Is your IT team having a hard time just keeping up with day-to-day IT support? Check out why successful IT executives chose to outsource part or all of their IT needs to a Managed Service Provider!
Managed IT Services Is A Fast Growing Industry
With IT becoming so complex and changing so fast, it’s becoming very difficult for in-house IT teams to keep up. Even organizations with the luxury of a larger IT team still find it hard to focus on strategic initiatives that could bring real business value.
Instead, they're getting bogged down with day-to-day IT maintenance, spending most of their time on routine tasks such as patching and updating software, systems monitoring, help desk calls, procurement, asset management, and many other routine chores.
The flip side of that coin is the challenge of having a team full of IT generalists who are good at managing all those different tasks - but no specialists. It's almost impossible for most companies to develop subject-matter expertise in every area that they need.
As a proof point, consider that over the next 5 years analysts such as BCC Research predict at least 11% annual growth in managed IT services - and the key drivers for this growth are companies who are seeking expertise on:
Why IT Executives Are Moving To Managed IT Services
In a recent report "8 Experts On Outsourcing IT For Strategic Advantage" by the research firm Mighty Guides, 8 successful IT executives in mid-sized companies were asked the following questions:
- What areas of IT should a company consider outsourcing?
- What are the benefits of working with a Managed IT Service Provider?
- How do you ensure that your partnership will actually work?
The report found that small to mid-sized companies seem to be in constant transition. They want to improve IT services while maintaining costs, but are keenly aware that their IT teams are already stretched to the limit.
Some choose to outsource commodity IT functions so their in-house team can focus on IT strategy that will actually enhanced business productivity.
Still others do the opposite - they simply don't have the in-house expertise they need, so they outsource their most difficult challenges first.
Let's take a quick look at 4 of the 8 experts to see why they made the shift to outsourced IT.
1. Outsourcing IT Provides Opportunity To Scale
Brian Shea, CIO for MBX Medical Billing Experts, recommends that smaller businesses outsource all of their commodity IT functions, as well as make the shift to cloud-based solutions which can be managed by a third party managed service provider (MSP.)
"Once those workloads are shifted away from your internal IT, you can start focusing on more strategic initiatives," said Brian. "You can start working with your MSP on strategic projects such as security, or do a true Business Impact Analysis (BIA) - all the things you could never do before because you were caught in the weeds of day-to-day operations."
Brian also mentioned that the ability to scale up and down using his MSP as necessary for specific business projects, made it possible for him to serve a variety of his departments with differing requirements.
"You gain a scalablility that you simply don't have with a static IT team," said Brian.
2. IT Service Provider Can Offload Routine Tasks
Dean Johnston, Director of Information Technology for The Washington Home & Community Hospices told us, “As an IT director, you have to think about where your time is best spent."
In Dean’s case, he didn’t want to pay his staff to babysit hardware or software. He wanted his internal IT experts to focus on better understanding the business, and working to apply technical solutions to real business problems.
"I don't sit and worry about whether the anti-virus is up to date, or if the intrusion detection program is accurate, or if email security and filtering is working like it's supposed to," notes Dean. "That's what my MSP is for. I focus on on how I can get my employees the right services, applications and tools so they can do their jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible."
3. Try Before You Buy When Outsourcing IT Services
Mark Drever, President and CEO of Xcelerate Solutions, is responsible for helping government agencies rethink their approach to security.
"Initially, I decided to outsource low-end IT functions. We started using our MSP for tier-one support, mostly as backup in case one or two of our support team was out," said Mark. "As we gained trust and respect with the IT service provider, we started moving over more and more functions."
Mark emphasizes that while it's important to find the right IT partner, it's also a two way street. You need someone internally to manage the relationship.
"The whole idea is to be able to tap a center of excellence to bring additional value to your organization, when and where you need it," said Mark. "And that takes someone who works closely with the MSP."
4. Using Your MSP For Strategic IT Consulting
Richard Newman, Director of IT for Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care takes advantage of his MSP's expertise to help him decide the best way forward when it comes to IT strategy.
"I don't know everything there is to know about network support or the latest in security," said Richard. "But my service provider can come to me with different alternatives. He shows me what my options are, and he's acting like a consultant, which is exactly what I want him to be."
Richard also acknowledges it can be a challenge to find the right provider, and typically starts with a small engagement to see how they work out. He likes to think of his MSP as a partner he can work with in the long-term, looking for help in more strategic areas such as budgetary planning.
"I like to sit down with the service provider to see where we are today, where we need to be, and where should spend to move things forward," said Richard. "And this takes the skills of a highly qualified IT consultant, not just a break fix shop."
Want to learn more? Download the full report to get additional information from all the IT leaders!
Get The Report: "8 Experts on Outsourcing IT for Strategic Advantage"