Businesses today, big and small, require some level of computing technology. Networking, hardware, software, internet accessibility, and every other minor category in between can become a job by itself. This is the epitome of the entrepreneurs struggle. Everyone advises the new startup to work their strengths, hire the rest... and IT has reached this level of necessity. 

For an entrepreneur to focus on creating and innovating, they cannot be bogged down with endless needs and costs--let's not forget about the stress --of in-house IT services. It's no wonder that outsourcing to IT service providers is a big business. Globally, the market size of outsourced IT services was $85.6 billion in 2018, according to Statista.

The Fear Around Outsourcing

Rest assured that tapping an IT service provider to help run your tech show doesn't always mean your company will have to rely on non-native English speakers overseas. And it doesn't mean you will be sacrificing quality by foregoing in-house teams.  Companies in all industries face struggles in maintaining a balance in their IT departments, from monitoring their infrastructures to managing their workloads. As I am not an IT expert, but am trying to understand more, I reached out to get some insights. Matt Clemmons, 'TekStream Solutions' Managing Director, understands IT departments from the inside out. 

Clemmons brought to light a more affordable and undervalued alternative: managed service providers (MSPs). MSPs are sometimes referred to as IT service providers or cloud service providers (CSPs). The most common question around third-party hiring tends to be: Why trust a third party over hiring an in-house team of IT wizards with your company's sensitive data?

Do What You Do Best

Startups often aren't working with a massive budget, but also cannot afford to have second rate infrastructure or failing tech. The middle ground on this may be an MSP or IT service provider that can focus on what you need and cut out the extra until you've reached a point in your bottom line where you can expand these services. We're already seeing this trend with virtual assistants and even in design support. This idea of putting up a professional front, while working your strengths, and tasking out the rest is how plenty of start-ups now are getting "on the field." 

Doing Less Costs More

Oftentimes entrepreneurs are trying to save everywhere they can, and it ends up costing more in the end. Employee retention is a really big issue , especially in certain IT areas where the field is small and the choices are slim. 

Finding Top Talent Is Tricky

Even with a massive and expanding demand, high-quality tech support isn't always easy to find, with many running their own management service business to provide for several startups rather than just one. If you manage to take a knowledgeable but inexperienced person under your wing, you can provide training. But training sucks up production time and involves investing in additional resources to accurately cover constantly advancing infrastructure maintenance and monitoring best practices. 

Keeping Top Talent, Even Trickier

The market tells us it's likely your hire won't last two years at your company. With the money you dump into resources, you may not be able to afford to offer increased compensation to this freshly trained employee. Oh the irony. Larger companies are now neck and neck in efforts to find fresh talent developing in the college universe, offering competitive perks and salaries to support intellectual and skill set growth. Don't let your company fall prey to these selfish poachers. Investing in a more diverse MSP can be a saving grace for your budget and team.

Maximizing Technology

The typical company uses less than ten percent of an application's functionality and capabilities, Clemmons says. Many companies use apps for only what they're advertised to do. But with the proper finesse and management, your applications can revolutionize how you do business. Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Dimension, for example, is helping companies maximize design possibilities to stand out from the noise that is life in 2019. Maximizing application capabilities can boost ROI and reduce the need for duplicate solutions.  The right MSP not only manages the platform and applications but helps you realize the untapped potential in the apps you've purchased, This reduces the need for in-house experts while keeping you up to date on the latest best practices. With a managed service provider's hands-on experience and knowledge, you can maximize what you're already paying for.

Published on: Aug 9, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.