So you've been wondering if you really need managed services- the services provided by an IT support team that proactively monitor, patch, and resolve tech, network, and security issues. Though we of course are advocates of managed services here at LIVE Consulting, not every business has a need for them.Here are a few reasons you may not actually need managed services:
Reason #1: Cost of Managed Services is too high for your IT needs.
Why pay when the little technology you have is healthy?
MSP’s charge a flat rate every month, even if they’re not at your business's physical location. If your network rarely goes down, and you hardly have tech issues, there is no reason to pay an IT company to monitor your systems that are normally up and running properly. Your employees will only be distracted by the MSP's IT staff personally asking if everything is okay, when a completely reactive scenario is all you’re looking for. If you’re looking to have tech support only when systems are broken, then just pay for the needed time and material when problems arise. There are a lot of individual IT specialists that moonlight. Remember to do background checks, and call other businesses for references though. IT guys can leave town and pick up shop as easy as they came in.
Reason #2: Having one person with all 'The Keys' is just fine.
Your business could function without access to data
If you’re looking to hire a singular IT person, make sure you have your documentation in order. I recently visited with a company who had the same single IT provider for 20 years! He’d been working on everything from their cameras, door access, and their network. He suffered from a stroke and unfortunately is not expected to recover. This company is now at a total loss and left with zero documentation- so they're starting from the bottom. There are hundreds of active key fobs into the building and they can’t get access to the door system software to begin to recovery. In general, non-MSP IT staff are terrible at documentation. One, because they build the systems and network and think 'why would I need to document things? I remember what is needed for access.' And two, they don’t want to lose your business. When you are in need, they expect you to call them time and time again- it's how they make their money.
Reason #3: Downtime is no big deal.
Your business can go 4 or more hours without access to data and critical business software.
Good MSPs build their practice on proactive support- meaning that they’re always working to fix potential problems before they are genuine issues that cause downtime. MSPs stay on the forefront of security and actively patch and monitor systems. An MSP is incentivised to keep your business network up and running. On the contrary, time and material providers work on an hourly basisand are incentivised to bill hourly. MSPs aim to prevent support phone calls keep you up and working. But if you are in need of tech support, that cost is typically built into your monthly managed services bill. Individual IT providers react to calls in order to bill their hourly rate. They bill for the time they are working on the issue, traveling to you, talking to you, fixing the issue, and driving back. When hiring an individual IT provider ask them their rate, travel rate, overtime rate, when they start and stop billing, their vacation and date night schedule. If you need help and your IT support specialist is on a date, guess who is waiting for support? It is probably a good idea to have a second IT contact in your phone in case you need them. The trick is getting them the access they need to your systems (see reason #2)
Reason #4: You don't have to comply to multiple security or privacy regulations.
You don't deal with medical, patient, or financial data. And if you do, it's limited.
At some point, you’ll likely run into a situation where you must meet some compliance regulation. HIPAA, NIST 800-171, IRS, ETAR, DFARS, to name a few. Make sure you find an IT provider that is savvy in the compliance you must meet. Sole IT providers don’t typically specialize in all areas of compliance like an MSP does. In some cases, like HIPAA, IT providers must be HIPAA compliant themselves.
Single IT specialists can be a great fit for some businesses. They’re a lot of them available- so you can have your pick. You can expect them to bill anywhere from $25 - $250 an hour based on their knowledge and experience. In the end, you’ll always get what you pay for.
Actually think your business needs managed services? Check out our pricing here. Or set up a time to chat with a member of our partnership development team.