If you’re not sure why you need a managed services provider (MSP), you’re not alone. Despite all the benefits of hiring an MSP to join their organization, many businesses are still unconvinced. Having an MSP as part of your team adds talent in essential areas that companies often struggle to fill.

Organizations are used to creating leadership and management teams but often fail to fill roles that are critical to a firm’s success. IT generally gets missed when accounting teams are formed because what it takes to support and protect systems is immense.

An MSP brings a wide range of specialties that add talent to your organization. While there are many reasons to hire an MSP as a partner, we want to focus on four that should be considered when evaluating IT security professionals in your area.

 

Who on your team handles cybersecurity?

Without the right expertise, the ever-evolving threat landscape can be difficult for any business to navigate by themselves.  Accounting firms handle more sensitive data than the average company and are prime targets for bad actors.

Organizations and businesses of all sizes are at risk for cybersecurity breaches. In fact, some of the hacks in 2020 included the following: BlackBaudSmall Business Administration, and Garmin.

The concern over evolving cybersecurity threats is continuing to grow as they become harder to prevent and remediate.  Ransomware has been one of the most disruptive types of attacks for the past several years, with new complex variants and higher demands for payment.  One of the latest tactics the hackers use is releasing the locked content to the dark web if the ransom is not paid. Companies might have recovered their data from backups, but still must pay the hacker to prevent the release of their sensitive data on the internet.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “the growing number of serious attacks on essential cyber networks is one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces.” The IRS has a site dedicated to protecting your clients information and yourself. It includes guidelines that can help prevent exposure to breaches that can tarnish brand identity and business reputation.

Not being prepared for advance threats could be costly for many businesses. According to Accenture’s Cyber Security Report for 2020, the average cost per attack was  $380,000 per incident.

While these numbers are frightening, having an IT partner can help mitigate that fear and reduce the costs of an attack.  MSP’s have specialized skill sets that can address security concerns, provide advanced threat management capabilities, and offer end user security training as a last line of defense.

 

Can you focus on generating revenue for your business with IT issues looming?

Having an MSP as part of your team allows you to focus on what really matters — generating revenue for your firm and attending to the needs of your client’s.

Whether you are an administrator or accountant more than likely, you’re not an expert in technology. Dedicating time on IT issues is a heavy distraction that can be avoided.

By partnering with an MSP and allowing them to take responsibility for your IT, you are able to devote the time needed to grow your practice, improve client experience, and increase employee engagement and retention rates, especially if you’re already shorthanded.

 

Can you afford to hire or even retain an internal IT team?

Many organizations — especially small and medium-sized practices— don’t have enough capital to build and maintain a diverse in-house IT team.

One of the main reason’s IT professionals are expensive is due to the simple supply and demand principle. Currently the demand is higher for technical positions than other occupations, keeping unemployment rates down for those roles. According to Forbes, the U.S. tech unemployment rate was 2.5% in May 2020 and only increased to 4.4% by the end of 2020. Other occupations are at least 2-3 times higher than the unemployment rates for IT.

Even when capital isn’t an issue, many businesses would rather allocate funds to business initiatives designed to grow their top lines, instead of wasting time, money, and resources on staying on top of rapidly changing technologies.

 

Who has the time to keep up with technology?

Keeping up with evolving technology is nearly impossible. Do you go to the cloud? Are new collaboration tools the answer? What about implementing new security protocols to help protect your investment in your company, employees, and reputation?

With technology, there’s something new to update or learn every day. Advantages can be had from enhancements with new systems, threat management services, and employee empowerment, but only if they are properly implemented and maintained. It takes a specialized team to help with this new technology.

 

Adding an MSP to your team better protects your company against cybersecurity threats, enables you to focus on generating additional revenue streams for your business, provides you with a dedicated IT team without having to build one, and helps you with overcoming the constantly changing technology landscape.

Before contracting an MSP to protect your business, do your research, ask the right questions, and consider your options, but above everything else, understand why you need one.