With the increasing development of new and powerful tech-tools, businesses have a great opportunity to use technology to boost growth, and make tasks simpler & faster. However, this has also meant that business owners often need to sort through the plethora of technology solution options and search for the best way to leverage technology to achieve their goals. As a small or mid-size business (SMB) owner looking to use technology as a business game-changer, you have three options to support new technology environments.
- Train your existing employees to manage your IT needs;
- Hire a dedicated IT team to assist; or,
- Hire a Managed Services Provider (MSP).
In most SMBs with small or non-existent IT teams, employees are often forced to wear multiple hats depending on the business needs. Unfortunately, the more tech-savvy employees tend to be the recipients of the additional effort to support the company’s IT infrastructure. Without specialized training, your employees may not be able to perform even the simplest of upgrades, troubleshooting, or even provide the necessary day-to-day support due to a lack of experience or expertise.
Providing your employees with IT-related training is always an option. However, training requires a considerable amount of time and effort, both of which are extremely valuable resources in an SMB. Having knowledgeable, trained tech-savvy employees to look after critical IT infrastructure in addition to their primary job functions may work for the short term, but chances are high that the businesses’ long-term IT needs will go unaddressed.
Another option could be to invest into hiring and building a dedicated internal IT team who will manage your systems and effectively plan for your IT needs. While this may seem like an ideal option, for many small- to mid-sized businesses, hiring a new IT team may simply not be feasible due to cost-related constraints. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a tier-2 Technical Support Technician is nearly $58,000 per year. To effectively build a 24/7 technical support team, it would cost an SMB over $500,000 per year in salary alone. This does not include the cost of the infrastructure required to support the environment. Therefore, though this may be a great option, it is also a costly one.
Limited skillsets and resources are challenging but not insurmountable obstacles for delivering effective support services for SMBs. Hiring a reliable Managed Services Provider (MSP) may just be the best move for your business. Utilizing the services of an MSP allows you to focus on developing your company’s core business competency, while managing all your systems and addressing all your technology-related needs. This will allow your employees to focus on their main roles, while letting you focus on growing the business knowing that your company’s systems are being managed by IT experts.
If you decide to hire an MSP, you may consider using their services until your company is in a position to hire its own IT department. Or the added benefits of an MSP may even make them an integral part of your business strategy going forward. Either way, an MSP can significantly add value to your business.