When you are running a business, you have two options when it comes to managing your IT infrastructure. Either you employ an in-house IT team to look after everything for you or outsource your IT needs to an MSP (Managed Service Provider).
There are pros and cons to each approach, and no one solution will be right for every business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which MSPs and in-house IT teams differ.
If you are a small business with a couple of laptops and a website, it might actually be more efficient for you to hire a good all-around IT professional who can take care of your IT for you.
MSP’s are often designed for businesses with a reasonably sized IT requirement, so if you’re a smaller business, then you might end up paying for a lot more than you are actually going to use.
There may be MSP’s out there who have smaller businesses in mind, but in general, very small businesses are often better off taking care of their IT needs until they reach a size where they need to be worrying about extensive IT support and future development.
MSP’s make IT their business, which means that they will employ professionals who are experts in almost every part of IT that you can think of!
This is great news for businesses who use a managed services provider because it means that no matter what software or solution you use, you will be able to access someone who knows how to get the best out of it.
It also means that you can get expert advice when you are considering new software purchases for the future or when looking at the best way to solve a technical issue.
When you employ someone, you don’t just pay their salary. You also need to consider the cost of training them, providing them with equipment, paying into their 401k, paying into health insurance policies, and a myriad of other costs.
It’s estimated that an employee will typically cost an employer in the region of 1.25 to 1.4 times their base salary range.
When you work with an MSP, they will deal with all of these costs, and all you’ll pay is your contract fee, which will generally be considerably cheaper.
Your contract with an MSP will have SLAs (service level agreements) written into it. An SLA is the agreed amount of time that it will take to solve certain types of problems or do certain types of work.
This means that with an MSP, you will know exactly how long something will take, and they will stick to it because they are contractually obligated to.
Out of hours support
MSP’s have systems in place which allow them to monitor your IT systems 24/7 and respond immediately if an issue occurs. This means that any downtime and the impact this has on your employees and customers is limited.
In-house IT staff can provide out-of-hours support, but you will usually need to pay an overtime rate which is much higher than the usual hourly rate for this. With the MSP, the out-of-hours support will be included in the monthly cost and is generally much cheaper.