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Should you purchase a workstation yourself or source everything from your Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
There is a certain responsibility associated with building out your workstations yourself, whereas with an MSP you can be comfortable handing the set-up and management of your workstations to the experts.
Hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) bridges the gap between requiring an in house I.T. staff member or trying to manage your business I.T. all on your own. The demand for high-performance, fast-moving, and stable business technology is ever-increasing which makes hiring an MSP a game-changer for many organizations. The incentive to sell only the most dependable computers would be enough to justify buying I.T. hardware from an MSP, but there are plenty of other benefits.
Time is of the essence
Running a business takes a lot of time and energy, so allotting time to set up your I.T. equipment may not always be possible. Setting up workstations requires hardware and software installation, knowledge of existing I.T. infrastructure, and sourcing the appropriate products in addition to managing software licenses, warranty information, patch installations, upgrade histories, and expiration dates.
Time is a non-renewable resource and a qualified MSP helps save you time. An MSP leverages their expertise to set up everything you need; they’ll source the appropriate software and have qualified staff on hand to install the hardware. In addition, a qualified technician will speed up any issue resolutions as they are so well acquainted with cutting-edge products that they can resolve problems much more efficiently. Purchasing hardware from an I.T. managed service provider doesn’t only streamline the purchase and installation process, it also saves you countless hours over the lifetime of your equipment.
Who has got your back?
If you choose to source your hardware and software from different manufacturers, you will miss out on centralized customer support… and we all know how painful calling manufacturer hotlines can be. Sourcing products on your own means you will have to troubleshoot any issues with your workstations on your own and manage any ongoing updates, which can often be a lengthy and frustrating process.
An MSP will provide convenient, proactive, and continuous customer service, plus they are specialized and dedicated 100% to the task of managing your I.T. systems. Therefore, they can offer a quick and timely response to any support request, performance issue, equipment update, or license renewal. In addition, your MSP will source any necessary equipment replacements and save you from dealing with any equipment manufacturers. You can rest easy knowing your business I.T. is handled by the pros.
Knowledge is power
In order to build your workstations effectively, you will need to do a lot of research. What kinds of hardware and software will you need? Which equipment is the best for your unique needs? Do you know how to install it? Who will maintain it? How will you protect your workstations from cyber attacks and security risks?
A lot of time is needed to obtain this knowledge – time you could have put into managing your business. Uneducated purchases or decisions can cost your business money in the form of repairs, replacements, or even security attacks. Application of the wrong hardware can lead to unexpected downtime and often prolongs the time it takes you to get your new solution implemented into your existing I.T. environment.
A big part of your MSP’s job is diagnosing your business’s needs and creating an effective and cohesive I.T. environment, recommending and implementing only the most efficient technology. It is important to have the knowledge and foresight to prevent any potential issues and to prepare contingency plans for if issues arise. Your MSP acts as your technical support and consultant for any I.T. issues and their manpower is dedicated to solving issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
It’s a team effort
Acquiring a credible managed service provider allows even small organizations access to highly qualified personnel, without having to hire in house. Most small and medium businesses find it’s not financially possible to employ a competent tech to manage their entire I.T. infrastructure.
Outsourcing these critical services is often the most cost-effective route, producing predictable monthly costs and allowing your business access to an entire team of I.T. experts. Most Managed Service Providers employ multiple technicians with a wide range of experience and expertise in the field of I.T., offering your business access to a variety of experts with the knowledge to handle any I.T. request, including the purchasing and implementation of hardware.
Access to business-grade equipment
There are vast differences between consumer-grade vs. business-grade hardware; consumer devices are created to look sleek and stylish, but often fall short in durability and configuration options. Consumer-grade equipment also often fails more frequently than enterprise-grade hardware. Business-grade laptops and PCs tend to offer sturdier chassis, improved usability, and extra configuration options which means they often last longer and have fewer disruptions than consumer-grade hardware. Shopping from a big box store will result in consumer-grade equipment, whereas your MSP will be able to source business-grade equipment.
In addition to receiving a superior product, you will also avoid any risk of purchasing an incorrect solution or product. When trying to order hardware or software on your own, consumers often end up buying the wrong solutions. You may end up purchasing equipment that isn’t capable of handling the demand of your business, the stricter security protocols required for business needs, and you may run into compatibility issues with technology in your existing I.T. environment. In addition, if you purchase and implement a consumer-grade device you may end up with some additional runaway expenses if the solution doesn’t work properly and you require support.
Environment and Infrastructure
Your I.T. environment requires consistent monitoring and proactive maintenance each week. Your MSP’s engineering team spends a lot of time learning about the appropriate configuration and functions of your I.T. environment, so when it comes time to add new equipment, your MSP will know exactly what technology will and won’t work with your existing infrastructure. In addition, your MSP will recommend the appropriate solution for replacing older technology or adapting to your business’s unique needs.
In addition to hiring a Managed Service Provider to monitor your workstations, you will also have the added benefit of ensuring that industry best practices for security are implemented. Your MSP will protect your workstations from sophisticated cybercriminals and will take a proactive approach to take care of ongoing security patches.