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A growing number of companies, as they become familiar with the concept, are considering Managed Service Providers as a viable option for their IT needs. According to CompTIA’s Fourth Annual Trends in Managed Services Study, more than half of respondents say they are “very familiar” with the concept of managed services and another forty percent say they are “somewhat familiar”. Even more telling, two-thirds of the 350 businesses and IT professionals responding to the non-profit trade association’s survey reported that they had entered into an agreement with an MSP in 2015.

Facing Facts about IT

The process of deciding to engage a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is similar to a homeowner deciding which home improvement projects he should take on and which he should turn over to a contractor. His level of ability, cost efficiency, and workload are all factors to be considered, just as the capacity, workload, and expertise of the existing IT staff are in the case of weighing the need for an MSP.

Evaluate Your Needs

Even as the need for and use of MSPs continues to grow, the business world is still struggling to arrive at an accepted definition of what makes up managed services. Will you, like some of the responding businesses, only need to engage an MSP for a one-time project? Or perhaps you could benefit by handing over ongoing maintenance of one or more IT functions such as email hosting, customer management relations (CRM) applications, storage, backup, and recovery or network monitoring. Perhaps someday, if not now, you’ll be in a place to turn to an MSP for such crucial tasks as data analysis, business intelligence, or advanced application monitoring.

Delegate or Collaborate?  

Very few companies go the whole hog and dismiss their internal IT department in favor of an MSP. Six out of ten describe the arrangement as being a collaborative one which results in bringing their IT staff out of the shadows and freeing them up for strategic projects.

And while the final decision of how much or how little work you will consign to an MSP is yours to make, you’ll need to consider how your IT people will take to the proposition. Will they see the workers as outsiders and possible threats, or as an extension of the organization? If you want to head off misunderstandings and water cooler speculations, it would be to your advantage to hold a meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page about how IT-managed service providers are different from an internal IT department.

For more information on your options, please contact us.

Michael R. Durante

Michael Durante spent his teenage years into his early 20s climbing the ladder in a branch of a successful banking firm, starting as a teller and ending as a Sr. Branch Manager within 6 years. In 2003, he left the banking world to join his father and create TIE National, a telecom company 60 years in the making. Together, they grew the company from a two-man operation solely working on telephones to a multi-million dollar international business with employees in over a dozen states, covering everything from phone systems to cloud products and computer systems. You can find Michael on LinkedIn.