Organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on information technology, but they rarely have the experience and expertise to implement and maintain modern IT solutions on their own.
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, there are also many myths that 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 huge CapEx investment, doesn’t have any significant OpEx costs associated with it.
That’s, of course, not true at all. In fact, a major part of the costs associated with in-house IT is related to the OpEx aspect, and it includes everything from the electricity bill to day-to-day maintenance, backups, and other administrative tasks, which have to be performed by someone knowledgeable and experienced (meaning expensive to employ).
A few years ago, a Cisco study revealed that MSPs could actually 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
A lot has been said and written about third-party data breaches recently, which happen when important 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 experienced already, so it’s not like there isn’t anything to worry about.
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 that it makes the organization less secure overall.
There are many other threats organizations of all sizes must actively protect themselves against, including phishing, insider breaches, ransomware, attacks on IoT devices, and zero-days. A cybersecurity savvy MSP can equip its customers with state-of-the-art defenses and hands-on training to keep these and other 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 major outage and become unable to provide their 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 they are 100 percent legitimate. That’s why all reputable MSPs clearly define the level of service customers can expect, as well as the metrics by which that service is measured, in a service-level agreement (SLA).
A strong SLA provides a satisfactory level of control, and 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. It’s possible that this myth stems from the fact that enterprises and large organizations, in general, have historically been among the first to embrace innovative business practices.
Today, all organizations are required to embraced 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 they may be.
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 to the table a slightly different set of skills and experience. There are MSPs that focus exclusively on cybersecurity, MSPs that help organizations make the switch to the cloud, and MSPs that do it all.
When you zero in your focus on a specific category of managed services providers, you’ll quickly discover major differences in the SLAs they provide, the industry best practices and standards they adhere to, as well as their willingness to meet your expectations.
At Aligned Technology Solutions we have established ourselves as a leading provider of managed services to Department of Defense contractors, healthcare organizations, and non-profits/associations. We thrive in these areas because we have decades of experience with them and because we’re driven by a deep desire to help our customers thrive.
Schedule a free consultation and discover how we can help you too.