A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be thought of as an extension of your organization that keeps your IT running smoothly. Designed as a helping hand for the modern enterprise, an MSP is geared up to help ensure that even the smallest enterprise has access to exceptional technologies. There are several driving forces behind the rise of the MSP, with the digital transformation of business processes and a lack of general and security IT skills being examples. Cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), an onslaught of cybersecurity threats, all these challenges have created a need for the services of an MSP.
Here is a look at some of the most important reasons why an SMB needs an MSP.
Without Cloud computing, the Covid-19 pandemic and the work from home mandate would have been far worse for business. Cloud computing and cloud apps meant that staff was able to continue to be productive from their home environment. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. To use Cloud technologies, optimally and securely, requires IT and security skills. A Gartner, Inc., report ”2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap” concluded that even in large enterprises “Talent shortages are a rising and significant challenge for successful adoption of emerging technologies.” Another survey found that 90 percent of organizations lack the skills needed across multiple cloud disciplines.
An MSP fills the IT skills gap by providing talented and experienced IT professionals-as-a-Service. These skills may include offering consultancy services in regulatory compliance to cover data protection legislation. These skilled staff may also be security specialists who can understand how best to protect a smaller organization from threats including phishing and social engineering.
A storm of cybersecurity threats and regulatory compliance has meant that the average SMB is under enormous pressure to ‘batten down the hatches’. But staff with security skills are hard to come by. A survey by ESG and ISSA found that over half of companies have been impacted by the global cybersecurity skills shortage. Within that cohort, 62% said that the result of this skills shortage meant an increased workload on existing staff.
Over 99% of MSPs offer security services, according to a report from Datto. In providing these services, the MSP must employ security specialists and offer security solutions. An MSP that delivers security services to an SMB must provide managed security solutions such as email and DNS filtering that are designed to deliver security to enterprises of all sizes, easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
In an SMB, every staff member is an important part of the whole. An SMB must invest heavily in staff recruitment and training, with experienced staff members being at a premium. Subsequently, recruitment of experienced (and expensive) staff into an SMB is a challenge: in a survey from a recruitment agency Indeed, over half of the SMB respondents said they struggled to recruit the right employees.
When an SMB loses a skilled member of staff with IT and/or security skills, it is a blow. By employing the services of an MSP that is set up to deliver security services, an SMB is cushioned from the impact of staff loss.
Phenomenal MSPs will ensure that even the smallest organization gets the best and most appropriate technology for today's cloud computing and security challenges. MSPs have buying influence. Because they service many clients, they can negotiate the best prices with security vendors. And, because they offer solutions ‘as-a-Service’ with remote delivery and management, an MSP can create pricing structures that fit an SMB budget.
MSPs engage with the best available security solutions, designed to fit a cloud delivery model. An MSP that offers security solutions will typically focus strength on the most worrying cyber-threats, such as phishing, ransomware, and Business Email Compromise (BEC). The MSP will ensure that the SMB can use robust and proven email protection and prevent employees from visiting phishing or infected websites that result in ransomware and other malware infections.
Technology changes quickly and it can be expensive for an SMB to upgrade to the latest version of a solution. IT spending means the budget must be moved from core business activities. The result is a catch-22 situation, as SMBs need technology to enhance operations and maintain a competitive edge. Using an MSP means that an SMB does not have to invest in expensive hardware and software; instead, the MSP rental model ensures that the SMB receives up-to-date software and hardware services without the upfront cost.
Security is not an easy thing and is a very sensitive and complex area, so don’t try to do it all by yourself. There are lots of excellent, experienced managed service providers and security experts available that have the knowledge you need to help you protect your business.
2020 was an unprecedented year with a massive surge in cybercrime, due in part, by the mandate to work from home. Many SMBs ended up in financial trouble, requiring government help to weather the pandemic storm. Post-pandemic, the SMB is still meeting challenges in staffing, supply chains, and cyber-threats. Using the services of an MSP can help an SMB off-load these challenges. A great MSP provides a safety net for even the smallest of organizations, allowing them to ensure cyber-threats are mitigated, that regulations are met and that their IT systems are robust. But as an SMB decision-maker, bear in mind that not all MSPs are created equal. Do your research and ensure that the MSP of choice offers you the best available solutions that work for you.
The TitanShield Program allows partners across various sectors to take advantage of TitanHQ's multitenant cloud-based platform, proven technology and accessible APIs so that they can sell, onboard, manage and deliver our advanced network security solutions directly to their client base. Learn more about the TitanShield MSP Program.
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