You’ve been looking into managed IT services. You’ve done your research and can see the benefits of streamlined IT service. It sounds wonderful to have a team of experts handling your IT needs, monitoring your systems to catch issues before they become problems, and quickly responding when your business needs tech help.
But...how much are you telling me I’ll pay in up-front costs?! Is it really a priority to update my licenses and equipment?
For some people, the sticker shock when switching to managed IT can be...well, shocking. While Varay will work within your budget and timeline to bring your business’ IT up-to-date, the costs at the onset of the managed service provider (MSP) onboarding process might make you second guess your decision to partner with an MSP. We believe MSPs are definitely worth the cost (and can save you money in the long run!), but the initial fees can be expensive. These costs are often more pronounced when a business switches from a break/fix or in-house model of IT services than when switching between MSPs.
So what up-front costs can you expect during the MSP onboarding process? Why are they needed? And how can these expenses end up saving you money?
An Ounce of Prevention...
Most of us are familiar with sayings like “A stitch, in time, saves nine,” and “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” When you identify and correct things before they become problems, it saves you a lot of time, money, and frustration. MSPs differ fundamentally from break/fix IT by focusing on preventing problems instead of waiting for things to go wrong and fixing them while your business operates in panic mode.
Most people agree that it’s a good idea to be proactive and correct issues before they become huge, expensive headaches — like fixing the sink when you find a leak instead of waiting until mold and water damage ruin your cabinets and floorboards too! But unfortunately when it comes to IT, many businesses don’t realize the value of prevention until they’re in trouble. It’s easy to put off protecting your data until you’re in a situation where you need protection — and end up spending big bucks because you didn’t have it. One of the first things we do in the MSP onboarding process is protect and secure your business’s information. At Varay Managed IT, cybersecurity is something that we take seriously. We aren’t trying to scare you, but anyone who has experienced a costly data breach or cyberattack can attest to the truth that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
When you partner with an MSP, another priority — right from the beginning — is data backup. No one wants the frustration and embarrassment of losing valuable information because of equipment failure, human error, or software bugs. We add or upgrade firewalls so that your business has the level of protection that you need to keep your data safe. While it costs money to do this, it’s far more costly to deal with the results of being unprotected.
During the MSP onboarding process, we set up safeguards to prevent things like data loss. However, we also work to make sure your equipment will not consistently cause you problems that cost you money in repairs, downtime, and efficiency.
Often, a business’s IT frustrations boil down to inefficient or outdated equipment. Instead of pouring funds into repairing old servers, outdated PCs, or aging hardware that will soon need to be replaced anyway, we work within your budget to bring networks and hardware up-to-date. These up-front costs might look intimidating, but they save you money and frustration in the long run.
Updating Software, Subscriptions, and Licenses
In the MSP onboarding process, we update software, licenses, and subscriptions. Outdated software leaves you vulnerable to cyberattack and ransomware — but it can also cost you in downtime and efficiency. During the MSP onboarding process, we make sure you are using the most effective, current programs to help your business function efficiently.
You might wonder whether it’s worth the cost to update your software licenses and subscriptions. Do we really need to spend that money as part of the MSP onboarding process?
When a business has multiple people using a single software license — it can cause big problems in the case of an audit. We make sure that your software is up-to-date, being used properly, and your subscriptions are current and still needed. These MSP onboarding fees can even end up saving you money, as our client Cibolo Nature Center found out. They had unknowingly been wasting money on unneeded subscriptions for years due to the inattention of their former MSP. After Varay updated their licenses and subscriptions, Cibolo’s Office 365 bill was half of what they’d been paying.
Inventory and Equipment Upgrades
A third expense during the MSP onboarding process is updating equipment and inventory. Many businesses lost track of equipment in the scramble to work from home and aren’t exactly sure what they have in their inventory. We can trace your equipment — like laptops — and help you identify what you have, whether they are running current operating systems, if they have appropriate firewalls, and whether software is up-to-date.
Once we have taken inventory of your business’s equipment, we can see what’s still useful and what needs to be replaced. We can recommend the purchases that will give you the biggest bang for your buck and will help your processes become more efficient. These up-front costs might cause sticker shock, but they’ll seem much more reasonable when you consider the cost of using and maintaining outdated equipment.
Although there might be an initial sticker shock, knowing the whats and whys of the MSP onboarding process can help you decide whether it’s worth it for your business. If you’d like to find out more about how Varay Managed IT of El Paso and San Antonio can help bring your business up to speed, please contact us for a free consultation.