The resources available to any small and midsize business (SMB) IT leader are limited. Even if you had the massive budgets of Google and Facebook (pure fantasy), you likely couldn’t attract and hire all the top IT talent you need in today’s highly competitive “war for tech talent.” Besides, employee turnover in the IT support space is high, so you'd need to be hiring constantly to fill gaps.
Yet the job of IT support is getting harder every day, especially in a business landscape where remote and hybrid work models are common. You have to support your SMB’s employee productivity and (positive) employee experience in multiple computing environments, including in-office and remotely as employees work from home.
That’s why it is often an attractive option to outsource IT support to a managed service provider or MSP and let experts who live and breathe IT support and management do what they do best, while your business focuses on what your business does best.
Outsourcing IT support: What an MSP does
Managed service providers are IT experts that companies can hire to manage their IT support needs. MSPs have the infrastructure and technology in place to offer proactive and reactive support so you don’t have to. For example, MSPs utilize MSP IT software that includes:
- Proactive remote management and monitoring or RMM software to keep an eye your system diagnostics, keep your end user devices updated with patch management and antivirus software, alert the MSP when there’s an issue, and streamline (often via remote execution, or IT automation) routine tasks that keep your SMB's employees operating smoothly without disrupting their workflows
- On-demand troubleshooting and issue resolution using remote support technology when your employees run into IT issues
- An easy way for you to stay in communication with your MSP, such as an end-user portal that ties into the MSPs helpdesk interface and automatic ticketing
- Enterprise-grade security that by extension helps keep your business secure in a business landscape where cyberthreats, malicious actors, and IT vulnerabilities are proliferating
5 big benefits of outsourcing to an MSP
1. Your SMB doesn’t need to attract, hire, train, and retain in-house IT talent.
Finding and hiring IT talent has never been harder, or more expensive, than today. HDI recently reported that the turnover rate for IT support are high, with 34% turnover for level 1 agents and 21% for L2 agents. That’s quite a revolving door.
What’s more, training in-house hires on complicated IT support tools can take weeks. In fact, one tool requires an average of 75 hours of classroom work to learn how to use it. Given the turnover of IT support employees, you'll constantly be needing to hire and train new staff. When you outsource IT support and your IT helpdesk, you reduce your costs and headcount, while maintaining quality of support.
2. You don’t need to keep up with IT tools and technology.
It’s reported that about 33% of SaaS spend is underutilized or goes to waste. By outsourcing to an MSP, your SMB doesn’t have to select, pay for, integrate, and maintain an array of support-related technology tools and platforms. The number and complexity of these technology tools only grows over time, and keeping pace can be a major challenge.
3. Your business can focus on what it does best.
Your SMB and its employees benefit from the specialization of your MSP, allowing your SMB to focus on your core business, which likely isn’t remote support, whereas your MSP focuses exclusively on delivering quality, outsourced IT support.
4. You get expert-grade, quality IT support.
You can ensure the quality of your outsourced IT support through the negotiation and enforcement of a service-level agreement or SLA, which formalizes expectations for quality service and details how accountability happens for sub-par performance. The SLA becomes the mutually agreed upon roadmap for your entire relationship with the MSP.
5. You have the flexibility to change and scale.
You have the flexibility to change providers if you’re not happy or find a better opportunity, depending on the terms of your SLA and other agreements. You don’t need to be “tied down” if you’re not happy with one MSP and/or see a better opportunity in the market. Moreover, you can scale and flex your service levels depending upon your evolving needs, whether that means expansion or contraction.
The bottom line is that outsourcing help desk or service desk responsibilities to an MSP can help your SMB maintain support quality while also helping you control the cost and headcounts associated with in-house IT support delivery. You should, of course, carefully consider your IT support needs, the potential impacts of outsourcing IT support on your business, and the quality of any potential MSP partner before you decide to move forward.