Ask The Expert: How do I cut costs without losing control?

A common debate when it comes to business IT support for is whether to employ an in-house team or outsource, using a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Many don’t realise that it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

You can cut costs without losing control. You can opt for a partner, rather than a provider.

It’s all about trust

We can’t talk about outsourcing without first talking about trust.

IT is the backbone of every business, so it’s hardly surprising that companies are reluctant to relinquish control.

Both parties must share operational and commercial information at a very detailed level.

To achieve success, companies must be willing to share forward plans and detailed roadmaps. This is not something that comes naturally, especially if trust has been damaged in a previous partnership.

Equally, it is vital that from the start and throughout the relationship MSPs are transparent and upfront with costs and expectations.

Service providers need to be highly flexible, with agile operating models that can quickly adapt to the client’s changing priorities.

The debate

For many businesses, outsourcing their IT support may be the most cost-effective option as the cost of employing a dedicated in-house individual or team is too high.

But for growing or larger organisations, the solution may be less obvious.

Often, larger organisations with established IT departments tend to lose focus on the bigger picture.

The IT strategy and longer-term digitisation projects can be overlooked, as internal resources become overwhelmed by the daily grind of maintenance and resolving technical issues.

A hybrid approach can alleviate these pain points, without forfeiting control.

The benefits

  1. Stay focused on the future
    The talents within your team need to be nurtured and used to your advantage. Outsourcing for end-user IT support drastically helps your team stay focused on what’s important- driving your business forward.
  2. Reduced risks
    MSPs provide 24/7 industry-leading security practises to your organisation. Working with hundreds of companies, across all sectors, they see the security landscape in so much more detail than your business alone, and that knowledge helps keep you safer.
  3. Take advantage of the latest technology
    Placed at the forefront of the technology industry, with knowledge and insight of the latest products and solutions, MSPs can guide your strategic direction – making sure you don’t waste money.
  4. Decrease costly downtime
    Even brief outages can impact revenue streams and profits, impairing customer journeys and/or affect in-house productivity. MSPs monitor your network and infrastructure 24/7- much more effectively than you could yourself.
  5. You’re always covered
    Reliable MSPs work around the clock and you are covered when your IT manager or team are out of office.
  6. Scalability
    You can select a support package to suit your business needs and have the option to increase or decrease support as needed.
  7. Enhanced innovation
    The hybrid approach fully grasps the creative and innovative potential, as well as the expertise of external technology teams.

The considerations

The market is saturated with MSPs, choosing the right one can be tricky and it’s important to know what to look for.

  1. Reputation and retention
    It goes without saying, but reputation is everything. Look for MSPs that can give real-life examples and success stories, offer up testimonials and are willing to give client references. Be sure to ask about their client retention levels too.
  1. Technical capabilities
    It sounds obvious, but it’s concerning how few MSPs employ their own in-house service desk and technical teams. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on how exactly staff are trained and developed, MSPs should be able to give evidence of their technical capabilities.
  1. Experience and innovation
    Innovation should not suffer at the expense of experience. Technology moves fast and so too should your MSP. It’s service providers who can demonstrate a good balance of experience and innovation who are going to be best equipped to support you and your business.
  1. SLA and NPS
    These metrics are used within the industry for a reason. They give a true insight into the performance of a Managed Service Provider. Statistics includes the number of cases where contractual SLA commitments were met, as well as the feedback scores given by clients following the closure of a project or case. Bonus points for MSPs who can provide live performance data.
  1. Accreditations
    Just as you wouldn’t hand over the keys to your car to someone without a driving license, you should not hand over your IT to unaccredited MSPs. Ones to look out for include Microsoft Gold Partners, ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus.

Whether you’re looking for a full outsource solution, or a partnership to bolster your existing IT team – we have a solution to fit that is guaranteed to save you time and money.