In today’s world, your clients and employees have 24×7 access to technology, information, and choices. We have become increasingly empowered in today’s digital world. Businesses are in turn embracing digital transformation strategies to leverage technology to improve their business processes, create new business models, or both. Whether you are a relatively young organization, or if you have been in business for many years, technology has become part of the competitive advantage for every industry. The businesses that leverage digital transformation well, and create a Fortified Modern Workspace, will continue to grow and dominate, while others will languish, stagnate, or fail. Businesses can expect to increase profitability, improve efficiency, and recognize a significant increase in customer satisfaction.
We define a Fortified Modern Workspace as the integration of technology and security into all areas of a business. Fundamentally, it will change how you operate and deliver value to customers and will also be a cultural change that requires businesses to continually challenge the status quo in making technology their strategic advantage. While an important element of digital transformation is technology, the true driver is when the organization realizes that it must replace outdated processes and legacy technology, and it is incorporated into the culture of the organization. It’s not enough to replace hardware or software, the organization must want to compete in their industry, to become leaders, leveraging technology as their strategic advantage.
Traditionally, the Managed Services Provider (MSP) spans a wide range of technology services, from remote monitoring, management, hosting, security, support, and consulting. However, in today’s world, your MSP should not only play a critical role in both the day-to-day support of your organization’s technology needs, but the MSP should also be the key proponent in implementing your digital transformation strategy. We will examine the 10 top benefits of using a Managed Services Provider below.
Why Businesses Adopt Managed Services
Businesses large and small rely on their Managed Services Provider to protect their businesses from cyber risks, control costs, manage complexity, maintain service quality, and mitigate risk while meeting user demands. If you are an organization under 100 full-time employees, chances are that you will benefit from having a Managed Services Provider be your only IT resource, managed by a point of contact within your organization, whereas if you are over 100 full-time employees, you might have dedicated IT staff that can benefit from augmented services. Here, we will explore the top 10 benefits of using a Managed Services Provider and why businesses adopt managed services.
1. Improved Security
Reducing risks related to cybersecurity should be a major focus of your business and managed services provider. Security in particular comprises a growing area for managed services providers and their customers alike. Escalating threats and a complex technology landscape make it difficult for any business, even those with in-house IT organizations, to keep up with changing threats. In addition to up-to-date skills and security intelligence, service providers should have the ability and the technology to help reduce risks by automating a broad range of IT functions, from basic patch management to vulnerability scanning to data backup. Advanced analytics that detects patterns and raises alerts, combined with automated preemptive capabilities can help reduce the business impact from downtime.
A managed services provider can also bring time-tested processes, procedures, and infrastructure resources to help clients recover critical systems and data within time frames specified by regulatory or business requirements — and test these procedures regularly to make sure they work. A managed services provider that can address all of these areas also helps businesses integrate these functions for a more holistic approach to IT cybersecurity.
2. Meet Compliance
Meeting compliance may seem like a daunting challenge. There are many regulatory requirements, whether your organization has to meet HIPAA, SEC, FINRA, NY DFS 23 NYCRR 500, The SHIELD Act, or countless other compliance regulations both at the state, federal, or international level. While many requirements are not technology-related, your Managed Services Provider can help and manage all technical requirements to meet compliance.
MSPs bring the expertise and tools to help their clients manage compliance. Whether it’s developing an information security policy, implementing tools such as multi-factor authentication or threat protection, or even managing third providers such as penetration testing, your MSP is an invaluable partner in your journey towards compliance.
3. Cost Reduction
Economies of scale and industrializing service delivery help managed services providers meet a lower cost point than most businesses can achieve in-house. Besides, many of a provider’s costs — from infrastructure and overhead to technical staff — are shared across multiple customers.
Take for example the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). This role is a critical role for the business and is typically a highly technical person with deep business acumen. The CIO oversees all things related to information technology, including staff, assets, processes, policies, and vendors.
But more organizations under 2,500 employees might not have the budget or the need to have a full-time CIO. This is where the MSP delivers amazing value through a virtual vCIO service. Essentially, the MSP will provide you with a fractional CIO resource that is shared across several clients. This vCIO will manage your technology strategy, cybersecurity, and compliance, just like a full-time CIO.
4. Capital and Operating Expense Management
Enterprises are continually challenged with constrained capital expenses. Decisions about where to invest capital are difficult — and typically the choice is to focus capital investment on revenue-generating initiatives.
Similar to the way many companies lease real estate rather than purchase, delivery models like cloud and managed services can free capital by shifting IT costs to fixed operating expenses, where there is greater flexibility.
By partnering with the right managed services provider, your business can benefit from operating fully in the cloud, significantly reducing capital technology expenditures.
5. Increased Efficiency
A managed services provider can deliver new value in your technology and business environment through the implementation of best practices, standardization, analytics, and automation capabilities that can deliver higher efficiency, tighter IT control, and happier employees. A managed services provider can also help drive efficiency with other third-party suppliers, such as software platforms, voice, internet, cellular, and print. The MSP can help deliver new value in multi-provider environments by helping you broker, plan, procure, govern and manage technology services across multiple cloud models and technology suppliers.
6. Access to Skills
The need to find, retain and build the skills you need to support your technology and business environment is relentless. Managed services providers can reduce skills-related risk because the responsibility for attracting, training, and retaining skilled individuals falls on the managed services provider. Providers are often in the best position to pool and use their resources among multiple clients, offering greater access to skills and diversity than the client might achieve for themselves at a lower cost point.
Additionally, managed services providers see problems that internal IT staff may see only once or twice — and they know how to resolve them or, even better, anticipate them and help prevent disruptions. Take for example migrating on-premise technology to the cloud. Most MSPs do dozens of migrations yearly, whereas an internal IT team might do this once and never think about it again.
7. Better Service Levels
Service quality is the ultimate value that a managed services provider can offer. Moreover, promises of service quality are backed by contractual Service Level Objectives (SLO). Managed services providers are more efficient and profitable when their clients are up and running without issues, therefore, MSPs have an incentive to cost-effectively develop the tools, processes, and governance required to deliver reliable services. Also, client retention is based on delivering the service their clients need, which is a further incentive to deliver great service. Also, they have the experience that can rarely be matched in-house.
8. Access to Technology Innovation
Managed services providers have the skills and resources to implement new technologies quicker, enabling clients to more readily deploy IT innovations such as cloud, next-gen anti-virus (NGAV), analytics, and mobility that can provide new business value. Further, within the managed services industry, demand for innovation fosters healthy competition, helping drive down costs and create a market environment focused on client needs. In the process of driving innovation, the managed services provider also assumes most of the risk of new technology innovation by taking on the investment in startup costs, training, and implementation.
9. Flexibility and Scalability
Managed services providers can scale the scope, size, and range of managed services based on client needs. This allows businesses to better align technology with operating requirements and speed time to market with faster provisioning of new resources.
10. Strategic Advantage
Partnering with the right managed services provider improves your cybersecurity posture, helps you meet compliance, provides your staff with exceptional support for your staff, and can scale your business. The MSP should not only manage the day-to-day, but they should also provide expert guidance to create the best possible technology environment for your business, making technology a truly strategic advantage for your business.
If your business is considering managed services, we hope that this guide will help in the journey of finding a managed services provider.