The discussion about digital transformation has, for most organisations, ceased to be a matter of if, and become about how and when. Without getting digital right, longevity is looking like an uphill battle in which many traditional organisations have faltered or fallen. As 89% of organisations1 are busy making plans to adopt a digital-first business strategy, the focus falls on the IT foundations that will make this possible.
The question of what to manage in-house and whether to enlist a managed service provider (MSP) doesn’t have a perfect answer – much depends on your unique situation. We’ve put together a run-down of the pros and cons of managed services to help you get started.
Experience and Skills
A great MSP will put a lot of effort into knowing your business, but your in-house team are the experts who live and breathe the organisation. That said, the MSP can draw on a far greater variety of high-level skills that aren’t available in-house, and they have experience across many customer sites in varied industries. They are experts in cyber-resilience, disaster recovery, networking and collaboration technologies… it would be costly to employ even a fraction of that skillset. A broader team can be useful when it comes to seeing alternative ways of getting results.
The strongest outcome is often delivered when in-house knowledge and MSP expertise and broader skillset are married well, which means careful assessment before selecting the best partner. Your in-house team should be empowered to work on business growth and efficiency projects, confident that the foundations are in good hands.
When it comes to economies of scale, the MSP has a clear advantage. The user centric model means that you can have exactly the right skills when you need them, without bearing the cost of retaining staff when you don’t. You don’t pay for holidays, sick days and all the other expenses involved in human resources.
That said, timing matters, and so it is always important to weigh up factors like existing contracts, type and age of infrastructure and how well the current situation aligns with business needs. An IT audit may be a valuable investment when it comes to getting value for IT spend, and it can help to determine the right time and type of MSP investment.
This is one place that the MSP wins easily. Few organisations can justify paying IT staff to work round-the-clock shifts, and calling out IT staff at 3 a.m. then expecting them to give their best 9-5 is unfair, and unlikely to work long-term. There is considerable variation between MSPs, but our customers say that the ability to create a tailored services package was a key consideration for them.
Connectivity improvements and matured service options have reduced many of the barriers to employing a managed service, and this can be a viable way to accelerate digital transformation. Overcoming cultural barriers can usually be achieved with the right planning, and our MSP specialists recommend thorough preparation as a way to make any transition successful. It is not the perfect answer for every business, but if you are creating an always-on, mobile-friendly workplace without an unlimited budget, it is certainly worth evaluating managed service options to see how they stack up.
Time to evaluate the pros and cons of managed services for your own business? Chat to the friendly Mangano IT specialists today.