Almost every business operating today requires an IT department, or some level of IT expertise – but not every business is fortunate enough to have that expertise readily available to them. Hiring IT technicians can be a costly exercise, and taking other team members away from their nominal roles can lead to a downturn in productivity.
That’s why many SMBs are turning to Managed IT Service providers (MSPs). By outsourcing this part of the business, they can ensure they have affordable and reliable access to the support they need, 24/7.
Of course, there are businesses out there that aren’t sure if partnering with an MSP is worth it – and you may work at one of these. Ultimately, it comes down to understanding the cost of downtime and being able to measure the value of improved efficiency.
In this blog, we’ll unpack these questions, allowing you to better evaluate the risk and reward for your business. Keep reading to learn more.
What are the benefits of Managed IT Services?
Before you can truly measure the value of Managed IT, it’s important to understand the benefits. We’ve covered some of the key advantages of outsourcing your IT to a provider (like, say, Spirit).
Freeing up staff
One of the most well-known benefits to outsourcing in general is freeing up your staff for other things – and Managed IT Services is no exception. Not only will your team be able to focus on their primary role, they’ll also have more time to innovate. This ensures your company is running more efficiently, and focusing on projects related to its core objectives.
Keep pace with new technology
It can be difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest when it’s not your area of expertise. But by working with a Managed IT Services provider, you’ll have access to specialists and technically skilled engineers, ensuring your organisation is always able to implement the latest technology and security.
Technology moves fast – and some businesses move even faster. For example, your business could be experiencing rapid growth, or you could be a retailer that needs to increase capacity over the holidays. Either way, it’s crucial to be able to scale up or down depending on demand. Having a Managed IT Services provider allows for additional resources, whenever they’re required.
Shifting the burden of compliance
Many organisations are required to meet data privacy, security and reporting standards. The regulations vary depending on the industry and type of data, but each comes with serious repercussions should your business be found noncompliant. That’s why shifting the burden of compliance is an often overlooked, but extremely valuable benefit of outsourced Managed IT Services.
The 9-to-5 workday is old news. If your customers need around-the-clock access to your services, then you need the same from your Managed IT Services provider. What if you were to suffer a cyber attack overnight? What if your server crashed over the weekend? By having 24/7 access to your MSP, you’ll be able to quickly resolve any concerns that may arise, ensuring your customers have the access they need at all times.
Predictable monthly costs
In-house IT departments come with a lot of unexpected costs. Not only will you need to pay wages, but you’ll need to budget for network maintenance, storage and security. You must also be able to train staff, deploy systems and manage equipment. By outsourcing this to a Managed IT Services provider, you can break down your costs into fixed monthly payments, as opposed to large capital expenditures.
How can you measure the ROI?
It’s all well and good us telling you that those are the benefits of outsourcing your Managed IT Services, but how do you measure them? If you can’t truly understand the return on investment for your business, then you may never feel like you’re getting any value for money.
One of the easiest ways to measure ROI is by doing cost comparison. Simply list all of the IT issues your business has faced in the past year and determine what the cost was to resolve each issue. This should include the following:
- IT technician wages
- Time staff were unable to work
- Third-party repairs (if any)
Once you have a total cost for the year, compare that price with the total you would have paid for Managed IT Services – what’s winning so far?
Of course, this cost comparison is only telling a small part of the story. To truly measure the value of Managed IT Services, you need to understand the cost of downtime.
What is the real cost of downtime?
In 2018, Forbes reported that organisations lost an average of $100,000 for every hour of downtime on their websites.1 Another study estimated that downtime can cost on average $5,600 per minute.2
Whether it’s your website, your EFTPOS terminals or your ticketing systems, if the technology you rely upon to do business goes down, you are losing money. Simply look back to 2016, when more than 60 Myer stores across Australia were cash-only for six hours as a result of a Telstra outage.3 As this was the final day of the store’s midyear sale, this led to serious financial implications for the company.
But it’s not just large organisations that are impacted by downtime. SMBs are just as likely to be at risk, and can lose just as much money. It all depends on how much a conversion is worth to your business – and how many you typically make in, well, minutes.
How to evaluate the risk to your business
If you haven’t already, your business needs to develop a business-continuity plan. It should outline your response to an array of potential scenarios, including the costs involved.
Following this, the Managing Director or CEO of the business, alongside the senior leadership team, should be able to evaluate just how likely certain scenarios are to actually happen – and how many resources should be invested in their prevention or potential recovery.
Is Managed IT Services worth the return on investment for your business? Only you truly know the answer.
Finding the right partner
Like most investments, it’s only as good as the supplier you choose. At Spirit, we partner closely with our customers to ensure you get the support you need when you need it most. By tailoring our services to your business requirements, you’ll easily be able to measure the value of Managed IT Services.
Get in touch with one of our specialists today for a free audit of your business’ current IT setup. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.