When it comes to outsourcing IT functions, there's a misconception that an SMB's small size prevents them from taking advantage of enterprise-level IT.
That's just not true.
When it comes to managing your network, security, your data backup, and more; there are many managed IT partners who specialize in meeting the IT needs of SMBs.
Let's explore why you aren't too small to outsource some (or all) of your IT, including your network security.
But first, let's explain managed IT.
What Is Managed IT Exactly?
Managed IT is a way to source the information technology infrastructure you need by outsourcing with a third-party provider.
Think of it as the business version of Apple's old ads, “there's an app for that.”
Need someone to manage your network? There's a managed IT partner for that.
Need someone to outsource your security needs to? There's a managed IT partner for that.
A managed IT partner can supplement your existing IT department (or even become your IT department).
What are some of the typical IT services provided by a managed IT partner (managed services provider, MSP, is also used to describe the companies that provide these services):
- Network management
- Network security
- IT help desk support
- Data backup and recovery
- Email security and hosting
- Virtual CIO
- Vendor management
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance
- Strategic IT planning to align IT infrastructure to best achieve business goals
This is not an exhaustive list. These services can be used individually or as a bundle. In general, it's smart to look for a managed IT partner with two things:
- A with a wide variety of services
- A best practices process that allows them to align those services for your business
The last thing you need is a company trying to shoehorn you into an outsourced service package because that's what they do, not because it's a good fit for you. A managed IT partner with a broader services portfolio will be able to tailor a solution to fit your business needs.
You Aren't Too Small
The reason for anyone – and SMBs in particular – to partner with a managed IT provider is because they have the critical mass to hire the necessary IT expertise and IT infrastructure to provide services to businesses.
Think of it like mowing your lawn. You could mow your lawn yourself – buy your lawnmower, store it somewhere, keep it gassed up (or plugged in to charge) and maintained, and then take the time to either walk or ride back and forth to cut your lawn (and you need a weed trimmer and edger too).
A lawn company will pull up in a truck and trailer, zip around on their high-speed, large width mowers, and finish cutting your lawn (and your three neighbors' lawns) in the time it takes for you to finish half your lawn (and someone else has done the edging and blown all the grass off your driveway and sidewalk in the meantime). In the meantime, you write a check and enjoy your day.
With a critical mass of IT and personnel in place, managed IT providers are able to offer IT solutions at a lower price than an individual business would pay to put all of the pieces together themselves – staff, office space, and IT infrastructure.
Most importantly, managed IT services are often designed for smaller companies and many managed IT providers build their businesses around providing those services to SMBs.
Most managed IT providers' goal is to serve the small business market. To quote from CompTIA's 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services research: “They [MSPs] typically serve small to medium-sized customers and/or individual departments within larger organizations.”
And SMBs are waking up to this fact. Overall, the managed services market projects to grow from $152.45 billion in 2017 to $257.84 billion by 2022. A study by CompTIA of end users found that 64% of businesses were using what they believed to be an managed IT provider for at least one operational function.
You size isn't an issue when outsourcing IT services. In fact, when you're an SMB, your smaller size means you're exactly the right size for what we and other managed IT companies do.