If you have more than a handful of employees, the odds are good that you will have to turn to specialists to address your technology needs at some point. Depending on how extensive your technology needs are, you’ll likely solve this problem using at least one of three providers: fee-for-service, internal support, or managed IT services.
A fee for service provider only charges you when you need to have a problem fixed. This makes them the lowest-cost option for very small businesses. At this stage of a company’s life, revenue is hard-fought, so if a technology problem arises, the company may even elect not to have it fixed until it cripples the company’s ability to provide services.
As a company grows, a fee-for-service provider becomes less attractive. Because they are paid only when things break, they are incentivized to fix the problems of the day, but not to spend hours trying to prevent it from happening again. Many fee-for-service providers have hundreds of clients, so they won’t remember the details of your company’s network when they do arrive on-site. Finally, they are generally under no obligation to respond within a certain period of time, and if they’re busy, you may be left unable to do business for a day or more.
Some small to mid-size companies hire an internal information technology specialist. An internal support team does have advantages over an external provider. They are already on-site when a technical issue arises. They also gain a deep knowledge of the company network and the line-of-business apps running at that business.
Internal support has drawbacks as well. They’re focused on one network, not exposed to dozens of them. This limits their breadth of experience when it comes to recommending and implementing new solutions. They also don’t scale based on company need – they may not have enough work to fill a full day in some cases, but when the company is making significant changes to a network, they may find themselves inundated with far more work than they can handle.
Managed IT Services
Many small companies and nearly all mid-size and large companies have a managed service provider handling at least some of their technology needs. These companies receive a monthly fee in exchange for managing day-to-day network operations and technical support. This fee generally remains the same regardless of the number of issues they need to address for users; unlike fee-for-service providers, managed service providers are incentivized to permanently fix issues on your network so they don’t arise again.
Managed service providers can also scale services to meet company needs. Unlike an internal team or a fee-for-service professional (who are often one person companies), they can dedicate additional resources to your company when responding to a network emergency or major project. And when it does come time to replace hardware or complete a technology project, managed service providers should have ample understanding of your network, because they monitor and manage it every single day.
Managed service providers can’t be on-site as quickly as an in-house employee, and they aren’t as cheap as a fee-for-service provider. What they offer is a combination of scalable resources, knowledge depth, and affordability that can’t be matched by other solutions. And when they’re paired with an in-house technical resource, they can provide a unique combination of benefits that can’t be matched by any other solution.
To learn how WingSwept can help your company make better use of technology, call us at 919-460-7011 or email us at Team_WingSwept@WingSwept.com.