Why a Managed Service Provider?

When it comes to IT, businesses have a few options for handling their needs. Common methods are:

  1. establish a relationship with a local IT Consultant (or repair shop)
  2. hire in-house IT
  3. designate an existing employee to handle IT issues on top of their current role or
  4. partner with a managed service provider (MSP)

Your choice will depend on many factors, one of which being the role you see your IT playing in your business.

Do you view your technology simply a means to an end, or as a strategic tool that is instrumental in growing and developing your business?

Many SMBs believe that their technology solutions are crucial to improving business outcomes and running the business better.  If this is true for your business, consider a managed service provider over an individual IT provider- here’s why.

An Individual Provider & Your Business’ Productivity

Many businesses assume that the way to ensure their provider has the most in-depth understanding of their business and network is to work with a single individual. Having one point of contact may seem like the quick, efficient, and dedicated option. This causes businesses to lean toward individual provider options: hiring in-house IT, designating a current employee as an IT resource, or contracting with a small single-person IT company.

However, relying on one person can have the opposite effect. It can limit your access to quality solutions and leave your company at a strategic disadvantage.

Benefits of working with an individual provider:

  • Qualifications are often enough to manage current needs
  • Understanding of the company’s infrastructure
  • Perception of a dedicated relationship due to familiarity

Disadvantages of relying on an individual provider:

  • Restricted by the limitations of one individual’s experience and knowledge
    • No team to rely on for collaboration, specialization, and experience
    • Knowledge of best practices and evolving technology limited
    • Single perspective resulting in narrow set of options for your business
  • Increased demand=slowed response & quality of solutions
    • Your business may not be an IT Consultant’s priority
    • Influx of requests overwhelms individual’s capacity and results in halted productivity for your business
    • Increased demand results in hasty solutions rather than long-term solutions addressing the root cause of an issue
  • Their absence can be detrimental to your business
    • Knowledge resides with one person- they can leave whenever they want. Typically, do not leave behind reliable and thorough documentation
    • When that individual takes a vacation or sick time, your company is left without access to support

Relying on an individual can leave your business vulnerable to productivity losses, limit your ability to grow and access the most modern and effective technology solutions, and potentially leave you floundering if that resource ever leaves.

A managed service provider offers SMBs access to entire teams of specialized resources, robust support and documentation structures, and collective expertise from a range of expert perspectives. A good MSP also structures these teams in a way that establishes a familiar relationship with your team so you get the benefit of both: the intimate understanding of your business and the expansive tools that only come from a multi-person team.

Cost of Individual Provider vs. Value of Managed Service Provider

Another reason SMBs may find a single provider enticing (single IT consultant, in-house IT, or an existing employee) is the perception that this is a cost-effective strategy for managing IT. Small and medium-sized businesses typically can’t afford to hire an entire IT team (and even if they could that probably wouldn’t be the most advantageous allocation of funds).

Due to this, it’s a common perception that paying one person is a more economical way to handle your IT. However, this does not factor in the many unanticipated risks and costs, not to mention actual value of what you receive.

Costs of Individual Provider

      • Higher personnel costs (In-House IT): salaries, benefits, insurance, office supplies, training, management, etc.
      • Decreased productivity: existing employee splitting role, employees unable to work due to delayed support, productivity losses due to recurring issues
      • Risk of costly security breaches due to lack of proactive planning
      • Additional costs for after hours work, changing rates, salary increases

Value of a Managed Service Provider

Managed service providers offer SMBs the benefit of working with an extensive team of experts that would otherwise be outside of their scope financially or strategically. An MSP presents SMBs with the unique access to a full team of resources that solves the gaps that working with a single provider would leave while providing better quality solutions, comprehensive IT strategies, reliable and consistent support, and dependable documentation to ensure continuity of your business IT solutions.

Why CIO Solutions?

CIO Solutions clients benefit from the collective expertise of over 50 technical resources (support, projects, strategy, etc.), and the familiarity of dedicated resources designed to be intimately familiar with your business and your environment.

Clients of CIO Solutions benefit from:

24/7 support access with fast response and resolution times

  • Field services technicians, rapid response agents, and dedicated client services team (with in-depth familiarity of your business’ technical environment).

Strategic IT planning and budgeting

  • Strategic client services team with a dedicated vCIO and Account Manager assigned to each client. Focus on aligning your IT strategy with your business objectives, keeping your operations up to date, and cultivating an intimate understanding of your business needs and workflows.

Proactive maintenance & monitoring

  • NOC team to managing efficient monitoring, reporting and resolution

Industry experts in specialized roles

  • Dedicated technology directors, support agents, technology strategists.

Diverse experience and compliance standards

  • Serving over 300 clients in a range of industries empowers our team with diverse experience that all clients benefit from (modern technologies, software, workflows, hardware, compliance standards, etc.)

Flat monthly rate of service

  • Easier to budget around, IT becomes a monthly bill rather than an unanticipated cost that fluctuates when something comes up.

Performance audits

  • Independent performance audits verify that appropriate procedures are in place and standards are met. CIO Solutions is certified SOC Type II.