Lifting the IT Burden: How Managed Service Providers help MSEs achieve digital transformation goals

By: UPSTACK, in partnership with Sourcepass

IT teams in mid-sized enterprises (MSEs) often struggle with limited resources. They might lack the robust infrastructure to support complex systems or face budget constraints that make investing in the latest tools difficult. MSEs often have smaller IT teams—sometimes only a single person—and their staff may not have specialized expertise to defend against the latest cybersecurity threats or ensure compliance with industry regulations and data protection laws. IT needs add up quickly; according to Gartner, it can take up to 16% of MSEs’ IT staff just to handle endpoint device management and service and help desk support services.

Without dedicated resources for strategic planning, MSEs can struggle to develop and implement effective IT strategies that align with their current business objectives, not to mention their future goals. As companies grow and their needs change, an accumulation of small choices can lead to an IT strategy that’s both complex and fragmented, says Nathan Taylor, Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions for Sourcepass. “A lot of companies have so many decisions they’ve made over time on technology, and trying to consolidate that into a concise vision that’s well thought out for the future is difficult,” he says.

What can an MSE do when it becomes obvious their IT team can’t do it all? In this article, we explore how partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSPs) can help lift the burden of overwhelming IT responsibilities for MSEs. As a result, they’re free to focus on core activities and high-impact initiatives instead of juggling day-to-day tasks.

Key benefits of MSPs

An MSP remotely manages and maintains a customer’s IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically under a subscription model. This can include everything from network monitoring, security management and data backup to software updates and helpdesk support.

The MSP approach is relatively new, but it’s already clear how offloading IT needs can be a game-changer for companies strapped for resources. Here are some of the main ways MSPs can benefit MSEs:

Expertise on demand

MSPs offer a pool of experts across various IT disciplines who can provide access to knowledge and skills that MSEs don’t have in-house. With 24/7 support, MSEs can draw on IT experts at any time to troubleshoot issues, handle emergencies or simply provide guidance. Internal IT teams can learn from this wealth of expertise, improving their own skill sets without extensive in-house training.

More bandwidth means more operational efficiency. With an MSP on hand to handle mundane tasks like system monitoring, patch management and user support, your internal IT team has more time and energy to put toward strategic planning, project implementation and innovation.

Security

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, which is why MSPs offer robust security solutions and dedicated teams to protect against potential data breaches and cyberattacks. Starting with security assessments, MSPs help you identify existing vulnerabilities and implement improvements such as firewalls, encryption and access controls. In the process, they also educate your teams on security best practices.

Through proactive threat detection and monitoring of systems, networks, and applications, MSPs identify potential security issues before they escalate, not after the fact. The preemptive approach is key, and includes disaster recovery plans that ensure your critical data remains protected and available during unexpected disruptions or system failures. Automated data backups stored off-site, in the cloud or at a separate location, prevent data loss from physical incidents such as fire or theft. Regular software updates ensure the latest antivirus and security patches are in place.

Scalability and flexibility

Digital transformation involves growth and change. MSPs provide easily scalable solutions that can be tailored to meet your business’s evolving needs, whether that means expanding operations, adopting new technologies, or both. Your IT team can then rapidly scale their limited resources without having to worry about staffing or budget fluctuations, upfront hardware investments or lengthy procurement processes.

MSPs offer elastic infrastructure solutions that leverage virtualization technologies and cloud computing resources. This on-demand flexibility makes it possible for MSEs to quickly adapt to growth opportunities or seasonal fluctuations with minimal risk of downtime or performance issues.

Cost savings

With all these benefits, it can be surprising that outsourcing services to MSPs is often more cost-effective than maintaining or expanding an in-house IT team. Many offer fixed monthly or annual pricing plans, which creates an OpEx model for IT with predictable monthly expenses, allowing you to budget for IT more accurately.

Outsourcing your IT needs to an MSP can represent significant cost savings. Pay-per-use pricing models means you only have to pay for the resources you actually use. You don’t have to spend the time and money to hire and train more full-time in-house staff—and software subscriptions, cybersecurity tools, risk advisory service and more are all included as part of the package.

Choosing an MSP

There are many options when it comes to MSPs, and not all are created equal. Choosing the right one is a critical decision, so it’s important to take your time, assess your requirements and find a partner who understands your company’s unique needs.

Make sure to evaluate the range of services an MSP offers, and whether they align with your organization’s goals. Check their track record in delivering results for other clients in your industry, and ask about their approach to cybersecurity, compliance and risk management. Do they have robust security practices and contingency plans in place, and do they have certifications such as ISO, SOC or PCI DSS that show a commitment to quality, security, and compliance?

Scalability is crucial, and the right partner should be able to accommodate your needs as your business grows. Round-the-clock support is also essential, since technical issues can arise at any time and a fast response can minimize downtime. Make sure the pricing model is clear up front to avoid surprises—check for auto-renewals and termination clauses—and review service-level agreements and contract terms carefully.

In the end, Taylor says, MSPs offer their customers expert IT support, top-notch security and flexibility—all while saving them money. “MSPs can play a pivotal role in simplifying complex technology challenges, consolidating costs and technology responsibilities, and helping to drive innovation forward as an integral part of the IT team for small and medium businesses,” he says.

UPSTACK: Empowering IT teams with tailored solutions

Feeling overwhelmed finding the perfect MSP for your MSE business? UPSTACK can help. Our team of experts simplifies the process by guiding you through the selection process, negotiating the best pricing, and ensure seamless integration with existing infrastructure. Contact UPSTACK today to find the best MSP for your organization.

Sourcepass: Driving digital transformation with Managed Services

sourcepass logo

Sourcepass, an MSP known for its expertise in cloud migration and automation, specializes in serving the needs of MSEs. They provide full infrastructure services, managed cybersecurity and 24/7/365 end user support. Sourcepass stands out for its nationwide coverage and proprietary Quest client platform, which makes it easy for clients to navigate their IT service experience. This mobile and web-enabled application includes customized reporting dashboards and self-service capabilities for end users to open and track tickets through multiple channels.

Sourcepass offers customers the operational rigor and deep expertise of a national MSP wherever they are. At the same time, also provide “intimacy at scale,” with the team-based support and regional familiarity of a small MSP. With over two thousand clients in more than twenty unique vertical markets, Sourcepass was named one of the world’s premier MSP in the prestigious 2023 Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings, and has been recognized by Gartner as a Notable Magic Quadrant ODWS service vendor in the mid-market space.

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