When you enter into a managed services agreement with an IT support provider, you’re likely driven by the potential cost savings, particularly in terms of labour costs. What you probably don’t realise is that, in addition to helping you save on costs, an IT support provider can actually play a very critical role in the success of your business.
For the benefit of those who are not yet familiar with the cost savings benefits of IT support services a.k.a. IT managed services, these services allow you to avoid the expensive but sometimes unnecessary practice of hiring full-time IT staff.
Not all organisations can afford or even need a dedicated IT team. Perhaps your IT related problems only arise on occasion. Or perhaps most of the tasks are just too trivial; like acting on password reset requests, scanning viruses, backing up files, or troubleshooting minor problems. It would be impractical to pay for the salary of a full time IT guy (or team) who will only spend most of his/their days “firefighting”.
An IT support provider spares you from those unnecessary expenses by allowing you to obtain the services of IT specialists at a fraction of the cost of hiring those specialists full-time. But aside from that, there are other equally important benefits.
When you have an IT support provider managing your IT infrastructure, you can be sure issues caused by malware, poorly configured networks, unoptimised systems, and others, can be reduced considerably. This will in turn cut downtimes, enable your systems to operate seamlessly, and allow your employees and your entire organisation, for that matter, to submit deliverables on time. That leads us to the next benefit.
Improve customer and trading partner satisfaction
In today’s highly competitive business environment, prompt delivery of goods and fast time-to-market is crucial to business, whether you’re on your own or part of a supply chain. When you’re able to deliver your goods on time on a regular basis, your customers and trading partners will be happy. That means, they’ll also be happy to continue doing business with you.
Open the doors to innovation
Some organisations hire IT support providers even if they already have an in-house IT team. This would enable the company to pursue innovative projects that would then give the organisation a competitive advantage.
Sometimes, they let the providers handle maintenance and firefighting so that the internal IT team can work on the innovative projects. And sometimes, they do it the other way around, i.e. let the internal team administer the company’s IT infrastructure and line-of-business applications, while commissioning the provider to carry out the project.
The latter usually happens when the internal team lacks the expertise to carry out a highly specialised project, like cloud integration, mobile app development, or setting up a hadoop cluster for big data analytics. Leaving highly specialised projects to the experts can expedite project completion and reduce risks.
Mitigate risks and counter cyber threats
Another reason to acquire managed services is to mitigate risks and counter cyber threats. Most in-house IT teams are already overloaded with their daily tasks. This gives them very little time to perform risk management and address cyber threats. This can be a serious problem.
According to Ponemon’s “2016 Cost of Cyber Crime Study & the Risk of Business Innovation” report, the cost of cyber crime has been growing steadily in the last 4 years, especially in countries like the UK and the US.
Here’s a portion of one of the graphs on the said report:
If they’re allowed to happen, cyber attacks can result in heavy financial losses in the form of remediation and forensic costs, data breach notification, lawsuits, regulatory violation penalties and fines, brand damage, customer churn, and many others. When combined, these expenses can drain your financial resources or even cause you to go bankrupt.
You can mitigate the risk of a cyber attack by outsourcing cyber security to managed services providers who have the expertise in this area.
If you really think about it, IT support costs can easily be dwarfed by the costs of a potential cyber attack, reduced market share due to lack of innovation, and disgruntled customers/trading partners resulting from delays in your delivery of products/services.