An increasing number of businesses are choosing managed services providers (MSPs) over in-house IT executives and staff. Driving this trend is the realization that outsourcing vital IT components and processes allows businesses to focus more on their core strengths and mission. MSPs do this by remotely managing or delivering IT services such as network, application, infrastructure, or security management and assuming full responsibility for those services. They can also proactively identify which technologies and services would best achieve business goals.
The current business landscape is highly competitive, making it even more essential for businesses to focus on their core competencies. With an MSP as an outsourced partner, management can focus on activities that drive growth without sacrificing the integrity of noncore processes.
One of the most attractive features of an MSP is the access to a deep bench of IT experts who can manage complex business processes. This provides businesses with the best talent and latest resources without the compensation costs of in-house IT professionals.
Other advantages of an MSP are scalability and predictability. The level of support can be customized to a business’s evolving needs. Most MSPs are subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) services, and a business can easily project the amount it will spend each month.
Traditionally, when IT infrastructure became crucial for business success, organizations start weighing the benefits of outsourcing their IT processes against their in-house capabilities. Before finding an MSP to manage a business process or area, management should assess its organization’s needs and determine an associated budget. They should consider if they already have the necessary in-house expertise to oversee the processes they are looking to outsource. If they do, they should ask themselves if it is readily available or would need to be reallocated from other projects, as well as if additional hiring would be needed.
If they do not have the necessary expertise, the analysis should shift to the short-term expenditures, initial establishment costs and long-term recurring costs that would be incurred by bringing that capability in-house. This will provide a baseline to compare to the expense of an MSP.
If a business determines that hiring an MSP would be more efficient and cost-effective, it is imperative to perform due diligence and select the right one. Factors to consider include past performance, available team of experts, client testimonials, and the willingness to perform the specific functions the business requires. Best practices call for comparing four to five MSPs before making a final choice.
Changing MSPs frequently does not bode well for business continuity and growth. It is well worth the extra time it takes for decisions makers to explore the MSP’s company culture and values and determine if their organization can forge a long-term relationship with them.
These same principles can be applied to any business process in which organizations do not have in-house expertise or do not want to divert resources from more important activities. Other business processes that can usually be outsourced include payroll, workforce management, recruitment, vendor management, contract management and compliance and Human Resources. Having the most efficient and cost-effective solution in each of these areas will have a long-lasting impact on the business’s current and future success.
Hassan Khan is a Technology Consulting Partner at Grassi where he leads the firm’s technology advisory solutions in cybersecurity, data privacy, risk and compliance, digital transformation and outsourced CIO services. He can be reached at [email protected].