Managed Services Provider (MSP) Benefits Vs. Insourcing

Polar SystemsPolar Systems Blog

By Polar Systems


As your business grows, so does your IT needs. You may have to come to a decision on whether or not it would be best to hire an internal employee or outsource an IT company. Below are some real advantages to why outsourcing IT services may make the most sense for your organization.

Accountability and Reduced Risk
Every business investment carries a certain amount of risk. Managed Services Providers must mitigate risk to ensure profitability.   Doing this creates direct benefits to the clients of MSPs by way of things such as a more efficient work force calling into support less, proper backup to ensure quick recovery times in case of a hardware failure, proactive process to prevent problems from occurring and willingness to leverage known best practices to ensure infrastructure is running properly.   All of these best practices benefit both the client and the MSP.

IT Resource Capacity Planning
When is the right time to hire a System Admin, Network Admin, Helpdesk technician?   That’s the question many companies face when staffing their own IT department.  The answer is not an easy one to answer.  Often time’s companies end up with a blended approach whereas when resources are limited, a Systems Amin for example may be doing help desk work and not where their core experiences and competencies lie.   The reverse is true that a helpdesk technician may be asked to restore complex server configurations they may not be familiar with. Managed Services Providers have the ability to pull those resources on an on-demand basis and as needed.  For example if you are in need of a Systems Admin you can pull from the pool of resources available from the MSP.   This model maximizes experience to match the workload as appropriate.

Quickly Implement New Technology
A tenured and well-staffed outsourced IT service organization will have the resources to start new projects right away. We often see executives and leaders use IT staff for projects that don’t fit their best abilities.  Attempting to handle the same project in-house pulls resources away from the day-to-day support activities, so user support can suffer.  Project quality can also suffer as internal staff have their focus pulled from project to supporting users.

MSP’s usually don’t use the same staff for delivering both project work and support work.  Handling the same project in-house might involve weeks or months to hire the right people, train them, and provide the support they need. For most implementations, quality IT companies will bring years of experience in the beginning saving time and money.

Level the Playing Field vs. THE BIG GUYS
Small businesses can’t always afford to match the in-house support services that larger companies maintain. Why? The scalability is just not there.  Outsourcing can help small companies act “big” by giving them access to the similar technology and expertise that large companies enjoy. An independent third party managed cost structure and economy of scale can give your company a competitive advantage

Compliance and Security
Security and Compliance are important to every organization regardless of what regulations you may or may not face.  Keeping your infrastructure up to date and secure is a constant struggle for organizations abroad.  You have both internal (employee) and external security (the bad guy) issues that drive technology decision. Are you choosing the right solutions?

With an MSP they have the resources to dedicate best practices in the security space and help clients leverage that specific knowledge to ensure that the infrastructure stays current and protects the environment properly.   Having a security expert on hand may be common with large IT departments but is vastly lacking in the small to medium business space.  Thus pulling specialized expertise from and MSP or one of their vetted partners’ gains tremendous value to organization who leverage an MSP.

Improved Visibility to Operations
A common misconception in technology is that IT has got it handled.  But when you ask them for reasons why things were done or what’s the status of the latest rollout, IT staff tend to hold information back in fear of backlash.  When you outsource to a managed services provider you should receive full visibility to all activity.  They are on contract to provide the executive team visibility to assets, tracking, service level agreements (like holding someone accountable for delivering services to the organization), tickets being issued, how quickly are staff able to get back to work after an IT issue, etc.

Technology Capacity Planning
Managed services clients are able to realize an added benefit that they may not even have considered: Because the managed services provider’s tools are constantly monitoring the performance and capacity of the client’s file system space, database size, network bandwidth and more, all of that information is captured and held as historical data. The client has access to this data and can use it to analyze trends in performance or capacity associated with a specific device or database and to make educated, informed decisions about future IT capacity and performance needs as a result.

Strategic IT Road mapping & Budgeting
Most IT departments in the SMB space lack the ability to deliver an Executive level strategic roadmap for infrastructure based solutions.  The landscape has changed with the advent of the cloud and complex solutions available to the SMB market.   Wading through that piece and having the time and the knowledge to produce either revenue-enabling or efficiency-enabling solutions when there are so many choices is complex and daunting.  Often times IT personnel lack the knowledge of all that’s available to deliver solid road mapping.

As a result a quality managed service provider works with the executive team to understand business needs and delivers a roadmap that has clear risks defined and costs and budgeting for future needs of the organization.

Trained, Experienced, Qualified, Certified.
Unemployment for Systems Admins range between 1.5 and 2.5% in Oregon.   That means in a tight market you’ll over pay for staff that is not commensurate to experience.

A quality managed services provider will hire the right (and appropriate amount) of certified technicians in their field to meet the needs of their client base.   Clients can scale to this methodology by plugging in the holes you need on demand with an MSP’s team and their bench and that economies of scale savings is passed on to their clients.

Experienced and Qualified doesn’t Equal Experienced
Few problems are new for leading IT service companies, which see related problems multiple times. An in-house IT employee leads an isolated existence no matter how much they train. We’d all rather an experienced doctor; the same is true for IT.

Increase Efficiency and Competitiveness
Organizations that try to do all IT Services in-house themselves can have much higher research, development, and implementation time, all of which increase costs and are ultimately passed on to customers.

Stay Focused on Your Core Business
Small/Medium Businesses have limited resources and every time you increase IT staff you have to be concerned with managing that increase in staff.  Typically Managers have limited time and attention to the details and when you’re talking about 2-5 IT staff, you must make not just a staff investment but a managed investment to get the most out of your resources.

Outsourcing can help your business stay focused on your core business and not get distracted by complex IT decisions.
Additional Added Organizational Value

  • 24/7/365 Support
  • Automated maintenance and planned/strategic patching
  • Release management
  • Change management
  • Project management
  • Managed Backup
  • Strategic Partner to augment infrastructure needs

For more information, or for further discussion, please contact us at 503-775-4410 or