Is it Time to Switch to a Managed IT Service Provider?

Is it Time to Switch to a Managed IT Service Provider?

Is it Time to Switch to a Managed IT Service Provider?

For small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), IT infrastructure and operations management can quickly become complex and time consuming. Between managing hardware, software, security, data, networks, and overall IT operations, it’s no wonder that many SMBs struggle with trying to handle it all in-house.

There are several key signs that it may be time for SMBs to get assistance from an experienced managed service provider (MSP):

Aging Hardware and Software Causing Frequent Issues

One of the biggest indicators that an MSP is needed is when existing hardware and software start causing regular problems. Desktop computers, laptops, servers, and other infrastructure that is more than 3-5 years old will show significant performance declines. Old operating systems like Windows 7 expose vulnerabilities and lack the latest security features.

Important software applications, network gear, and devices that do not receive regular updates mean your business is missing critical security patches and unable to access newer features. An MSP can provide much needed ongoing hardware lifecycle management through scheduled replacement every 3-5 years.

Lack of Specialized IT Expertise

Another warning sign that it’s time to engage an MSP is when in-house IT staff lack deep expertise across key technology areas like:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Cloud computing
  • Compliance and regulations
  • VoIP phone systems
  • Software development
  • IT infrastructure

MSP engineers maintain specialized skills and knowledge from managing a diverse array of client environments. With 24/7 remote monitoring and support, they act as an extension of your team to fill expertise gaps.

Aging Hardware and Software Causing Frequent Issues

Old outdated desktop PC covered in dust and cobwebsOne major indicator that it’s time to engage an MSP is aging computers, servers, and other hardware that leads to performance issues. Desktops, laptops, and servers that are over 3-5 years old will typically show significant declines in speed and reliability. Old hardware has a much higher risk of failure, with issues like:

  • Frequent crashes/freezes
  • Corrupted data and files
  • Hardware components wearing out
  • Difficulty supporting latest software

Replacing outdated hardware through a proactive lifecycle management program can greatly improve performance and productivity while reducing downtime from failure.

Using outdated software also causes major problems for SMBs. Old operating systems like Windows 7 or Office 2010 lack the latest security features and no longer receive vital software patches. Continuing to run unsupported software exposes businesses to cybersecurity risks like:

  • Malware and virus infections
  • Hacker exploits of vulnerabilities
  • Loss of sensitive data
  • Ransomware attacks

Additionally, outdated programs mean SMBs miss out on newer capabilities that can improve operations, collaboration, customer experiences and more. An MSP helps businesses keep software updated and secured.

Lack of IT Expertise

Many SMBs rely on inexperienced internal staff for handling IT management. Often, these are employees with other primary roles given IT duties on the side. This frequently leads to:Employee frustrated by IT issues

  • Improper configurations that cause issues down the road
  • Lack of monitoring that allows problems to go undetected
  • Slow repairs due to troubleshooting complex issues

Having skilled IT experts is essential for managing today’s infrastructure and security challenges. MSPs have highly trained and certified IT professionals with experience supporting many organizations. They act as an extension of your team with specialized expertise.

Desire for Proactive IT Management

For SMBs handling IT themselves, management is often reactive and focused on “firefighting” urgent issues as they arise. With limited resources, it Firefighter extinguishing server room blazecan be difficult to take a proactive approach. Symptoms of this reactive IT management style include:

  • Only addressing problems once something breaks or stops working
  • Lacking monitoring and systems optimization
  • Security vulnerabilities going unseen until an attack occurs

In contrast, MSPs take a strategic approach focused on optimization, enhancements and prevention:

  • Proactively monitoring systems 24/7
  • Regularly testing disaster recovery plans
  • Automating processes to improve efficiency
  • Implementing security policies and controls

Growing Security Threats

SMBs face the same cybersecurity threats as large enterprises from:

  • Phishing and social engineering
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Hackers exploiting vulnerabilitiesCybersecurity expert setting up protections
  • Malware infecting systems
  • Data breaches and information theft

Yet most SMBs lack the in-house expertise and advanced security tools needed for defense. MSPs provide enterprise-grade security technologies like SIEM, firewalls, endpoint detection, multi-factor authentication, staff security training, and incident response.


As we’ve explored, there are several signs that indicate it may be time for small and medium sized businesses to partner with a managed service provider for their IT needs:

  • Aging hardware and software causing performance and security issues
  • Gaps in in-house IT expertise needed for today’s environments
  • Desire to take a more proactive approach to IT management
  • Growing and sophisticated security threats

Managed service provider detecting threats

Continuing a strained DIY approach can lead to outages, data loss, compliance failures and other consequences. But the good news is there are experienced MSPs that can cost-effectively extend your IT capabilities.

If your business sees itself in the signs above, it may be time to start a conversation about strengthening your IT strategy through managed services. We offer a free consultation to assess your needs and create a customized solution for your organization. Let’s talk about how we can help you reach the next level.