How MSPs Can Provide Big Benefits for Small Businesses
London-based small businesses that outsource their IT functions to a managed IT support London provider can improve cost efficiencies, reduce downtimes, improve cybersecurity capabilities, and gain several other major benefits. But what exactly is managed IT support and what are the benefits this type of service can offer?
What is a Managed Services Provider (MSP)?
A managed IT support provider, also known as a Managed Services Provider or MSP, is a third party that manages the IT operations and infrastructure as well as other related functions (e.g. cybersecurity, business continuity, cloud services, application management, etc.) of client organizations. MSPs typically offer flexible billing models, including consumption-based, subscription-based, per-user, and so on, or a hybrid of these models. MSPs provide proactive rather than reactive services so that risks are minimized and performance is given a boost.
Now that you have an idea what an MSP is, let’s move on to the benefits these service providers have to offer, particularly to small businesses.
Downtimes can adversely impact employee productivity. An IT support London provider can help minimize downtimes in small businesses by monitoring their network, servers, and other components of their IT environment and then addressing issues as soon as they’re found. These proactive measures are crucial because they prevent issues from escalating into something that might cause extended downtimes.
Downtimes can’t be completely avoided. However, their impact can certainly be minimized. An MSP may implement business continuity/disaster recovery initiatives to ensure that, in the event of an unexpected disruption (earthquakes, floods, fire, cyber attacks, malware outbreaks, pandemics, etc.), the length of downtime can be reduced significantly and the business can operate again in no time.
Improve cybersecurity and regulatory compliance
Small businesses are exposed to various cyber threats, including ransomware, which can cause systems or even entire networks to grind to a halt. At the same time, these businesses are also constantly subjected to various data protection/privacy laws and regulations such as PCI DSS and the UK GDPR, which can be a huge drain on time, financial, and human resources.
Since many small businesses don’t have dedicated IT teams, let alone cybersecurity teams, it would be virtually impossible for them to deal with cybersecurity and regulatory compliance concerns effectively. A managed IT support London provider would typically have the in-house talent who can take charge of these types of endeavors.
An MSP can implement a wide range of risk mitigation initiatives such as application/OS patching, server hardening, security solution deployment and optimization, and vulnerability scanning, among other tasks for meeting security and regulatory compliance. Some MSPs even offer threat monitoring and response.
Improve cost efficiencies
Earlier, when we defined what an MSP is, the first benefit of outsourcing to a managed IT support London provider that was mentioned was its ability to improve cost efficiencies. We’re now ready to elaborate on that. Cost efficiencies are byproducts of the other benefits we mentioned.
Every time you avoid a lengthy downtime, you’re also able to avoid potential customer and revenue loss. In a survey conducted to understand the cost of downtime among SMBs, 37% of respondents said they lost customers and 17% said they lost revenue as a result of downtime. According to the same survey, the per-hour cost of downtime can, in some cases, exceed $50,000 or approximately £37,500.
That’s not all. Whenever you improve your security posture and your state of compliance, you also reduce the risk of a data breach or paying regulatory fines/penalties as a result of such an event. In the UK, the average annual cost of a data breach for small and micro businesses is £8,170.
By hiring an IT support London provider, you ensure that any money you spend goes to day-to-day operations and revenue-generating activities; not to these unnecessary costs.
Focus on core business
The workload an MSP takes on on behalf of a small business is substantial. Since most small businesses don’t have dedicated IT teams, the designated IT guy would likely be somebody who plays a key role in business operations. Every moment that person spends on IT-related tasks would be a distraction detrimental to core business operations.
By hiring an MSP, you would enable staff and business leaders to focus on what really matters—growing the business. These days, with the increasing dependence on technology (especially since the onset of COVID19), a lot of attention has been directed to deploying, managing, and securing IT infrastructure and digital assets. That shouldn’t be the case. In fact, you should be focusing more on developing innovative strategies and seeing them through. Hiring an MSP can help you do just that.
The proliferation of various tech solutions is leading to vendor sprawl, an unhealthy situation wherein businesses end up dealing with multiple vendors. While this might sound pretty normal, vendor sprawl can actually lead to inefficiencies, as there can be instances when you’d have to contact multiple vendors to, for example, resolve a technical issue, perform integrations, meet regulatory compliance requirements, or plug vulnerabilities.
An MSP, on the other hand, can serve as a single point of contact who can take charge of dealing with all tech-related vendors, whether it’s for a software application, a network device, a cloud service, or just about any piece of tech you have in your IT environment. With an MSP, any issue or any task involving multiple vendors can be resolved quickly.
These are just some of the many benefits small businesses stand to gain from hiring an MSP. Want to learn more? Contact us.