For the past few weeks, we’ve been examining the different roles that make up a well-staffed IT department. But, what if your business isn’t quite at the point where you’re ready to fill all of those positions? That’s where a Managed Service Provider (MSP) comes in. An MSP can serve as your virtual IT department -- filling in the roles that you need when you need them.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to get started working with an MSP, and how doing so can benefit your business immediately and in the long run.
Onboarding With an MSP
When you start working with an MSP, they’ll do a detailed survey of your network. This will help them understand where you are currently. More importantly, they’ll want to know your future needs and goals. Are you looking to expand in the near future? Would you like to support a more mobile workforce? These kinds of questions will help the MSP understand how they can help you reach those goals with IT solutions.
What to Outsource vs. Who to Hire
An MSP can offer a full range of IT solutions custom-tailored to your needs. Do you already have some in-house IT staff? As we discussed in our previous articles, you may already have a team doing user support and server maintenance. If it’s time for you to expand that team into dedicated infrastructure or project management roles, it could cost you hundreds of thousands a year in additional personnel. But, working with an MSP can give you immediate access to experts with all of those skills and more, while paying only a fraction of what it would cost to hire full-time staff for those positions. The same goes for the other roles that we mentioned -- an MSP can handle things like equipment lifecycle management, software licensing, and infrastructure upgrade planning -- freeing up resources for you to focus on your core business needs.
IT Leadership and MSPs
In our article on IT Leadership and Management, we looked at various roles that make up the management staff of a large IT department. But the question is: how do those roles fit in when you’re working with an MSP?
Again, this is something that can be customized to your needs. If you already have an IT Director or CTO, an MSP can augment the technical resources available to them to do their job. Or, the MSP can act as a virtual IT Director, providing input that will help your company use IT resources to grow and thrive.
Other companies have found a hybrid model to be effective. They hire an in-house CIO, who is in charge of business analytics and IT resource planning. But then the MSP acts as the CTO or IT Director, charged with implementing the details of the vision and roadmap that the CIO has laid out for the company.
As you can see, the options for utilizing a managed service provider are as varied as the companies that they support. The best way to see how an MSP can meet your needs is to talk to one. E-N Computers has been serving businesses in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. since 1997. With over 20 years’ experience, we’re ready to help your business grow by providing IT solutions that are customized to you. Give us a call today to find out how working with us can help your business.