IT Managed Services Provider: 8 Warning Signs It's Time to Hire an MSP

8 Warning Signs It's Time to Hire an IT Managed Services Provider

As innovation soars and IT environments become more complex, organizations struggle to find the time, money and resources to keep up with the changing technology landscape and growing demands of digital transformation. 

From big IT disasters threatening security and downtime to day-to-day issues impacting employee productivity, the cost of poorly managed IT services can cause severe repercussions throughout your entire business. Luckily, a solution is ready and waiting to help: a managed IT services provider (MSP). These vendors can do almost everything your in-house team probably cannot, saving you time and money while ensuring that technology always meets your company’s unique demands. Let’s take a closer look at what an IT managed services provider is and the key indicators that it’s time to hire one.

What is an IT Managed Services Provider?

An IT managed services provider is a third-party company that remotely manages one or more of your IT systems. They can offer any number of services, including monitoring and support for your whole IT environment, cybersecuritycloud migration, core infrastructure management, and desktop as a service

The main benefit of outsourcing to an IT managed services provider is that you can get all the benefits of having in-house staff without having the budget to hire new employees. Instead, you can focus your limited resources on what matters most: running your business. MSPs are also experts in their field, meaning they can do things your team might not be able to do.

8 Warning Signs It’s Time to Hire an MSP 

Many SMBs reach a point where they outgrow the resources of their in-house IT staff and consider bringing on an IT managed services provider (MSP).

If you’re an SMB, there are a few signs you can look out for that will indicate it’s time to work with an MSP.

Warning Sign #1: Downtime Happens Regularly

A significant concern for any business is downtime. Companies can experience millions of dollars in damages during technological failures and outages. According to Gartner, network downtime costs $5,600 per minute, extrapolating to well over $300K per hour. 

From instability of server hardware and outdated software to configuration complexity and security threats, there are numerous causes of IT downtime. Even if it’s only for 2 minutes at a time, if you’re experiencing downtime regularly, consider hiring an IT managed services provider. 

Warning Sign #2 – Your Systems are Unusually Slow 

Slow systems make even the simplest of tasks feel like a hassle and can quickly escalate frustration and hamper productivity across your workplace. If your systems take longer than usual to process requests, it could be caused by various situations, like outdated software, hard drive issues, malware or redundant or unused programs. 

An MSP can help you identify the root cause of the issue and take steps to improve system speed and prevent future performance issues.

Warning Sign #3 – You Experience Frequent System Crashes

Another warning sign that it’s time to call an MSP for help is frequent system crashes. System crashes are caused when the operating system fails to load correctly. This happens because of hardware failure, virus attacks, software malfunction, improper configuration settings, power outages, etc. If your systems are often crashing, it’s time to contact an MSP.

Warning Sign #4 – Security Threats are on the Rise

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is more important than ever before. As the threat of cyberattacks and data breaches continues to increase, organizations need to take proactive steps to protect their networks and data. If you’ve experienced a cyber attack or are not confident in your current security posture, it’s time to consider an IT managed services provider.

MSPs are certified and experienced security professionals who can protect your organization from devastating cyber threats to ensure your organization remains secure, productive and compliant.

Warning Sign #5 You’re Not Sure if Your Systems are Up-to-Date

Technology is constantly changing; therefore, staying up to date with updates and upgrades is essential. However, if you’re unsure if your systems are running the latest software or security updates, it’s time to consider using an IT managed services provider. MSPs always keep your systems up to date so you can avoid security risks and ensure that your systems are running smoothly.

Warning Sign #6 You Want to Better Control IT Expenses

Every IT investment comes with peripheral and unexpected costs. For example, you need networks, storage, and security. In addition, you must train staff, deploy systems and manage equipment. By outsourcing to an MSP, you can break down your cost into fixed monthly payments instead of the large capital expenditures of managing systems in-house. 

Warning Sign #7 You Don’t Have Dedicated IT Staff 

Often in small companies, employees have to wear multiple hats. However, just because you have a staff member that can fix some technical issues doesn’t mean they should. It might be time to allow an MSP to manage your data backups, keep track of your Microsoft licenses, or add and delete users from your network. Save your talented resources for strategic initiatives. 

Warning Sign #8 You Have IT Staff, But They are Overwhelmed

Many SMBs lack a dedicated IT team. Often, the team is just a single person taking on the roles of several IT personnel. This may work initially, but as your business grows, you’ll run into problems. If you find your IT staff are overburdened or don’t immediately have solutions for critical issues, you may need the help of an IT managed services provider.

Offloading routine tasks, such as system monitoring and patching to MSPs, enables in-house IT professionals to focus more on product development, improved operational efficiency, and other strategic endeavours essential to maintaining a competitive edge. But it’s not just routine tasks that managed service providers can handle; they also handle critical aspects of your IT environment like security monitoring, reporting and technical support, forecasting planning, etc., all of which free up internal resources.

Warning Sign #8 Your Team is Reactive, Not Proactive

Does your IT team only respond when there is a problem? If your IT staff only reacts to IT emergencies instead of working to prevent them in the first place, they aren’t using a proactive approach for your business.

Reactive IT support, or a ‘break-fix approach,’ is uneconomical and can lead to more issues that can take longer to fix, hindering your business’s productivity. Waiting until there is a problem for a preventable incident is often the direct result of an inexperienced, underqualified or lazy IT team.

An MSP will continuously work closely with your business to develop a strategy that evolves with your business, responds to technological changes, and informs you of the latest regulations and opportunities to implement best practices and keep your business running.

Wrapping Up

Knowing when to call an MSP for help is essential for any business. You can prevent significant system failures and costly downtime by watching the warning signs mentioned above. With an IT managed services provider  like Gibraltar on your side, you’ll be able to keep your IT systems running smoothly and your business operations running efficiently.

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