As organisations plan their route to success, the role of IT in enabling business growth and gaining competitive advantage cannot be overstated. Investing in a good IT infrastructure can be the difference between success and disruption. However, creating a solid strategy, recruiting and retaining top IT talent, and having the resources for ongoing management and innovation is challenging.
In this blog, we’ll discuss these challenges and explore how working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can help ensure organisations can stay ahead of the curve.
Staying up-to-date with the latest technologies: the rapid pace of technological advancement calls for constant awareness of new developments. This includes understanding and implementing new software and hardware, assessing their relevance and potential impact on the business, and ensuring they integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure.
Managing cyber security risks: as digital landscapes evolve, so too do the threats they host. Cyber security risks are a persistent concern for IT infrastructure management. These risks can range from phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware, to advanced persistent threats. Mitigation requires continuous monitoring, threat intelligence, and robust security measures.
Ensuring system availability and reliability: system downtime can heavily impact a business, leading to lost revenue, customers, and credibility. This makes system availability and reliability a priority in IT infrastructure management. It includes strategies such as redundancy, backup, disaster recovery planning, and regular system health checks.
Dealing with data: the increase in business data - its volume, velocity and variety, poses a significant challenge. This data needs to be stored, managed, and analysed effectively to extract meaningful insights. Hence, strategies for data management, including the adoption of data analytics tools, efficient storage solutions, and effective data governance policies, are essential.
Cost and resource implications: the cost of maintaining and upgrading IT infrastructure can be substantial. This extends beyond the financial aspect to include the time and human resources necessary to manage the infrastructure. Smaller firms may struggle to allocate these resources effectively, making outsourcing or leveraging cloud solutions viable strategies.
Introducing Managed Service Providers
Outsourcing IT to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) has become an increasingly popular strategy for organisations of all sectors and sizes, as they can help overcome many of the challenges detailed above and offer an array of benefits. These include:
Extensive industry experience and expertise: Managed Service Providers (MSPs) bring to the table a wealth of industry experience and technical knowledge. With their vast exposure to diverse IT environments, they can quickly diagnose and rectify issues, minimising downtime and disruption to your operations. Their technical expertise ensures that they can handle a wide variety of IT tasks, from routine maintenance to complex problem-solving, freeing up your internal team to focus on core business objectives.
Up-to-date technology solutions: in the fast-paced world of IT, keeping up with the latest technology trends can be a daunting task. MSPs, however, are continuously updating their knowledge and skills, allowing them to provide you with the most up-to-date technology solutions. In addition to implementing new technologies, MSPs ensure that these integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, streamlining your operations and enhancing productivity.
Robust cyber security solutions: with cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated, robust cyber security solutions are crucial. MSPs typically have dedicated security teams who are well-versed in the latest cyber security best practices. They provide continuous monitoring and threat detection, swiftly responding to any potential risks to protect your system. Furthermore, they offer proactive cyber security measures, including regular vulnerability assessments, security awareness training, and state-of-the-art security tools, ensuring your system's resilience against threats.
Cost-effectiveness: maintaining an in-house IT team can be expensive, with costs relating to recruitment, training, salaries, and benefits. MSPs, on the other hand, offer a wide range of services at a fixed monthly cost, providing you with predictable IT expenditure. This shift from capital expenditure to an operational expenditure model can significantly enhance your financial flexibility, allowing for more strategic allocation of resources. With an MSP, you only pay for the services you need, allowing you to scale up or down based on your business needs, thus achieving optimised cost-efficiency.
Whilst working with a Managed Service Provider can clearly be advantageous, they are not all on a level playing field or the right fit for your business. You will need to take several factors into account when selecting a partner to ensure they are best-placed to help you achieve your objectives.