If you want to double your business without a single new hire, you need to free up your existing staff from mundane tasks so they can focus on your strategic goals and scaling your business.
To achieve this, you’ll need to outsource your day-to-day operational tasks to an IT managed services provider (MSP).
MSPs are growing in popularity. Research reveals the worldwide managed services market was worth $128 billion in 2014 and it is predicted to reach $230 billion by 2020.
When it comes to your IT support and services, you can outsource your routine tasks to a MSP, such as patching your software, monitoring your systems, backing up data, and managing your email hosting or customer relationship management solutions. This frees up your IT staff and in-house developers to focus on their code and innovate.
Your IT services provider can also pass on efficiencies of scale and cost savings to your business through its many supplier relationships and wholesale purchasing.
What’s more, you can get the IT infrastructure you need without having to spend a significant proportion of your budget on an expensive technical build, which could take years to provide a return on investment.
Instead, you simply pay a manageable fee to your IT managed services provider in order to get access to the tools, resources and technology you need to scale immediately.
Furthermore, your IT services provider will reduce your downtime by providing robust connectivity and a highly scalable and secure IT infrastructure as your business starts to grow.
In short, your MSP will free your staff from your daily technical tasks and will seamlessly provide you with the IT support and services you need.
As a result, you will achieve steady growth under the guidance of a MSP. Research reveals that nearly one-third of IT channel firms rank managed services as key to their revenue strategy.
However, you need to establish a clear and trusted relationship between your business and your MSP to boost your return on investment and assure your strategic growth. Here are three quick tips to help you build the best partnership possible:
1. Don’t settle for bargain basement IT support and services
A good MSP will provide you with a tailored IT support and services package for your budget. This should cover both your technical maintenance and repairs. You’ll also get a guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure you get what you pay for.
Some organisations, however, decide to compartmentalise their IT support and services and work without a clear SLA or under a restrictive cookie-cutter contract that fails to fully meet the needs of their business.
This is a bad idea. A good IT managed service provider is an expert in all areas of IT support and services. They are up-to-date with modern security practices, can seamlessly scale their infrastructure and manpower to meet the needs of your business and monitor your system to provide ongoing and proactive support.
If you dilute this relationship, you will get a confused and incoherent level of service where the lines of responsibility become blurred. As a result, your IT team will probably end up picking up the slack - and you will fail to see a decent ROI.
Instead, you should look for MSPs that understand your business and can provide a range of customer testimonials to demonstrate their expertise.
In other words, find a provider that can clearly explain how their services are going to proactively help further your goals from a business (and not just a technical) perspective.
2. Work in collaboration with your MSP to boost staff retention
Your MSP should complement your internal IT department, not replace it. As we’ve already mentioned, you need your IT managed services provider to work on those daily operational tasks in order to free up existing IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.
This has a knock-on benefit where your IT staff are elevated within the organisation. It allows them to focus on highly strategic projects, such as a cloud initiative or the creation of a custom app or feature.
Consequently, this helps with staff retention as they get to work on bigger and better things, increasing job satisfaction by letting your IT services partner do the constant firefighting.
Businesses with 100+ employees cited the ability to free IT staff to work on strategic projects as the joint-third reason to work with an MSP. Enhanced security/compliance also came in third, with the ability to improve efficiency/reliability of IT operations taking the top spot.
Interestingly, cost savings were the fourth most popular factor, which reveals the growing importance of MSPs to add value through the myriad of intangible benefits they provide to businesses - not just the tangible benefit to your bottom line.
3. Going forward, get plug and play agility
Both the technical landscape and your business goals are constantly evolving. As such, you will need to incorporate new technologies to remain competitive and help you effectively implement your new projects and goals.
As a result, the part your MSP plays in your long-term growth will become increasingly important.
So, make sure you work with an MSP that can provide you business with the IT expertise to start working on those new projects or day-to-day responsibilities with little to no preparation. This enables your business to meet both peaks and troughs in demand, without losing momentum on the tasks and strategic goals that matter.
If you want to grow without any new hires, you have to free your staff to focus on your strategic growth. An MSP will help you achieve this and bring a range of benefits to your business through its IT expertise and scalability.