Updated: January 13, 2023
4-minute read time
Organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on information technology, but they rarely have the experience and expertise to implement and maintain modern IT solutions independently.
A partnership with a managed services provider (MSP) seems like the most obvious solution, but there’s a lot of conflicting information floating on the web that suggests otherwise.
While it’s true that some legitimate downsides associated with outsourcing to an MSP exist, many myths don’t at all reflect reality, and we’re here to dispel them.
Myth #1: Outsourcing Is More Expensive than Doing Everything Internally
Many decision-makers worry that outsourcing to an MSP would drain their limited IT budgets. Their reasoning is often based on a flawed assumption that in-house IT while requiring a vast capital expenditure (CapEx) investment, has no significant operational expenditure (OpEx) costs.
That’s, of course, not true at all. Most of the costs associated with in-house IT are related to the OpEx aspect. It includes everything from the electricity bill to day-to-day maintenance, backups, and other administrative tasks, which must be performed by someone knowledgeable and experienced (meaning expensive to employ).
A few years ago, a Cisco study revealed that MSPs could help customers realize a 40 percent reduction in IT expenditures. That explains why the top reason that organizations opt to work with MSPs (chosen by 51 percent of respondents to Infrascale’s survey) is to save costs.
Myth #2: MSPs Make Their Customers Less Secure
Much has been said and written about third-party data breaches, which happen when vital data is stolen from a third-party vendor or when the vendor’s access rights are used to infiltrate protected systems.
According to a report released by SecureLink and Ponemon Institute, a data breach caused by a third party is something 51 percent of organizations have already experienced. So, businesses must remain vigilant.
But just because a partnership with an MSP increases the likelihood of one specific cyber threat capable of causing a data breach doesn’t mean it makes the organization less secure overall.
There are many other threats organizations of all sizes must actively protect themselves against, including:
A cybersecurity-savvy MSP can equip its customers with state-of-the-art defenses and hands-on training to keep these threats at bay, making them less likely to suffer a costly and reputation-damaging data breach.
Myth #3: Organizations That Outsource Lose Control Over Their IT
Most organizations rely on their IT infrastructure, so the mere thought of depending on a third party when it comes to its management may be daunting, to say the least. What if the MSP goes out of business? What if they suddenly experience a significant outage and cannot provide services?
These and other questions are what many small business owners think about when deciding whether outsourcing to an MSP is a good idea and whether they are 100 percent legitimate. That’s why all reputable MSPs clearly define the level of service customers can expect and the metrics by which that service is measured in a service-level agreement (SLA).
A robust SLA provides a satisfactory level of control. Organizations are free to increase it further by maintaining an internal IT team to manage certain aspects of day-to-day operations and, if necessary, step in when the MSP fails to meet the SLA.
Myth #4: Providers of Managed Services Target Only Large Enterprises
Small and medium-sized businesses sometimes don’t take advantage of managed services because they believe that MSPs are interested only in partnerships with large enterprises. This myth may stem from the fact that enterprises and large organizations, in general, have historically been among the first to embrace innovative business practices.
Today, all organizations must embrace digitalization to maintain their ability to compete, and they have a limited set of resources to work with. MSPs are more than happy to help them meet their IT needs, however complex or straightforward.
One IT area where outsourcing to a managed services provider has already become the norm is cybersecurity. Kaspersky’s new study of more than 5,000 IT professionals, called Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey, discovered that 70 percent of organizations in 2021 plan to supplement their internal IT security teams during the next 12 months. These organizations know that MSPs can provide them with the same enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions they provide to actual enterprises.
Myth #5: There are Minimal Differences Between Managed Services Providers
It’s true that some MSPs offer the same white-label products and endorse the same solutions and services, such as Microsoft 365 or Azure. But it would be unfair to say that all MSPs are the same.
To start with, each MSP brings a slightly different set of skills and experience to the table, such as:
- MSPs that focus exclusively on cybersecurity
- MSPs that help organizations make the switch to the cloud
- MSPs that do it all
When you zero in your focus on a specific category of managed services providers, you’ll quickly discover significant differences in the SLAs they provide, the industry best practices and standards they adhere to, and their willingness to meet your expectations.