If you’re a small business owner, you have plenty of things to worry about. IT shouldn’t be one of them. We think it makes complete sense for most small businesses to outsource their IT needs to a managed service provider (MSP). Here are 7 reasons.
1. Focus on What Makes You Unique
This first reason is a big one. Small businesses have limits on how many people they can hire. If you try to keep all your IT in house, you’ll devote a decent number of your hires to IT once you reach a certain size.
Here’s the problem: your business isn’t IT. (If it is, you probably don’t need this guide!) Outsourcing your IT frees up capital and office space that you can instead devote to your core business. Outsource your IT so you can better focus your staff on whatever it is that makes you unique.
2. Access More Skill
With an in-house IT team, you’re limited to whatever number of specialties you can afford to hire. Your IT team will work hard, and its members will stretch their skills and find a way to accomplish things outside their skill set. Their work won’t always be done in the best way, though. By outsourcing your IT, you gain access to a broader range of skills and certifications. You can rest easy knowing that it was done right from the get-go.
3. Do More, Faster
Related to the previous point, your IT needs will be met faster by a dedicated team of experts than by a small but well-intentioned in-house team. All that time the in-house team spends poking around looking for answers to problems that lie outside their specialties is the time you’re paying for. With an MSP you’ll usually get the right answer, right away.
4. Reduce Personnel Costs
When you hire in-house IT staff, you’re on the hook for all the associated personnel costs, like insurance, FICA, and so forth. These costs are often hidden and can be burdensome for small businesses. With an MSP, you pay a fixed monthly rate, and you don’t have to worry about administrative personnel costs. The MSP takes care of those for its employees.
5. Reduce Infrastructure Costs
Outsourcing IT to an MSP isn’t solely about reducing IT headcount and the costs associated with personnel. You can also save IT infrastructure costs by using an MSP. Service agreements vary, but some will include some or all hardware in the monthly fee. You can avoid large spikes in expenses for new equipment by choosing this kind of service agreement.
Your MSP can also move much of your IT infrastructure to the cloud, eliminating the need to house costly servers at your business. The less IT infrastructure you have on site, the less you pay to power and maintain that equipment.
6. Free Your Existing IT Team to Focus
For larger small businesses, outsourcing IT usually isn’t done with the intent of drastically reducing or eliminating IT headcount. It’s more about allowing your existing IT team to focus in and specialize.
If your IT staff has grown beyond just one or two generalists, you likely have some highly capable, highly qualified individuals on your team. Here’s a scary proposition: go ask those people how many hours a week are eaten up doing low-level IT errands like helping John in Accounting with basic computer questions or reminding Sarah from Accounts not to reply-all to emails?
Outsourcing your basic IT functions to an MSP allows your existing IT team to focus on their areas of specialization. You’re also free to assign in-house assets to IT functions that are core to your business or are proprietary.
7. Gain After Hours Support (Without Paying Overtime)
Outsourcing your IT needs to an MSP with a 24/7 service agreement means instant access to support anytime. With an in-house IT staff, you’ll end up paying overtime if a system goes down after hours. You may also have to wait for that IT staffer to physically arrive to fix the problem.
When you outsource, you get near immediate remote support, without the overtime. This is a great benefit to small businesses of all varieties and sizes. You’ll benefit even more from after-hours service if you have virtual team members or even satellite offices in far-flung time zones.
We’ve covered just 7 of the many reasons that outsourcing IT to a managed service provider is the right choice for small businesses. Do you have questions about specific aspects of working with an MSP? Let’s chat. We’re ready to answer.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.