This is Part Two of the “Elephant in the Room” Series. Part 1 is here.
There is no question that reliable IT support is a necessity for all of us, including small businesses. The reason is that most transactions and business functions are completed online. Business owners need to decide on the type of IT support they need. Whether that be an internal IT department or a Managed Service Provider. Let’s take a look at some typical IT scenarios.
Internal IT Support
This protection means keeping an in-house IT person on your regular payroll. It’s straightforward, but this is a practice that is not frequently considered unless your business uses a lot of technology. For one thing, having someone on your payroll that you don’t need regularly is not the most economical approach. Also, you will be limited to the skills and expertise of the individuals in your team.
The Break-Fix ModeI
Small businesses favor the break-fix IT model because it is a simpler option. What this means is that you only hire an IT professional whenever your system fails or there is some tech-related problem. In other words, when something breaks, you hire someone to fix it. When working with the break-fix model, you don’t have a regular IT support team to keep things running.
This setup sounds like a feasible and more economical plan if you are not expecting to encounter many system problems. But this approach is also idealistic because the truth is that things will break, and more often than you would like. That usually translates to unexpected costs and a runaway budget.
Managed Service Provider
Larger companies that have more complex on line systems will hire a team of experts in the form of a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, that can offer complete and diverse IT solutions. Small businesses don’t follow this path because they focus on the monthly bill and not the benefits. The typical reasoning would go like this: What if nothing breaks this month? We would still have to pay the fee for nothing, and that would be a waste of money!
But here’s the thing. When hiring an MSP, you get to choose the kind of services you pay for. It’s not a one size fits all offering. You can decide what kind of IT services or support your business needs, and the monthly flat rate fee will be computed based on only the services you choose.
And what if nothing breaks? Well, that’s the goal of a good MSP. Your Managed Service Provider will be proactive and keep your technology operating and not approach things in a reactive manner like a break/fix service.
Advantages of MSP over the Break-Fix Method and Internal IT Support
If you are still on the fence about hiring an MSP for your business, take a look at some of the advantages MSPs have over other types of IT support.
A Managed Service Provider consists of a team of highly skilled experts in practically all areas of business technology. If you hire an MSP, you will have access to this vast pool of professionals to help you with any tech issue you might encounter. This approach is in sharp contrast to having your own internal IT guy who may be very capable, but his skill set pales to a team of experts from different backgrounds.
With the break-fix method, you can hire top professionals for your issues, but the process of locating them and getting them on board takes time. With an MSP, all you have to do is call and tell them your problem, and they will immediately send someone over to fix whatever is wrong.
Most businesses that use the break-fix model do so with the assumption that this method will save them money, but as it happens, they usually end up spending a lot more than if they went for an MSP instead. MSPs will charge a monthly fee – that is true. But this is a flat rate. No matter how many services you ask them to perform or how arduous some of the tasks may be, you won’t have to pay a single cent more than the monthly rate.
In contrast, the break-fix model requires you to pay for each service separately, and the expenses can quickly pile up faster than you would have anticipated. Many businesses perceive the monthly flat rate for IT support to be high. But when you take a close look at your total monthly expenses that go to IT-related services, you might be shocked at how much you are spending.
Reduce Your Expenses by Switching to a Managed Service Provider
Your flat-rate fee will vary depending on the extent of IT support you require. Contact us so we can calculate the monthly fee that fits your requirements. Chances are it’s lower than what you are spending now, which means that hiring an MSP could save you a considerable amount.