With the never-ending litany of products and services out there competing for resources (time and money) at small and midsize businesses, it can be a difficult decision to change strategies regarding your technology partner or employee, particularly when it involves spending more money. But few outsourcing decisions are more important.
Despite the expanding complexity and interconnectedness of technology within most businesses, we still see an alarming number of organizations that either outsource to an hourly service provider (often a “handyman” type) or employ a single full-time employee to manage their technology. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to tech support, both of the aforementioned solutions (typically) are very weak choices.
While I could write ten blogs expounding on why the “handyman” or full-time internal IT employees are less than ideal options, here are 3 signs that a small to midsize business needs to hire a managed service provider.
The business is seeing increasing pressure from larger competitors in their markets.
Often times, larger competitors provide less personal attention, fewer custom solutions, and worse customer service, but they can still eat a smaller company’s lunch with superior technology. The larger competitor could offer a slick dashboard that gives customers more data, has better market intelligence that lets them act more quickly, or better communication tools. This technology doesn’t cost very much anymore, there is no reason every SMB shouldn’t look equally sophisticated! A Managed Service Provider can create a unified strategy leveraging both internal and external resources to efficiently design tools that put you on par with any competitor.
Your business has identified an ambitious strategy for growth.
A handyman IT provider will not have the vested interest or resources to scale your technology. And it will be next to impossible for an internal IT manager to be able to both design and implement the requisite technology to scale a business. A good Managed Service Provider will be able to apply a tried and true template, using best-practices and market-specific experience to a growth plan. Where it makes sense, you can benefit from their network of partners and resources. This will be cheaper and faster than almost any alternative.
You don’t have a technology budget or plan for your company.
Is your technology strategy murky or non-existent? We see this more often than not for SMB’s. The IT handyman doesn’t have the interest, accountability or mindshare to give you a clear plan with a budget. The IT manager spends his time lurking in the recesses of the server room and presents a plan that highlights the hardware and software wish list, rather than a holistic IT strategy focused on business outcomes. With an MSP on your team, there is a vested interest in sharing a clear plan and budget, as well as access to a variety of experts and methodologies to implement that crucial planning.
Technology is increasingly the differentiator between companies that excel in their fields and those that are stagnant. Selecting a technology partnership that aligns with your business needs is a critical decision that is worth every additional penny if you get it right.
Contact Upward today to discuss moving your business strategy forward.