According to job listings site Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a computer and network technician in the Charlotte area is currently just under $50,000 per year. If you’re thinking about switching to the managed IT services model (or evaluating your current provider), this salary is an essential benchmark.
With their specialists and helpdesk technicians providing 24/7 unlimited support, managed IT services providers (MSPs) should be able to offer better service at rates cheaper than what you’d pay a single in-house employee.
Ultimately, each provider will offer different plans and solutions, but there are a few monthly services every MSP should offer that an in-house staffer couldn’t keep up with.
IT reports and audits
There’s an incredible amount of data created by your office’s information technology systems. If your computer guy isn’t being overwhelmed by support requests, he could be transforming your data into insights that lead to more efficient and economical workflows.
MSPs track all kinds of information that could help them reduce the number of support calls you make (after all, fewer requests from you mean less overhead for your IT provider). Here are some of the monthly reports you should have access to:
- Cybersecurity – even small businesses are targets of self-replicating ransomware, large-scale email phishing campaigns, and data theft. Network reports help you narrow down which times of day, devices, and employees pose the biggest risk to your business.
- Backups – in-house employees may prioritize scheduling backups over responding to mundane IT requests, but verifying backups and updating corresponding disaster recovery plans almost always gets pushed back. With an MSP, you’ll receive confirmation that your backups have been tested at least every four weeks.
- Help desk traffic – while your overworked IT guy runs from one problem to the next, businesses that have partnered with an MSP are getting monthly downtime reports that help them understand the bigger picture, including which systems need the most attention and which employees cause the most IT problems.
Over time, a full-service MSP should be able to use these reports to develop a prevention strategy specific to your business.
Quick-turnaround updates and upgrades
Even if your software resources are limited to an operating system, one or two productivity applications, and an antivirus program, there are a lot of updates coming and going. And if you doubt the importance of these updates, just look at the WannaCry ransomware; any Windows computer that had been updated within two months of its release was safe.
MSPs keep a record of all the applications you use and track update releases closely. Depending on your needs, your provider will even work on installing the updates during hours that will cause as little downtime as possible. With a single in-house staffer, you’d be lucky to ever get everything up to date, especially during off-peak hours.
Your workstations, servers, cloud apps, and everything else that runs on 1s and 0s need to be constantly evolving. Beyond simple logistics (e.g., patches, reports, maintenance, etc.), these investments also need to fit into long-term plans that integrate new technology solutions as a way to stay ahead of the competition.
Forgive us for sounding like a broken record, but a $50k-per-year IT staffer just doesn’t have the time to research new solutions, vendors, and installation methods. And without someone developing plans to reduce IT costs and increase productivity, your office will fall further behind every month. Alternatively, MSPs provide virtual chief information officers who are on-call to offer valuable and specific plans as well as the means to roll them out more quickly than you ever thought possible.
Which $50k package sounds better?
It is entirely possible that you could get lucky and have one low-key month that gives your in-house IT staffer enough time to provide detailed reports about office-wide software upgrades, and to look into new solutions. But what are the odds you get two of those months in a row? Slim to none.
After more than 17 years as a managed services provider to businesses in Gastonia and Rock Hill, our team knows what it takes to make technology work for small businesses — month in and month out. When you’re ready for IT support that delivers consistent results, send us a message.