From observation, and passing along some learned data, we have found that Companies cannot 100% of the time be pegged into a standard configuration, or have a standard set of equipment or technical engagement at an IT perspective. There are many complex relationships and knowledge centers (gaps) between Companies and the IT resources engaged to run IT functions. Sometimes it’s the business owner or no dedicated IT person, sometimes a Company is using “My IT Person” and in larger organizations there is usually some IT representation or a department.
How does an MSP team fit in with these different structures? Why would you want to consider an external MSP?
There are some important and pivotal reasons why Companies with varied level of IT support might want to engage with an MSP. Over the last 30 years, here are some examples we have found that might apply to these 3 categories:
Companies that don’t have any dedicated IT
These are usually disasters waiting to happen. It’s common to to find old servers overtaxed and out of resources and no attention to security or functional backups.
Usually there is no consistent patching being done and a lot of different versions of operating systems.
Software updates are usually not occurring. Licensing is usually suspect and we often find illicit software installed.
There is no attention to security and the implications of Ransomware.
Backups are hit-and-miss, if at all working. It’s pretty rare to find any testing to make certain backups work when needed.
Generally IT is dysfunctional.
Companies using “My IT Person”, a friend or single person they outsource to
We have found a large variety of topics usually aligned with the person’s skill level or technical strength. It’s hard to find someone with a good skill level in all areas of IT.
Patching is usually set to some auto schedule or selectively manual; mostly ad-hoc being completed as needed or on demand.
Business processes usually dictate some upgrades, but not consistent. There are usually different versions of Office, home editions mixed with “Windows business etc.; and very common to find illegal or spyware on the network.
Security is a complex topic and specializing in IT security is usually needed to stay ahead of the concerns. Businesses are usually wondering why they were hacked after the fact.
Backups are not usually following best practices (3-2-1 backups) but could be. Restore data testing is usually not common.
Generally IT is following some sort of break-fix style, with unexpected downtime and unpredictable costs.
Companies with in-house IT representation or an IT Team
Companies with an in-house dedicated IT person or team, there is usually a lot of good things happening in IT, but often a lack of tools and live monitoring. We find a grab-bag of mixed approaches and not a lot of consistent best-practices. There are some, but not in all areas. We do find that as Companies view IT as an expense there usually isn’t enough resources being put into IT so there are areas an MSP team can help fill in the gaps with.
There is usually a good and fairly consistent level of patching but most IT teams that we have encountered don’t have the extra budget in place to utilize automation and monitoring tools. Some do, more often they don’t resulting in overworked resources.
Software updating is usually on-demand and fairly decent. Companies with a team generally have a decent level of licensing compliance, but we often find illegal software once the proper tools are put in place.
A big enough team might have a security focused person on team. Most individuals or small teams do not. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are not usually following best practices as the documentation overhead is usually scarce.
Backups are usually fairly decent, but possibly not tested regularly. It’s sometimes and eye-opener to try and restore from the remote storage, and find they need 2 days to get the data. Woops.
Generally speaking IT is usually being managed to some and various degrees, but usually we find there is a skills gap or a highly trained person fixing printers. We often find the team overloaded. In these cases having an MSP to focus on a component like automation of tasks, front line support and/or a focused skill gap like security is a big benefit.
To conclude, from our experience some things just shouldn’t be left to chance. Consider the factors above and assess your teams, and if a small investment with an MSP partner might help relieve the load somewhat of an overworked team/person, and/or start to see some of the benefits of a MSP partner for predictable uptime and budget.
Should you need assistance working with your last line of defense, your value staff members and their security training, please let us know if you would like to work with NetAccess, we’d be glad to help. You can also call our main line at 905-524-2001 to speak to someone if you don’t have a managed support engagement with NetAccess.