managed IT support

Benefits of Managed IT Support, and What to Know Before Hiring

Information technology (or IT) can be an intimidating prospect to deal with for many organizations. All too often, IT is something that nobody in an organization completely understands – which is understandable. After all, IT is a complex and broad field, and while it can take years to gain expertise in a particular aspect of the field, the nature of technology means that things are constantly changing. How can businesses possibly keep up? And what exactly is managed IT support?

When it comes down to it, there are essentially three options. The first is that businesses can do their best to cope without any IT support. They can invest in DIY solutions or simply ignore issues for as long as possible. Obviously, this approach can only be taken for so long before things start to go horribly wrong.

On the other hand, businesses could turn to hiring an internal IT employee or team. That team or person would then be responsible for addressing all of the organization’s IT needs – quite a large responsibility for that individual or team, and a significant investment for the business as well.

Luckily, there’s a third option – managed IT support providers. Managed providers are often the best option for many organizations.

Managed IT support providers are more affordable

Choosing a managed IT services provider simply gives businesses more bang for their buck, especially when compared with the option of hiring internal IT personnel. That’s because managed IT support teams offer all of the benefits of having an internal team – think instant availability, dedicated service, and intimate knowledge of your company’s systems – at a more efficient price.

One of the reasons why managed IT support providers are able to provide more affordable IT solutions is that there are no hidden costs associated with managed providers. Consider what’s necessary to maintain an employee; in addition to salary, there are vacation days, insurance fees, and training hours to account for.

Managed IT service providers don’t require any of that. At the end of the day, that allows them to be more cost-effective.

They have access to a larger knowledgebase

Not only are managed providers able to remain affordable, but they can also bring a much larger knowledgebase to the table than most internal employees are capable of. That’s because, by hiring an IT company, you’re hiring an entire bench of talented IT specialists. At Swift Systems, we have people who are experts in every aspect of IT support – from high-level network design to programming, across a breadth of systems and languages.

No matter what IT needs your company has, the best managed IT support providers will be able to help you solve them using their breadth of expertise. Having this kind of knowledge-base at your disposal provides your organization with the resources it needs to take things to the next level.

Managed IT services are easily expandable

And that brings us to expandability. The fact is that three years from now, there’s a good chance that your organization will look much different than it does today. And that’s a good thing. What wouldn’t be so good, though, is if your IT systems lagged behind your company’s growth – or even held you back. Failing to think long-term on IT solutions could pose serious issues for you down the road.
A managed IT services provider represents the easiest and most efficient way to ensure that your IT capabilities expand at the same rate as your company. Suppose you need to undertake a big project such as revamping your network to accommodate growth. With a managed provider, that’s no problem. By simply calling on the provider’s bench to utilize the additional people that your project might require, you’ll be able to meet any needs your organization might have – both now, and in the not-so-distant future.

Things to Know Before You Make a Final Decision

As businesses grow, so do their IT needs. While it may have been possible to make due with minimal attention to IT systems when your business only had a few employees, there comes a time when more IT help is needed. At this point, you’re faced with the question: should you hire IT staff, or choose to outsource your IT support?

It’s an important issue. After all, your IT systems can either contribute to the smooth running of your business or bring things screeching to a halt. So, what’s the right move?

Here’s the reality: outsourcing IT support is nearly always the better call for growing businesses.

Skill Set

When businesses consider hiring an internal IT employee, they often seek an individual with a skill set best suited to the current needs of the company. That’s great – for now. The problem, of course, is that the businesses making these hires are often growing, and will likely have different needs sooner rather than later. When businesses hire for the short term, they’re usually left scrambling to hire again much sooner than they expect.

Conversely, if businesses hire with an eye towards their future IT needs, their new employees are generally overqualified. That means that they’ll end up twiddling their thumbs in the short term – likely while being paid at levels that their utilization doesn’t justify.

The solution, of course, is to outsource IT support to a managed IT services provider. Managed providers like Swift Systems provide businesses with access to an entire bench of IT specialists that are available whenever they’re needed. Instead of struggling to find and develop the right skill set, businesses can rest assured knowing that their IT needs will always be met with the perfect match.

Cost

The second component to consider when hiring an internal IT employee is cost. Simply put, managed IT support providers are less expensive than hiring internally.

That fact is true in regards to upfront costs, but the disparity becomes even more pronounced when the hidden fees of internal employees are considered. First of all, there are the benefit costs that internal employees incur, like paid vacation time. Besides those, though, there are often training costs, too – especially if you’ve hired a skill set that will need to be expanded as the company expands.

The catch-22 when it comes to training is this: when you train your IT employee, not only are you often paying for the training itself, but you’re also increasing the value of the employee you train. That means that you’ll end up paying them more in order to keep them on staff. Eventually, it’s likely that you won’t be able to afford them, and they’ll leave for greener pastures where they can use their newfound skills to obtain their market value.

Often, the “greener pastures” that IT specialists find are managed service providers. Managed service providers can afford to pay them market value for their skills, while making sure that those skills are correctly utilized. The best managed IT service providers help to align IT skills with the places they’re needed at a cost that benefits the businesses involved.

That’s why using managed IT services is more cost effective – you get the services you need at a price that is lower than a standard IT salary, instead of paying for skills that your company won’t use often.

If you’re ready to choose a managed IT support provider, get in touch with us. At Swift Systems, we take pride in meeting all of your IT needs as your true technology partner.