There are essentially three different ways to hire IT professionals for your business. The one type model is Break/Fix, which means you have an issue, call/hire them to fix the issue and then pay(usually by the hour), and that is the end of the relationship. You won't hear from them until the next time you have an issue. For small businesses, this is a great strategy. You only pay by the hour, for exactly what you need. As your business grows however, you may find yourself lacking from this type of relationship. You may even find yourself hiring someone full-time for IT. This essentially is the second way to hire. The other business model is Managed IT or as we liked to call it, MSP(Managed Services Provider). This type of relationship is different. You will meet with them and vet them out to make sure their goals will align with yours. Once hired, they are expected to act as your in-house IT staff, and perform the duties necessary. They usually charge on a per device/user model in a monthly invoice.
Essentially they should slot into the business organizational chart as the Chief Technology Officer all the way down to the bottom rung of the IT staff. They should be taking an inventory of all computers, firewalls, routers, servers, Wi-Fi access points, etc. They should be alerting you when it is time to replace computers and servers. They should also maintain anti-virus software and windows updates. Also expect remote software so they can access the computers to resolve issues. Monitoring software is generally installed to also look for crashes and ways to better manage your computers. They should absolutely also come up with an IT plan for your business and adjust that plan as your business changes and hopefully grows.
So why hire an MSP over a full-time IT employee? Well, most companies don't have enough work for someone to handle IT full time. MSP pricing models are based on exactly that. Let's say company A has 20 employees, and company B has 100 employees. Well, company A may only need 7 hours of IT work per week, while company B has 35 hours of IT work per week. Neither one of them actually has enough work for a full-time IT professional, and they will end up overpaying on that. Even when you do have enough hours for an in-house IT staff member, you also need to pay them paid time off, employment taxes, healthcare, sick time, and even workers compensation. That will drive their actual employment cost through the roof. Lastly, when they do end up taking a vacation, you are left scrambling if there are any issues with the computers/network. Good luck trying to get them to answer their phone while traveling! Outsourcing IT to Managed IT, will solve these problems. The managed IT company will usually have several staff members that are always on call. Their pricing should also be comparably less expensive than having in-house IT, but most certainly more expensive then break/fix support. They also won't require any benefits, and are responsible to have their own insurance. Lastly, there is no such thing as an issue with IT staff on vacation. When a tech at an MSP takes a vacation, the other staff members are ready to take over and handle the issues that arise.
As you grow, your IT needs change. This can happen drastically actually. Let's say you perfect your business model and now are ready to open more locations. You will need someone who knows exactly how to handle getting the new location set up and ready. Will you need VPNs, Point-to-Point networking, Cloud management, or what? Your Managed IT will provide the answers and act as your CTO to handle the planning, development and deployment of what you need performed. Businesses also don't just grow all the time, they can also contract. Managed IT can also handle downsizing and or simplifying the network. As you grow/downsize, your IT expenses should change too. This is why Managed IT usually charges by the amount of users/devices. Want to know what your IT cost will be if your business grows? It will usually be laid out by the MSP and really easy to plan accordingly.
Our business model is pretty well laid out above. We focus on your goals and follow what you should expect above. Every business is different, and we are extremely flexible with planning accordingly. Our goals will meet yours, and together we will succeed. We offer lightning-fast remote support sessions with average ticket times of 15 minutes, 24/7 availability, monitoring of computers and servers to find issues before they become downtime problems, strategic IT planning, and much more. We have a staff of 7 that are always ready and available to help. Contact us today to schedule a meeting to see how we can help with your business needs.