Lets start this article out by saying we are a Managed Service Provider, so we are a little bias. That being said, we do respect and work with break fix providers and other internal IT staff. They are just as viable as an option for your business!
(We are going to refer to Managed Service Providers to MSP’s from now on. Just so you know and don’t get confused. Not know what a Managed Service Provider is? That’s cool, not many people do, you can watch this video HERE and then come back and read this when you’re done. The video will explain it all to you.
1. You need your computer fixed RIGHT NOW.
With a Break fix or Internal IT technician, you’ll defiantly get your computer fixed. It just might take a bit longer, with break-fix you might have to wait until they have an opening for your repair, YOU must bring it in to a store, then wait and pick it up. When we look at an internal IT person helping you, usually it’s only one person on your team, or two, they are also dealing with a thousand other things depending on the size of your business. So, they’ll defiantly get to it, but it might take a bit longer than you’d like. With a Managed Service Provider, you can call in, submit a ticket, and get instant help. An MSP can remote into your computer, solve your problem, and get you back to work. If it’s a bigger issue on the other hand – like the computers hard-drive is down or dead, that’s when its nice to have an Internal IT department, you can walk down the hall, and get a new drive installed. If they have the correct part in, and again if they have time. It all depends on preference and wait time really. In most cases a Managed Service Provider has a stock room full of different computer parts and replacement parts and even new laptops sitting on shelves. So, you would drop your laptop off, get a temporary replacement for the time being – oh and if we are using the specific example of the hard-drive being dead. Then the managed service provider would have a backup of your data on the servers, they would simply use the powers of technology to bring your data backup on a new hard drive to its original state.
2. You click on a spam email by mistake.
We’ve all been there. It sucks, that sudden rush of embarrassment that takes over your entire body. Knowing that you just fell for an internet scam and downloaded something potentially dangerous to your company’s cyber security. We know what your thinking, how actually dangerous can it be? Giving someone from the dark web access to your entire company’s network? Data? Financial information? It could ruin your business, shut you down for good. We imagine most people don’t want to start all over again. When you have an internal IT team, they are usually setup with software that monitors your network and devices and get notifications of warnings and you also have someone to call if you accidentally hit that link. The technician in your office can walk over to your machine attempt to look through the damage and see if they can attempt to see where the virus or bad actor was trying to attempt to steal. He can notify the rest of the team that a possible breach has been made and take the necessary steps to avoid a greater problem. Break fix, in this example they really can only toss out your hard drive, attempt to recover information that hasn’t been compromised. With a Managed Service Provider however, they are usually your ISP or Internet Service Provider. So, we see what’s coming into your network and have tons of preventative measures in place before someone could even attempt to break through our firewalls. An internal IT department could do this as well… but Skycomp with Most of our clients has setup a ‘fake spam email’ system that sends out emails to your employees every once and a while to test them. We even do this to our own team. Even some of our team members have fallen for these tests. But that’s why we do it. We also implement training to all our team members and refresher courses when needed. The takeaway from all of this? Cyber security is a particularly important thing to bring to your teams’ attention. You should have some sort of cyber security training and testing always going out to your team.
3. Knowledge of the “Technology Market”
Many people might not see this as an asset. But when servers expire, when you need a complete overhaul of your entire company’s phone system, when you need all new laptops for a certain department. Someone who understands where to start and has done a large-scale overhaul in the past, might be a valuable connection to have. People who have built companies networks from the ground up. This is not necessarily a difficult skill to find, many different levels of IT organizations can do this. But Maybe not your Internal IT staff, depending on the skill levels of course. Maybe they could build or update your network. But we’ve found that usually it takes a team of experts. Not trying to get you to buy Skycomp’s services. But we are lucky enough to have a project specialist – Marc. Marc is a guy that doesn’t let any detail go. This has made it possible with the combined efforts of our very detail-oriented team to get networks customized and setup exactly to the specs and needs of the client. We know the questions to ask, and the right gear to purchase. It also helps that we have connections with vendors like Lenovo and Microsoft. So, we get products directly from them, no going through third parties. An internal IT can have this, but most MSP’s have been around for a while, and they’ve built up a reputation with different vendors and become gold or silver partners with larger organizations. So, it might be more difficult for an Internal IT department to overall a server builds or get laptops in bulk. They might be able to, not saying its impossible, but defiantly more difficult. And well a place like staples can buy laptops in bulk but can’t really sell them to an organization that way. So, your best bet is an MSP or just slowly building up your technical employees.
4. Networking (Literally)
So again, we are using Skycomp as an example because we know what is going on in our company. When it comes to networking, we have a very special case. Not all MSP’s in the world have a Data Center. Skycomp does… lots of Managed Service providers have cloud-based setups. This means most of your companies’ backups and different technology is off-site. The MSP is just monitoring that from their location. What makes Skycomp different is we have a Data Center in our office. We can physically walk over to a spot in our office and point to where your Internet Service goes out from our office, heads down lines in the floor or ceiling and heads off through the cities network to your office space. Pretty cool right? We also can point to exactly where your backups are going to if you where a client, and where your website is hosted. It makes things easier for us, the cost was greater up front, but clients can trust us that the network, backups, and anything else that we monitor for them is in our control. Again, an Internal IT department could have this setup in your own physical office, chances are you most likely already have some type of physical server that you run in your office. That is a good idea, most companies with several employees or over at least ten have one. Your IT department can setup your backup to run on that server, but if you don’t have an MSP connected to that device and running backups from their data center, there is still a chance you can lose all your data. The importance of backups is so undervalued. Too quote a professor one of our team learned from a long time ago.
“I keep everything important to me on a hard drive, I copy that drive to another drive I keep at home, and I copy that drive to a drive I put in a safe in the bank, now if that’s not cyber security I don’t know what is.”
That about sums up the importance of backups for us.
This is always the big question. Why would I switch to an MSP? It costs way more then I would ever imagine. Let us compare it to what you might already have. So, if you have an Internal IT staff, maybe it’s one or two employees, maybe more. But those people get a base salary of around $45,000.00 to $60,000.00 depending on the current economic status in Canada. Those numbers might be a little off, regardless. That’s a lot of money to be paying out, if it works for you that’s great, we are not suggesting your fire your IT staff and switch over. Joining on with an MSP can be that, but usually its when a business starts to grow and it starts to make sense to either hire an IT person in house, or to outsource to another company. Those are usually the two best options. You could be wanting to scale your business and not include another company, so you want to go with an internal IT department. That’s totally fine. Depending on the MSP, you really become a partner, and sometimes MSP’s send out an internal team member to be on location part-time or full time. So, you can still achieve that scale of business but without having to go out and hunt for the right person to join your team. The main cost of an MSP (this is averaged out and based on the 2020-2021 economy.) is around 150 per user per month. So, you do that math, add in projects that have to be done around the office, server upgrades, other extra costs, new computers over the years etc. It will most likely add up to around the same cost as hiring one IT member on your team. Mind you, you will get the 24/7 service you need, consults on anything related to technology, and number to call ANYTIME to buy a new computer, solve a technology problem, or anything else you stumble upon related to technology.
It is up to you, there is no wrong answer when it comes to choosing an MSP, Internal IT technician, or Break fix solution. It all relates to how important your technology is to you. How much you value cyber security, and if you start to see your cost on fixing technology. With Skycomp Solution Inc. specifically as an example. We are here not only to work on solving your technology problems day to day, but also look for ways to improve your network, backups, and work with you to optimize processes. We are looking to make technology thrive in your business. After all you’re the one doing the work, why not make the technology work to help you?
If this was at all helpful to you, you can find even more helpful things over at Skycomp.ca/learn. Oh, and we have a YouTube channel, Podcast, and so much more. We are more then a blog. We are also an MSP! Reach out to us today Skycomp.ca/contact for more information.