Technology is woven into virtually every business process. If IT systems go down or fail to work properly, certain business functions might come to a halt. At the very least, they could be disrupted. Productivity suffers, the customer experience suffers, and sales could be lost. However, most small to midsize businesses (SMBs) don’t have the in-house expertise to operate and manage technology effectively.

As a result, many SMBs are outsourcing IT-related tasks to managed service providers (MSPs), who remotely manage, monitor, and troubleshoot different parts of the organization’s IT environment. The MSP is typically paid a monthly fee for services rendered, which makes IT budgets more predictable.

While managed services can indeed help SMBs overcome the challenge of limited in-house expertise, this model does have its pros and cons. Let’s start by looking at the pros.

Instead of recruiting, hiring, and retaining IT staff to manage and monitor technology, you can shift this burden to an MSP and focus on strategic, high-value tasks. Even if you were able to hire an IT superstar, that person can’t be an expert in everything. They would have to learn your IT systems and business processes. They would have to be continually trained on new tools, security threats and more.

With managed services, you have a team of experts managing your technology, with a broad range of skills and knowledge. Implementation of managed services is faster than hiring IT staff, and ongoing training is the responsibility of the MSP. Instead of overloading a single IT person, your MSP’s team can address issues quickly and often prevent them from happening in the first place.

Perhaps most importantly, your technology is more likely to operate at an optimal level when managed and monitored by an MSP. This will enable your employees to be more productive while making your organization more resilient to downtime, security risks and compliance issues.

Of course, managed services can come with a downside if you choose the wrong provider. If the MSP has insufficient staff, you could face extended downtime if unexpected issues arise. An MSP that lacks advanced solutions and protocols may not be able to meet the security and compliance requirements of your organization and industry.

Some MSPs require you to use proprietary software, which could cause compatibility issues and unexpected expenses. In some cases, the MSP’s solution could force you to abandon certain functionality and capabilities that previously gave you a competitive advantage.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to avoid the cons of managed services. If you choose the right MSP, you won’t run into these problems. Look for an established MSP with sufficient staffing, modern tools, and the ability to work with technology from a wide range of vendors. Your MSP should offer remote monitoring, management, and maintenance of your entire IT infrastructure, as well as user and device support, security and compliance, patch management, and software updates.

The SSD Assurance managed services program was developed to overcome challenges that are unique to SMBs. We take a team approach that allows us to manage your IT systems, support your staff and devices, secure your network, and apply best practices to reduce risk. Let us show you how the SSD Assurance program will ensure your IT environment is properly managed.