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Does Your Business Need an IT Managed Services Provider?

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There are several common challenges we hear when discussing the role of a managed services provider (MSP). Some of these scenarios will probably sound familiar.

A Toledo-based business has 50 employees, and the sole on-site IT manager whose primary role isn't tech support, is responsible for managing IT affairs. This IT manager, who also serves as a software developer, carries a substantial workload that includes help desk-related duties like troubleshooting issues related to email and printers.

“But we have someone on staff, we don’t need IT managed services.” We hear this sometimes, too. 

Then there is the security question. The business lacks 24/7 monitoring, so threats can quickly escalate into full-blown cyber attacks that cause financial and reputational damage. 

What if an IT manager wants to take a vacation? 

What if a Chief Information Officer (CIO) finds a job opportunity elsewhere and leaves your business? Who will fill in while you search for a replacement, and how will you train this new person? 

As for cost, can you afford additional IT support staff on payroll with benefits, plus the cost of resources like disaster recovery backup, software licensing, storage, cyber monitoring and end-point detection? 

There can be gaps that exist even with an IT manager on staff, which can expose organizations to significant liabilities. Especially if that person is the only one on staff that understands technology. There are no checks and balances!

In fact, a managed service provider supports your internal IT staff with technical expertise and resources, giving you the flexibility to scale up or down as your IT needs evolve. Yes, an MSP can serve as a single source for support and IT leadership. But in most cases, we work as an always-on, around-the-clock go-to for everything from server support to network management, troubleshooting, proactive patching and cybersecurity. 

Does your company need an IT managed services provider? Here are some factors to consider. 

How IT Managed Service Providers Support Your Business 

Can your internal IT staff provide instantaneous alerts and threat detection 24/7/365? What about offering employees a help desk so tech problems do not prevent productivity? When your IT manager goes home, even if it’s late evening, who’s watching over your IT infrastructure and devices for nefarious actors, phishing attacks, ransomware and a growing list of cyber threats

If your company employs an IT manager, this is one person. They have strengths and weaknesses in different IT disciplines, and probably a family at home and a life outside of work. “Always on” with one person just isn’t possible. 

Plus, keeping up with the latest, most secure IT best practices is a struggle for most businesses, let alone an individual. 

Across industries, every business has IT needs. Most are underserved because there is no way to cover all of your IT bases with a single employee, no matter how talented. 

Tech Support: Fulfilling Help Desk Needs

We hear it all the time. IT managers and CIOs for Toledo, Ohio regional businesses often get bogged down with support requests when their focus is supposed to be on IT strategy, development, process improvement, engineering and other big-picture endeavors. There are not enough hours in a day to do it all. 

When an IT manager is distracted with help-desk inquiries, tech support takes away from profit-driving initiatives. Meanwhile, productivity and revenue-driving activities decrease because a team member’s system is “down.” Even technical questions or adding new software becomes a burden when there is one or no IT staff member on site. 

At DMC, we offer efficient, responsive, always-on IT diagnosis and support. A reputable MSP should offer communication options, including in-person support if necessary or preferred. Around-the-clock IT support solves IT problems and prevents business interruptions. 

An MSP to Protect Servers and Workstations 

The threat is real. And it’s growing. Today’s dynamic cybersecurity environment is introducing sophisticated attacks, and often the “open door” to your data occurs because of network security vulnerabilities, and expired antivirus protection and licenses. We get it. You have other mission-critical tasks on deck to manage for your operations. 

This is where an IT managed services provider like DMC can step in and ensure there are no gaps in protection with license renewals, server antivirus software and installation management. We suggest that every business have real-time scanning to detect and block threats. Are these tasks you want to pile on to in-house IT staff? 

Also consider that not all MSPs include the cost of tools in the fee, but DMC does include these costs so you are not paying extra.

Along those lines, when maintenance agreements for hardware and software expire, this leads to more downtime and a loss of return on your tech investments. An MSP can oversee and manage agreements so you can focus on running your business. 

At DMC, we handle agreement procurement, documentation and expiration date tracking. Have questions about which vendor can provide the best value? A trusted IT managed services provider can offer consultative advice, including evaluating new and current vendors. 

IT Managed Services Elevates Cybersecurity 

The single most in-demand IT career right now is cybersecurity, and the reason is because this is the number one demand among businesses that recognize the risk and vulnerability. At DMC, we implement 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring across all devices and are constantly watching for suspicious behavior. Alerts are triggered and response is immediate. 

In one case, in less than 10 minutes we identified a threat for a client and contacted their on-site IT manager, who disconnected the at-risk workstation and prevented a potential disaster. 

If you plan on monitoring your systems in-house, what happens if an IT manager is out sick, on vacation or sound asleep? Who’s detecting? Who’s responding? Also, are you aware of the latest cybersecurity tools designed for today’s sophisticated threats? 

We recommend partnering with an IT managed service provider that includes monitoring as part of its package, not as an add-on (this is often the case, so ask the question). At DMC, we partner with a specialist in security endpoint monitoring for an even more secure experience. 

Weighing the Cost of IT Managed Services 

Can your business afford an IT managed services partner? Cost is always a consideration, and we recognize that businesses of all sizes operate on a budget and must steward dollars wisely. But there are some common misconceptions related to the cost of working with an MSP for IT services and support. 

If you add the cost of an IT professional’s salary along with critical IT tools, there is a significant savings when you partner with an IT managed services provider. 

Another cost factor is insurance. Cybersecurity coverage is essential for businesses, and insurers are now also requiring organizations to put cybersecurity frameworks in place. The Federal Trade Commission suggests finding out whether your cyber insurance provider will defend you in a lawsuit, provide coverage beyond existing insurance, and offer a breach hotline that is always available. DMC works with clients to identify ways to ensure compliance to cybersecurity insurance policies so you don’t find out after the fact that a requirement is missing that will void your coverage. 

We recommend looking for an MSP that employs engineers and IT specialists with a range of expertise. This way, you’re hiring the power of 10 or more high-level technical experts for one monthly fee that is almost always less than an IT manager's salary. When you have a consultative partner on your side who is dedicated to advancing your IT posture, you can focus on your clients, your bottom line and your growth. 

IT Strategy and Planning for Upgrades 

How could generative artificial intelligence (AI) benefit cybersecurity and help desk support at your business? This is a question more companies are asking as AI is a major headliner that is escalating. Aside from AI, what other technological advances could drive profitability and efficiency in your business? These are questions you can ask an IT managed services provider with a multi-disciplinary, experienced team. 

A proactive MSP will arrange IT strategy meetings with your company, along with annual business reviews and budget planning sessions. When an IT managed services provider is involved in critical short and long-term strategic planning meetings, they can bring innovative solutions to the table that align with your goals.

The Best IT Managed Services Provider for Your Business 

We recommend asking these questions when comparing IT managed service providers for your business: 

  • What is your price structure? If you charge per user, what exactly is included? 
  • Are there co-management options? 
  • What cybersecurity measures do you use? 
  • What is your discovery process to customize an IT solution based on my needs?
  • What hardware and software do you recommend?
  • How often is the contract renewed?
  • Who are your vendor partners and how do you vet them? 
  • What accreditations and certifications do you have? Are you a Gold Microsoft Partner, IBM Business Partner or Dell Technologies Gold Partner? 
  • Can you provide a referral so I can talk to other companies that have worked with you?
  • Do you charge extra service fees for break fixes or is this included in a per-user fee? 
  • Do you offer IT budgeting and strategy consultation

At DMC Technology Solutions, we are committed to doing the right thing for our clients and providing a high level of services that meet their needs 24/7/365. We take pride in our talented staff of engineers and IT specialists with strong communication skills that allow us to develop long-term relationships with clients, who see us as a vested partner in their success. 

With an IT managed services partner, you can focus on your business and delegate IT responsibilities with the peace of mind that our team is on the same page and coordinates seamlessly with on-site IT staff if you have personnel in this role. 

Let’s talk. DMC’s expertise and industry knowledge can help your Toledo, Ohio based organization develop and execute a robust IT strategy that drives growth and innovation. Contact us to learn how.

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