When running a business, information technology (IT) can be complex, time-consuming, and essential. However finding, hiring, and training qualified IT staff members has become more difficult than ever. With long hiring periods due to the specialization of the role, 41% of companies cite a talent shortage as the biggest obstacle to adopting new digital workplace technologies. Globally this skill gap is expected to grow, and by 2030, it may cause around $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.

With the shortage having no end in sight, organizations attempting to wait it out may have to continue to do so indefinitely. While having a full-time IT specialist on the payroll can be appealing, it’s also expensive to maintain them. A single IT specialist is paid $57,000 annually on average, which can scale up depending on years of experience. As a result, cost justification becomes a factor, as they’ll continue to be paid even on days when everything is going smoothly.

To fill the gap between talent shortage, lengthy hiring periods, and cost justification, managed IT services have become a key component for many companies globally. They provide access to a group of IT specialists who can help on-demand and fill several different roles. Not only can small businesses benefit from using IT service management, but they support organizations of any size across most industries. Here are 15 of the top benefits.

1. All-in-one source for IT

Not knowing who to talk to when you have questions or issues can waste time and cause staff delays as they wait for a response. By using a managed service provider (MSP), companies will have an all-in-one source for their IT needs, questions, and troubleshooting. Streamlining into a single point of contact allows problems to be responded to and acted upon more efficiently.

2. Improved cybersecurity

Online functions are a core part of modern organizations, making cybersecurity vital to the safety of employees and customers alike. Digital threats will continue to grow, with DDoS attacks expected to reach 15.4 million annually by 2023. Outsourced network management will help protect you through active encryption and threat detection. MSPs can also implement proactive measures to help prevent hackers from gaining a foothold in the first place. 

3. High return on investment

Most organizations handle a mixture of different expenses. Since funds are limited, it’s important to prioritize areas that provide the most return on investment (ROI). Maintaining a full spectrum of IT staff can be costly, especially during slow periods when they may be left idle. By using managed IT services, businesses can maximize their ROI by outsourcing both the work and the extra expenses to a third party. As a result, you’re only paying for what you need.

4. IT compliance

Meeting and maintaining IT compliance standards takes a lot of technical know-how. Every industry has a unique set of needs, expectations, and requirements to ensure companies and customers alike are kept safe. That covers an array of regulatory standards, such as NIST-800, CMMC, SOC-2, HIPAA, and PCI. These can help keep everything from medical records to credit card information secure.

5. 24/7 IT support

IT problems and security threats are rarely expected, making quick responsiveness pivotal to maintaining business functions. By having access to a help desk support line and a group of specialists with 24/7 availability, IT issues can be tackled quickly and effectively. Whether it’s a routine question or requires more in-depth attention, the faster the response speed, the sooner the problem can be solved.

6. Data backup protection

Data is essential to the function of most businesses globally, making the security and reliability of that information an ongoing concern. Since data management is also subject to IT compliance regulations, it is expensive and difficult to back up and maintain databases. With outsourced IT services, organization data backups are managed and updated with the latest compliance standards.

7. Improved business focus

IT problems and poorly designed infrastructure can be a liability, as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task after being sidetracked. That can make it difficult to focus on day-to-day functions, lowering the overall quality of products, services, and customer experience. All IT matters can be redirected to a third party with managed IT services. This, in turn, frees up the time and resources to focus on what matters most: your business.

8. Cost-cutting strategies

The cost of information technology can get bloated as unnecessary expenses and inefficient software functions are added over time. An MSP can help centralize your software tools, focusing on the essential components that keep your business running. Other cost-cutting strategies can also modify other aspects of the workflow, reducing the number of unneeded software licenses paid for and maintained.

9. Reliable solutions

It can be challenging to know which solutions are most effective for each circumstance since every solution may have different pros and cons connected with them. Managed service providers have experience across many industries. That lets them know what’s practical and the techniques needed to implement new software or hardware properly. Using proven solutions means less risk and shorter downtimes as systems are overhauled.

10. Productivity boost

Maintaining a productive environment helps keep businesses running with a more predictable output. However, software issues, outdated hardware, and inefficient processes can cause that output to drop. MSPs can boost productivity by fixing those software issues, upgrading hardware, and increasing the efficiency of the workflow using modernized solutions.

11. Reduced staff errors

Even tiny interruptions can be detrimental to staff performance. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, a 3-second distraction can double the number of workplace errors. And a 4 1/2 second distraction can triple them. By reducing the number of minor IT issues, staff will have less frequent interruptions and, in turn, have a higher quality of work output.

12. Flexible services

Every business has a unique set of needs, goals, and obstacles in how they function. The importance of IT service management comes from the flexibility to match that, ensuring they can get the services that’ll best support them. Additionally, many providers will have additional offerings such as IT consulting, IT assessments, and project services.

13. Predictable expenses

IT problems can create costs that will spiral out of control, which may require additional IT staff, resources, and troubleshooting. Sudden expenses can damage any business, especially when operating with a tight margin that may not offer the needed leeway. With outsourced managed IT services, the monthly rate isn’t impacted by unexpected events, and they already have the staff on hand to handle issues of any size.

14. Knowledgeable staff

With experience across a variety of industries, managed service providers have experience and insight that spans well beyond the reach of any individual business. Combined with a larger staff size, MSPs have specialists on board who have seen and handled nearly every type of problem. That gives them an advantage over in-house IT staff, who commonly have a limited scope of knowledge and understanding.

15. Scaling IT services

No two companies are perfect copies of each other. They have differences in clientele, employees, work environment, software flow, growth rate, and other factors. With this, every IT situation is different and is continually changing at different speeds. With a larger pool of staff and knowledge to draw from, managed IT services can scale with the size and costs of a business. Whether a small start-up company or an established corporation, MSPs can match different needs and circumstances.

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