As your business continues to grow, it’s natural to focus all of your energy on increasing revenue, growing the team, creating a great customer experience and more. And that machine that’s running behind the scenes powering your business can sometimes be forgotten or neglected. 

But did you know? While it can be easy to neglect IT, doing so can be a costly mistake that could leave you vulnerable to losing millions of dollars (according to IBM’s data breach report from 2021). Yet, for many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), ballooning IT costs and scalability issues can make it difficult for them to secure the IT support they need.

As a small business owner, it's likely that you have heard a lot of talk about the benefits of outsourcing IT. And likely it's because many SMBs have chosen to switch to outsourced IT services in the last couple of years in an effort to improve security and control IT costs. 

If you are not familiar with managed IT services and the benefits they can provide to small businesses, you may wonder if outsourcing IT is the right move. To help you make this decision, here is a look at 7 signs that it is time for you to partner with a managed service provider (MSP).       

Limited IT Budget/Unpredictable IT Costs

Managing an in-house IT department can be extremely expensive. As you continue to expand your business, you may find that IT expenses balloon out of control and/or vary greatly from one month to the next. Fortunately, partnering with an MSP can help you to bring IT costs under control.

Rather than having to hire, train, and maintain an in-house IT team, partnering with an MSP allows you to pay for the IT services you need, as you need them. This can be a relief for small businesses with a limited IT budget and can help them to better predict and budget for their IT expenses each month.

Additionally, since the costs of hiring, onboarding, and maintaining IT personnel are spread across the MSPs' customers, IT services provided through an MSP are often much more affordable than maintaining an in-house IT department, helping you to scale back ballooning IT costs. 

You Cannot Keep Up With Growing IT Demand

Another clear sign that you should consider outsourcing your company's IT needs is if you are continually struggling to scale your IT department to meet your company's growing needs. For businesses going through phases of rapid growth, it can be extremely difficult to keep up with IT demands, as it is impossible to expand an IT department overnight. In fact, you may find that each time you hire new personnel and expand infrastructure, demand is already outpacing your IT department's capacity. This is where it can be extremely beneficial to partner with a managed service provider.

When you work with an MSP, it's extremely easy to scale your IT services to meet your company's ever-changing needs. MSPs have the resources to quickly meet changes in demand.

You're Experiencing Frequent Downtime

A clear sign that your IT department is not keeping up with demand is if you are experiencing frequent network downtime. In fact, downtime can actually be a sign that your current IT strategy is insufficient/failing, and extended periods of downtime can actually begin to impact your bottom line. Not only can system downtime be costly, causing businesses to lose an average of $10,000 per hour, but frequent downtime can also negatively impact your credibility, which could further impact your business.

If you are experiencing network downtime regularly, it's time to switch to outsourced managed IT services. An MSP can help you to better scale your services to meet your needs, and they will come up with a plan to restructure your IT strategy to ensure that it is streamlined and efficient.

You Want to Work With Experienced IT Professionals

For SMBs, recruiting top talent can be one of the most difficult aspects of maintaining an in-house IT department. While finding experienced, qualified IT personnel is essential in ensuring your business's continued security and productivity, it can be difficult for many small business who are not technology-focused to attract the right talent. Additionally, with limited resources and continually strained IT budgets, SMBs often are not able to compete with large corporations for top talent. 

when working with a managed service provider,  MSPs have the resources and experience to scout out top talent, and they provide continuous training in order to ensure their IT personnel are up-to-date on the latest industry advancements. When you work with an MSP, you can feel rest assured knowing that you are getting the best IT services for your money, as MSPs only work with the most experienced IT professionals. 

You Want to Stay on Top of The Latest Advancements

One of the most frustrating things about maintaining an in-house IT department is how fast things move in the IT industry. But staying on top of the latest technology is critical in helping to ensure that you stay productive and are properly protected from the latest cyber threats. Oftentimes, SMBs don't time and money to research and invest in the latest advancements in IT. 

That's where an MSP can benefit. An MSP can help you to stay on top of the latest technology with resources to research, develop, and implement new strategies to improve efficiency and build up their clients' cyber defenses. You'll feel confident that you will have access to the latest technology and security strategies - helping to boost productivity, minimize downtime, and maximize security.

Your Focus is In The Wrong Place

As a business owner, your primary focus should be on continuing to grow and expand your business. But if you are trying to maintain an in-house IT department, your focus might be on trying to keep up with the IT demands instead. Not only would you be worrying about staffing your IT department, but you may also find yourself spending time on small, one-off issues.

Any time you put into maintaining your company's IT department and infrastructure is time that could be spent on your core business. 

An experienced MSP will have more than enough resources to handle all of your company's IT needs, allowing you and your staff to focus all of your attention on growing your business. If you continually find your focus being diverted to IT problems, it may be time to consider outsourcing to an MSP. 

You Want Peace of Mind

Of course, perhaps the greatest benefit of working with a managed service provider is the peace of mind. For many small business owners, trying to keep up with growing IT demands and managing an in-house IT department can become an increasingly costly, time-consuming, and stressful. With a limited IT budget, you will likely find yourself wasting precious time working on IT tasks, and with limited resources, you may find yourself constantly worrying about whether or not you are doing enough to protect your company and keep it running.

Outsourcing your company's IT needs can then lift a significant weight off of your shoulders with your needs being looked after by experts in the field. 

For SMBs who still maintain an in-house IT department, outsourcing their IT needs to a managed service provider can provide them with superior services at an affordable price, ensuring that they have access to the IT services they need as their business continues to grow.

At Ripple, we know that it can be difficult to know what the right option is for your business, so book some time with our team for a free 30-minute consult and learn if managed IT services are right for your company.   

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