The global managed services market, which stood at $152.05 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $274.20 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 11.2%.
This exponential growth may be attributed to the increased demand for outsourced IT services. A rising number of organizations are striking partnerships with managed service providers (MSPs) to fulfill their IT needs.
While companies of all sizes can benefit from an experienced managed services provider, they are especially advantageous for small businesses. In other words, MSPs provide small and mid-sized enterprises with a particularly attractive and pocket-friendly alternative to the traditional in-house IT department.
Small businesses often struggle with limited IT staff and resources, which puts them at risk of cybersecurity breaches, data loss, and system failures, among other issues. Considering the myriad negative impacts of these incidents, startups need to have well-defined contingency plans in place.
A managed services provider helps businesses develop and establish effective strategies to combat unprecedented IT issues. Additionally, they conduct preventative maintenance to prevent issues from arising in the first place.
In this post, we will discuss the basics of managed IT services and consider how to find the right MSP for your business.
Managed IT Services: What They Bring to the Table
Most companies hire a managed services provider to outsource a range of IT-related operations. Simply put, you can partner with an MSP for fulfilling one or multiple technology-related needs as well as aligning your IT with your business goals. A contractual Service Level Agreement (SLA) dictates the performance and quality metrics of your shared relationship.
Generally, a managed services provider helps clients with the following:
The Role of Managed Services Providers in the San Francisco Startup Scene
As a small business owner in San Francisco, you may be wondering why your company needs a managed services provider. Allow us to explain.
Due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, San Francisco is often perceived as a hub for upcoming startups. The city itself is quite small, representing a grid area of 7 miles by 7 miles.
As a result, a large number of well-known brands are concentrated in the same area. For example, Twitter is located in the same building as Square and Uber on Market Street. Likewise, Airbnb, Yelp, Pinterest, and Dropbox have offices in the South of the Market (SoMa) area. This goes to show the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in the city’s business culture.
While SoMa offers cheap rents for young startups, the Mission neighborhood in downtown San Francisco hosts an excellent social climate for budding business leaders.
Additionally, the city is a hotbed for creativity. In 2018, the city graced the top spot in the Global Cities Outlook due to its sustained strength in innovation.
You may find it difficult to carve a niche for your business amid the intense competition. However, in San Francisco, you have technology on your side.
Technology is changing how startups get funded, establish connections, and build their brand. San Francisco’s burgeoning technology landscape can help new startups and small businesses utilize their limited resources in smarter and more effective ways.
If you’re unsure about how to implement the latest technology trends in your business, you can always turn to a San Francisco managed services provider for help.
An MSP in San Francisco usually assigns a team of certified IT engineers to its clients. These specialists use their comprehensive technical and industrial expertise to streamline your IT operations. Their goal is to help you leverage the latest technological trends for business expansion.
Below, we list a few other benefits of hiring a San Francisco managed services provider to take over your organization’s IT processes.
Benefits of Hiring a San Francisco Managed Services Provider
Low Upfront Expenses
One of the reasons why nearly 37% of small businesses outsource their IT management is reduced expenses. Small businesses rarely have the capital to recruit, train, and play an entire team of IT professionals. Also, they are typically unable to procure, maintain, repair, and replace expensive IT equipment as and when required.
When you partner with an MSP, you only pay for the level of service you use. Since the MSP provides all the necessary hardware/software and technical know-how, you won’t have to invest in these peripherals separately.
According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, hackers attack computers with Internet access once every 39 seconds. As recently as June 2020, the Netwalker criminal gang attacked the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and extorted a ransom worth $1.14 million.
Despite these dangers, many small business owners fail to pay attention to cybersecurity protocols, assuming that their business will not be attacked. A study suggests that 43% of small businesses do not have any strong cybersecurity plans in place.
A San Francisco managed services provider can help you develop and establish a potent cybersecurity plan specific to your business needs. Moreover, they can assess your network for security gaps and patch them as quickly as possible.
Expert IT Advice at a Reasonable Cost
Different technicians specialize in different IT disciplines, which is why, a cybersecurity analyst may not be able to help you with data recovery.
Ideally, you should have an entire team of technical engineers catering to your various IT needs. However, this may be a tall order for startups with limited capital investment.
The average base salary of an IT support specialist in San Francisco is $66,289. Add to that the cost of 401(k)s, bonuses, and benefits, and you have a hefty amount at hand. As a result, small businesses may not be able to afford multiple IT specialists.
However, when you hire a managed services provider, you gain access to an entire team of certified IT specialists for a flat fee. They can advise you on various technologies, as well as help you build an efficient IT network.
A 2019 study by Statista revealed that businesses lose $301,000 to $400,000 for an hour of server downtime. This means that one minute of downtime costs businesses about $5016 to $6666.67. In addition, startups have to deal with lost opportunities, data loss, and SLA payouts when their systems malfunction.
A managed services provider can help you avoid this situation. MSPs provide proactive support, i.e., they monitor your IT network and mitigate potential threats before they spiral. As a result, your business is at a lesser risk of experiencing extended downtime due to IT failure.
How to Identify the Right San Francisco Managed Services Provider for Your Business
A capable managed services provider will:
Ask about Your Customized IT Needs
The one-size-fits-all approach is rarely applicable in the world of technology. Even companies in the same industry with similar employee strength can have entirely different IT needs.
A competent managed services provider will ask relevant questions to determine your expectations from them. This will help them tailor their IT solutions to suit your unique goals.
Have Experience beyond Break-Fix
While troubleshooting network failures is an important aspect of managed IT services, you should look for an MSP that specializes in proactive care as well. Maintaining enterprise-grade IT infrastructure requires extensive skill and expertise, far more than what the traditional break-fix model demands.
Moreover, you want to partner with an organization that understands technology and implements it to improve every aspect of your business. They should essentially be willing to look at the bigger picture instead of limiting themselves to occasional system repairs.
Have Strong Market Presence
Understanding your potential MSP’s market presence, portfolio, and experience with past clientele can help you gain a fair idea about their capabilities. You can check neutral third-party customer review sites for honest feedback on their performance.
If any of your friends or acquaintances recently availed of the managed services provider’s offerings, you can ask them about the MSP’s service quality.
A managed services provider should be able to demonstrate how their specific policies and processes translate into different business environments. Additionally, they should also be willing to answer any queries about what they do and how it is effective.
Most experts managed services providers are happy to share their experiences and how their processes have helped businesses. If your prospective MSP fails to answer these questions, you should keep looking.
Have a Technology-Oriented Approach
Although many MSPs adapt themselves to the latest technology, some are still stuck in the past. Such companies seldom offer services other than reactive solutions and legacy system repairs.
This can be counterproductive in several ways. Hiring such a company to manage your IT needs won’t bolster your business. Instead, your business will be left lagging behind the competition.
To avoid these issues, be sure to hire a managed services provider that offers:
As a team of expert professionals, managed services providers can guide your business’s IT policies in the right direction. They streamline your technical policies and practices according to industry standards, enabling you to make the most of your resources. Being fairly less expensive than a traditional internal IT team, an MSP can help you with your technical needs without sending your IT expenses soaring through the roof.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need help with locating a suitable managed services provider for your business in San Francisco.
Precision IT Consulting Help Desk is a team of experienced and certified professionals that provides daily strategic support for businesses.