On the face of it there are many benefits to a one-man-band (OMB) IT support model:
* You and your staff really get to know him/her – and the relationship can really grow when they grow to understand you and your business, and the IT solutions it needs.
* You know you can call their mobile any hour of the day and there's a reasonable chance you will get through to them straight away (assuming they are not otherwise engaged.)
* They are competent and will always go the extra mile to resolve the issue.
However, there are limitations and areas of weakness.
* What happens when the OMB gets too many customers to be able to provide your required level of support ?
* What happens when they are ill?
* What happens when they need to take a holiday?
* What happens when their customers need solutions that the OMB has never experienced?
* What happens when all their clients are all screaming at the same time?
* How will they be able to provide leadership and strategy?
* How do they keep themselves up to date with the latest technology?
All this said, many SMBs stick with their OMB because they are scared of moving to an alternate provider and fear change. For many, there is a “better the devil you know” mentality. But moving IT support provider couldn’t be easier – especially when the new company will handle everything for you.
The other fear for businesses looking to move away from a OMB is they could lose the personal touch with a new company. This is certainly a risk – especially with the larger IT support companies who have hundreds of customers – there is a very definite risk of you becoming just a number.
Surprisingly, we have found that sometimes the OMB is relieved when their client moves to a larger, more capable provider – due to the anxiety of not always being available – not being able to provide quick enough support – and the concern about not providing the right solutions.
We believe the ideal partner for many SMBs is to have an IT support partner big enough to have the multiple people to support your business, but small enough to maintain a strong relationship, and to help your business develop and constantly improve its IT provision.
The OMB is ideally suited to small businesses that have ten users or fewer. However, your IT operations must expand in line with your overall business growth. Failing to do this not only limits the scope of your future growth but also puts your business’s security at risk. One person, regardless of their skills, cannot do everything, and expecting them to do so is not a realistic expectation.
If you are looking to scale your business, outsourcing your IT to a OMB isn’t a sustainable option. That's why you need to seriously consider the other choices out there, including managed service providers (MSP). An MSP will give you a much better value proposition. Instead of one person, you’re getting an entire team with a combined experience that far outstrips that of a single person – all of this, typically for a better price.
Advantages of dealing with an MSP
* Team of Experts on Tap
* Budget-Friendly (Consumption-based support costs)
* Security-First IT Support
* Guaranteed Response Times and SLAs
* Budget management
* Leadership and strategy
* Fuss-free onboarding
In summary, an MSP offers the optimal balance between price and performance for your business’s IT. However, not all MSPs are created equal. Some present themselves as managed service providers but only work on a break/fix model that simply fixes your IT issues as and when they occur. Their support ends there, and little effort is made to be proactive with support or security.
As a long-term partner, you need to make the right decision for your business. This requires speaking to multiple MSPs and doing your due diligence. Look for an MSP that will treat your business as they would their own. Also, look at case studies and the partners that they work with.
FOS.net is a security-first MSP. We are SMALL enough to CARE but LARGE enough COPE. We have also developed a standard approach for taking small businesses to the cloud using Microsoft 365 Business as the foundation.
To find out more about our services please contact firstname.lastname@example.org