So, you’re considering looking for IT services in Seattle, Washington. But you’re not sure if outsourcing is the right idea for your business.
Let’s talk about your options for IT services and discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing your IT services to a managed services provider (MSP) right here in the city.
When we sat down to plan this article, we started tossing around a bunch of pros. Now, we admit that we’re a bit biased because we’ve been providing IT services in Seattle since 2001, but there really are a lot of benefits to outsourcing your IT!
Here are the three biggest pros we came up with. (For a comprehensive list, download our free eBook, “Should Your Company Outsource IT?”).
Working with an outsourced IT services company in Seattle means you can tap into years of IT expertise without having to top the astronomical salary offers that IT folk get in our high-tech town. Not only will your costs be lower in the long run, you may also save on new technology because respected MSPs typically have access to lower prices on popular IT solutions.
IT downtime puts a hard stop on your business activities, but timely upgrades and patching make downtime both constant and inevitable during business hours for small businesses with one IT person. However, with a local Seattle outsourced IT provider, you’ll have 24/7 monitoring, after-hours patching and IT administration, and fast resolutions – even for your most complex, on-site issues.
We’re not slamming your IT person… but if all you have is one IT tech or a small IT team, they’re pretty slammed with work. They’re so busy putting out constant fires they don’t have much face-to-face time to focus on strategy with you. When you outsource IT services to a Seattle business, your in-house IT person will have time to plan for the future, and you’ll both have an experienced third person to bounce your ideas off of.
So… it’s not always 100% awesome to outsource your IT. If you have the wrong managed services provider, you can really run into a lot of problems. However, if you choose your local MSP carefully, you can avoid every single one of these potential drawbacks.
Your in-house IT person is pretty much required to listen to your needs (and prioritize them) at all times. Not so much with an outsourcer. They definitely have other clients to attend to, and they may have a hidden agenda to sell you a bunch of services and products you don’t need. In addition, they may have some weird tech who irritates your employees by answering even the simplest of questions with twelve types of jargon. We’re saying it now: those jerks drive us mad!
You carefully vet all your employees and hold them to high standards, but does your outsourced IT company? It can be hard to tell at a first glance. If you’re entrusting your business IT performance to a local IT services provider, you need to be confident that your outsourcer only hires high-quality, knowledgeable techs – the kind you’d be happy to have on your staff.
Protecting your data’s security is arguably the #1 task for an MSP. (Surprisingly, keeping your network running would be the #2 task because, obviously, if the only way to secure your data is to briefly shut down your network, that’s what they’re going to do.) However, you may run into unexpected issues if you choose a provider that doesn’t understand your industry and regulatory requirements, or that doesn’t take compliance seriously.
You can avoid every one of these problems if you carefully research your MSP. Your research should include talking to current customers, asking if you’ll be required to purchase all-new solutions (and why), and checking in with your gut feeling during initial meetings with your prospective MSP.
If you feel like the MSP is listening to you, that they understand your business, and that they have high standards for quality, you’re probably fine. After all, if you’re only considering established, credentialed providers, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll end up with totally unacceptable services.
What’s the best way to choose between established MSPs? Just remember this:
The perfect IT services provider for you should provide all the pros and none of the cons, and they should also be someone you look forward to working with for years to come.
For the past 18 years, Interplay has been helping Seattle business owners securely manage their IT with flexible, customized service plans tailored to meet each client’s unique needs. If your company is a nonprofit, an engineering firm, an architecture and design firm, a medical group, or a financial services company, please add Interplay to your shortlist.
Learn more about outsourcing your IT services to a Seattle company when you get in touch with Interplay, one of the city’s longest-standing IT services providers.