3 Ways Managed IT Services Providers Help IT Departments Be More Effective
IT departments really are some of the hardest working, unsung heroes in your company. You probably couldn’t even fathom all the things they’re doing behind the scenes to “make it work” on a day-to-day basis.
For most organizations, it's not feasible to hire enough experts in EVERYTHING you need from an IT support perspective to work in a productive, profitable manner.
Adding a managed IT service provider (MSP) to your already stellar IT department, could remedy any gaps in your department’s expertise, and give you the reliable stability you need to thrive.
Sounds like a win-win, right?
Unfortunately, we still run into many IT departments of small to mid-sized businesses that feel like having an outsourced IT provider involved is competition --that somehow the IT staff is seen as less competent if they need “outside” help.
But hear me out, because I'm going to make a case for the exact opposite.
A professional managed IT services provider isn’t a threat to the internal IT department, but instead should be their best friend. Let's explore why.
1. More Resources to Tackle Multiple Issues, Complex Problems, and Large Projects
Most internal IT departments are a small group of 1-3 people. That group is asked to take on a huge amount of responsibility. They are usually the help desk, system admins, hardware repair, purchasing experts, security guru, software experts, and on-and-on.
Frankly, it's unrealistic to ask a small team that is not trained, or doesn’t have the experience, to be experts in more than one of these areas.
This is where having a professional managed IT services provider on your side allows you to leverage their experience and team of multiple professionals. Managed IT services providers can help the internal IT department be larger, and enable them to handle multiple support issues or projects at once.
Your team can focus on what they're GREAT at, while the tasks that are outside their skill set or time limitations are efficiently taken care of by the managed IT services provider.
2. Broader Expertise and Tools to Handle Whatever Comes Your Way
Think about it, doctors only have one specialty. Sure, they’re all doctors, but not all of them can operate on your heart. Same is true for IT - there are separate disciplines and specialties within the IT profession, and different personality types which are more suited for one area of IT over the other.
Having a managed IT services provider gives the internal IT department an arsenal of certified professionals in varying disciplines. A typical engineer for a managed IT services provider sees dozens, if not hundreds, of different environments every month. This gives the outsourced IT team a depth of knowledge and experience that is difficult to maintain in-house.
Staffing issues can also be addressed readily. When internal IT staff is sick or on vacation, or even when someone leaves the organization, managed IT services providers can help smooth the staffing gaps and help provide continued service to the company's employees when the internal staff is not available.
Managed IT services providers also have access to enterprise-class tools that typically don't make sense for smaller IT departments to invest in. Things like: a ticketing system, advanced network visibility and monitoring tools, and cutting-edge cyber security tools.
3. Strategic Planning and Budgeting for Future Business Success
Having an outsourced IT team behind the internal IT department provides an often-necessary strategic view of future planning.
The typical internal IT department becomes very good at addressing the specific tactical needs of their organization. This is a big strength, but also can be a liability and roadblock to fresh creative solutions to challenges that may come up. The outside perspective of an IT company may be valuable in coming up with alternative options.
Also, let's call it like it is: most IT departments are stretched too thin and have trouble finding time to plan for the future. Working with a managed IT services provider gives them time to take a step back and make sure their technology situation is set up for future success.
Again, leveraging the expertise and diverse experience of an outsourced IT support team can give great value to planning. The IT provider can typically bridge the gap between IT planning and the larger business vision, and they can also provide the business justification for projects and budget concerns.
This removes a challenge for both the internal IT team and the management team that is responsible for IT vision.
Again, a win-win situation!
The right managed IT services provider can be an invaluable resource for your internal IT department. When both sides of the relationship are professional and keep the larger goals of the organization in focus, the synergy can be a huge advantage.
About Peter O'Campo
Peter O’Campo is Chief Technology Officer of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. He earned his B.S. in Accounting from Azusa Pacific University in 1996. Prior to working for Accent, he successfully grew and sold three information technology companies. In his role as Accent’s CTO, Peter is responsible for advancing technology and increasing efficiency for both Accent and its clients. He stays up-to-date on the IT industry, evaluates new technology to stay ahead of the competition, implements technologies and processes to make staff more effective, as well as reviews and refines existing processes for efficiency.