If you read our last blog post on the subject of managed service providers, then you're now aware of some of the basics involved with working with an MSP. However, there's no getting around the fact that working with an MSP costs money. You're now probably wondering what it takes to make sure you get the most value possible out of the funding you dedicate to working with an MSP.
This blog post has you covered. We'll take a deeper look at the value you can get from working with an MSP, including some sources of value that are commonly passed over by companies working with MSPs. When you finish reading this post, you'll have a much clearer picture of whether or not working with an MSP is right for your company—and your budget.
MSPs can fill a variety of rolls for your company
One way that small and midsized businesses can fail to make the most of their MSP relationship is by limiting what the MSP do for them. By focusing solely on basic maintenance tasks—as important as those tasks might be—you'll be missing out on some more high-level tasks that your MSP could be performing for you.
The fact is that MSPs have a high level of expertise and knowledge surrounding IT strategy and planning. When you combine this with the high visibility they would have into your IT systems, it only makes sense to take advantage of this and involve the MSP in planning the future of your IT function. MSPs can proactively monitor your IT infrastructure, systems and networks, and help you identify areas for improvement long before they would become clear otherwise.
MSPs can help you implement transformational technologies
Another way in which businesses often sell themselves short is by not taking full advantage of the level of sophistication that an MSP can provide when it comes to technology.
For far too many businesses, hiring an MSP is all about getting the capabilities to keep doing the things they're already doing, in the same way they've always been done. This mindset completely overlooks the fact that MSPs could help a business deploy new technologies that can do new things, or do the old things in ways never before thought possible. This could include deploying the latest in analytics and mobility technology, for instance.
To take advantage of these new technologies, make sure you treat your MSP as an equal partner. Ask for their input frequently, and make sure you heed this input when they provide it.
Transition from capital expenses to operating expenses
In the past, one of the major challenges for small and midsized businesses when it comes to running a great IT environment has been the high cost of getting started. An MSP relationship can help address this issue by defraying over time the high capital expenses involved with building an IT infrastructure. Instead of making one large up-front investment, you can get the infrastructure you need while paying manageable, predictable amounts spread out over time.
Properly managing capital is one of the key factors in the success of any business, so the question is this: how can you take the capital you would have put toward your IT infrastructure and put it to work in other areas to drive your business forward? Your MSP can probably help you identify some opportunities to make the most of your newfound liquidity.
Check back soon for the final post in this series on managed service providers.