For companies used to in-person IT departments and teams, the concept of using a managed service provider is a new one, and may provoke curious questions such as “what is the purpose of IT service continuity management?”, “What is included in managed  IT services?”, or even “ Why do companies outsource?” So what do managed IT solutions have to offer a modern business, both in the short term and the long term? The brief answer is quite a bit

Here are ten of the most important benefits of managed IT services for businesses that are on the fence or still debating the merits of shedding or supplementing an in-office IT team:

1) It’s all in the name: Managed IT service providers do not require oversight as they work, as they are self-governing. That means they can be held accountable for results and success, but won’t need to be onboarded, added to a payroll, or take up valuable HR efforts. They are a functioning and vital part of your overall business processes, but only add to, rather than take away from your resources. 

2) You’re protected, inside and out: Cyber security is one of the biggest benefits of managed IT services, because it represents such a risk profile in most modern businesses. When the news cycles are full of constant stories about breaches and ransomware, this is no small consideration. A managed service provider team can proactively monitor a company’s intranet and extranet for cyber threats, make recommendations for protections and processes, and respond rapidly if a security problem arises.

3) Compliance won’t keep you up at night: Whether your company only has a handful of bare-minimum compliance expectations or more involved issues like HIPAA to tangle with, managed services can help. Not only can a team alert your management that you may be falling short somewhere (before a stern notice from a government agency appears), it can also help you set up your company standard security practices to avoid future pitfalls.

4) Cloud-based services are easier: So, what are cloud management services anyways? While working “in the cloud” has become a bit of an overused buzzword in industry chatter, it’s popular for a good reason. As more of the workforce telecommutes and sets up home offices, and the cost of maintaining physical servers grows, using cloud-based services is becoming the standard. Managed service providers shine here – because working remotely goes hand-in-hand with this solution approach, cloud-based service management falls squarely in their wheelhouse. In fact, they may be able to recommend SaaS options and cloud-based services that will help you phase out outdated non-network software or expensive hardware that ages out quickly.

5) Predictable costs help your company plan: Unexpected costs can be devastating for an SMB, and are enough to make shareholders grumble in larger companies. Adding to an in-house IT department is seldom a one-time cost, and it can be hard to pinpoint how many seats to fill without triggering diminishing returns from HR and payroll. Using a managed IT services provider ensures that you’re only paying for the results and service you need, and won’t need to debate the cost-vs-merits of individual additions to IT.  

6) Scalable capability without growing pains: Success can be a double-edged sword when scalability enters the equation. Sourcing larger offices, the labor-intensive hiring and onboarding processes, determining which upgrades in software or hardware will be necessary. Because managed services have built-in tiers of service, they stand constantly ready to provide more with just a call or email. There are no periods of time-sink uncertainty or a need for guidance – they are just as adept at providing higher tiers of service as lower ones.

7) Comparative advantage holds true: Chances are that if you are seeking out managed IT providers, your company did not break into your industry and make a name for itself on IT capability. You’re good at what you currently do, whether that be wholesaling clothing, providing your own services, investments, or something else. Using a MSP means that you are freeing up resources and management to concentrate on what brings in profit, rather than the minutiae of business operations

8) Companies look and feel more businesslike: While managed service providers can step into already-defined roles and systems and keep momentum going, they can also rebuild those systems from scratch. Whether it’s designing employee onboarding, compliance with test-passing (e.g., cybersecurity practices or proprietary software proficiency), or simplifying the way both employees and vendors access a particular SaaS, MSPs can help.  

9) They make termination safer: As any enterprise can attest, letting employees go, whether performance-related or restructuring-triggered, is already a difficult, unpleasant process. MSPs ensure that it isn’t also a security risk: they work with your company operations to retire logins, close down user profiles, and turn off physical access keys to prevent former employees from accessing sensitive systems, whether by accident or intentionally.

10) They come with built-in expertise: Not only do in-house IT teams need to be individually vetted for skills, they also need to go through a collaboration period where they learn to work with their peers. MSPs already work as a unit, and all members of the team have been vetted and added on merit already – no unpleasant surprises await. That means you can rest assured that their team has been assembled based on results and performance.

If your company is currently debating the merits of using a managed service provider, or asking “What are the benefits of managed IT services?” in planning meetings with fair regularity, keep this list handy. While these are ten of the most obvious benefits to be had, there are many more that will support and help grow your business at every level. Outsourcing doesn’t only refer to products and creative endeavors that support your core business goals – it can help hold up your actual network structure, too!