Thought of the Week: Partner or Perish. SMBs and MSPs Should Forge Stronger Partnerships

Traditionally, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have relied solely on their in-house IT department to coordinate, manage and maintain the technology systems supporting their business operations. At the time, this also made sense – why seek external help when you have internal tech-related support?

However, as times have changed organizations have increasingly started to see the benefits of outsourcing their IT functions to managed service providers (MSPs)

These days, limited funds, lack of in-house expertise, and limited bandwidth are just a few of the issues that SMBs experience. Additionally, SMBs do not offer crucial functions such as application management, disaster recovery, or network security.  MSPs, on the other hand, are experts at solving these issues. They take care of the essential responsibilities of the organization while allowing personnel and management to focus on mission-critical processes, without compromising business grown. Managed IT services allow an SMB to do more with less. With such a clear advantage and opportunity for collaboration, isn’t it time for SMBs and MSPs to foster tighter partnerships? If these reasons are not convincing, let’s consider some statistics:

  • SMBs are currently the principal targets of cybercrime;
  • 55% of SMBs have experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months;
  • SMBs spent hundreds of thousands of dollars because of damage or theft of IT asses and the accompanying disruption of operations; and
  • 67% of SMBs cite inadequate staff, 54% insufficient budgets and 44% lack enabling security technology, to name but a few.

Markets and Markets’ market research report predicts that the MSP market will undergo a significant growth with a compound annual growth rate of 14.8%, from $17.79 billion to $35.53 billion by 2020. The major drivers for this growth include cybercrime, increased compliance requirements and data protection laws, staff and budget constraints, increased adoption of cloud services and the increased complexity of network security point products.

What can MSPs do for SMBs?

 Generally, MSPs can provide the following services to SMBs:

  • maintain IT equipment including server management;
  • oversee software updates and patches;
  • provide IT helpdesk support to MSB in-house team; and
  • manage compliance and data backups.

The majority of MSPs run on a monthly subscription model which means you pay a fixed amount for an agreed set of support services – no nasty financial surprises.

The time for SMB and MSP partnerships has arrived. With increased and more sophisticated threats, the onrush of the Internet of Things and dwindling resources, outsourcing to a trusted and established MSP is the smart way to ensure business resilience and survival. All businesses needs are unique, and IT can never be a one size fits all. The advantage of using an MSP is the flexibility of only outsourcing specific modules and so improve business productivity.