As a growing small business, the IT needs that you had when you were 3-5 people are not the same as the IT needs when you grow to 20 or 50 people. The more people you have the more structure is required around your IT.
- Person is dedicated to the firm
- They know the systems inside and out
- They are able to quickly address problems
- People are familiar with the support person and their abilities
- One person cannot keep up to date on all new technologies
- The person spends most of the time firefighting, not moving the firm ahead
- The person can be sick or on vacation and not available
- The person tends to be a jack of all trades but master of none
When considering how to support your firm, consider the advantages of a Managed Service Provider (MSP). An MSP is a company that provides technology support services to a firm as an adjunct or as a replacement to existing technology employees. An MSP offers these advantages:
- Are available 24/7 to address any need
- Offer the full spectrum of support from help desk right through to planning technology strategy with business objectives in mind
- Offer assessment services to benchmark the firm’s technology and security profile against evolving industry standards
- Have certifications in a variety of on premise and Cloud based technologies
- Have the experience of working with many firms in the same industry leading to efficiencies that are transferable from firm to firm.
MSP’s can help with compliance such as addressing client requests for improved security or dealing with Microsoft Audits effectively. They can provide on premise support to your end users and when you are ready, they can migrate you to the Cloud. They can investigate new technologies that will help the firm improve quality, increase revenue or lower risks. And when disaster strikes, they have the skill set to quickly remediate the issue.
If you have internal IT already, supplement them with an MSP. The MSP can help move projects which are stalled forward. They can provide supplementary assistance to your IT person so that they are not alone in facing the day to day and long term challenges of the firm. The MSP can help them in picking best of breed products based on extensive use and support of these products across multiple clients.
If you do not have internal IT and rely on a friend to assist you, it is time to connect with an MSP. The threat landscape is not what it was even 5 years ago. You need professional services to ensure that your business and client data is secure and that hackers cannot set your firm up for ransom. This means more technology is needed today than before to ensure the firm is protected. Your friend is simply not up to the task for this!
An MSP is surprisingly cost effective when you consider the cost of hiring just one person, their benefits and associated costs.
When looking for an MSP, look for these qualities:
- Demonstrated track record of being proactive and continuously improving product offerings.
- Responsiveness and support of the MSP for environments similar to yours.
- Extra things that they provide such as support for document and case management systems or other specialty software needed to make your business most effective.
- Understand what is included and excluded from your support agreement. You want to have good handle on what your short term and long term costs will be.
- Available to provide support 24/7/365. They should be there when you need them.
- Meet with you regularly to discuss the firm’s needs, plans for the future and the adequacy of the current technology.
- Regularly provide updates on what is new and relevant to your business.
Triella provides managed services, including private Cloud services to small and medium sized professional service firms and start ups! Consider speaking to Triella if you are ever dissatisfied with the service you are getting now or want to upgrade your systems to a new platform.
Charles Bennett is the Principal Consultant at Triella. We are a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium-sized firms. Charles can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to our blog page. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.
© 2019 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.