August 12, 2021
IT experts are more in-demand than ever in a growing $1.8 trillion sector that’s nearly 40 percent of the global IT market. According to a recent study by Robert Half, top-tier professionals can earn six-figure salaries that top $200k annually — with cybersecurity experts leading the way.
That’s a pittance for large corporations, but it’s far more than most small and mid-sized companies are able or willing to spend — on just one person, let alone a whole team. As a result, many businesses hire a jack-of-all-trades (master of none) to do everything IT-related and miss out on the business bolstering expertise specialists can offer.
But neither of those things has to be the case; a managed services provider can help keep IT costs down, reduce your risk, especially when it comes to cybersecurity, and provide the expertise across technologies and platforms that your business requires to grow.
For more insight on what’s happening in the IT sector and how organizations can benefit from working with a managed services provider, we spoke with Mindsight’s CIO/COO and IT industry veteran Tad Gralewski.
Here’s what he had to say:
You’re better off with a team
Individuals with expert-level IT skills are handsomely paid and in high-demand these days. In a hyper-competitive job market with low unemployment, they’re often financially unattainable or not immediately available. Say you’re looking to fill an IT vacancy. These days, it could be a few months before you find the right person, if you find anyone at all. Or maybe the person you do hire turns out to have insufficient skills and is a poor fit – at which point you’ve already paid the large recruitment fees. And while you’re looking for the right individual, your entire environment is at higher risk. More than ever, IT is crucial to the overall health of your business, so you need to fill gaps as soon as possible.
Hiring a managed services provider like Mindsight allows you to minimize risk and maximize availability of your IT systems and applications quickly and affordably. For about the same cost as hiring one in-house jack-of-all-trades who’ll likely require a substantial onboarding period, you get multiple IT experts who are each focused on different parts of your tech infrastructure — everything from data protection to cybersecurity — and who require minimal guidance. Like elite paratroopers, they swoop in on short notice and perform their jobs at the highest level.
Qualities to look for in a managed services provider
- Find a provider with shared values and one who will cater to organizations of your size. If you’re a sprawling behemoth, go with a bigger provider. Mid-market companies, on the other hand, would do well to choose a smaller provider with a high-touch approach. A large corporation may be able to tolerate a managed services partner who doesn’t sway from process, but this likely won’t work for a mid-market company that needs more agility from a managed services provider. Flexibility and attention to your immediate needs is something that a smaller managed services provider can offer.
- Make sure that whichever provider you select has a solid track record. Has the provider retained a good number of customers or have many of them left? Is the overall staffing level pretty consistent or is there high turnover?
- It’s also important that the MSP has had its processes and controls audited and certified by a third party. Ask for a copy of their SOC2 report, or similar audit evidence. An unbiased outside assessment is far more reliable than potentially empty promises from someone who merely wants your business.
What organizations and IT providers learned from the COVID-19 pandemic
Companies that want to maintain an effective remote workforce ideally have invested or reinvested in the tools that make remote workers effective while keeping the company safe from cyberattacks — which are on the rise and getting more sophisticated. Implementing a comprehensive information security policy is difficult, takes time, and requires understanding the risks associated with various business decisions, such as implementing remote work on a large scale. Mindsight can help create that information security roadmap to ensure that you’re as protected as possible.
From a tactical standpoint, hiring a managed services provider goes a long way toward helping to minimize the risk of adverse cyber events. For example, if a managed services provider like Mindsight is managing a customer’s IT environment, it means we’re installing security updates and patching vulnerabilities on a regular basis. For companies that run lean from an IT perspective, those are the types of things that tend to fall through the cracks — often with detrimental consequences. Mindsight regularly consults with our customers on the latest cyber threats to make sure all possible protection methods are in place.
As cyber threats increase and IT hiring becomes more difficult, companies are struggling to be more proactive about managing their infrastructure and endpoints. They’re starting to understand that IT resource constraints are normal, and they’re beginning to look more closely at where their staff is spending its time. Are they focused on strategic business matters or are they sidetracked by things that are more maintenance-based and routine? If the latter is getting in the way of the former, that’s a problem — one that a managed services provider is well-equipped to solve.
Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.
About the Expert
Mindsight CIO/COO Tad Gralewski is graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and has been in the IT industry for over three decades. At Mindsight, Tad focuses on both delivering Mindsight’s services to our customers and working with them to help develop strategies, roadmaps, and solutions to solve their issues. To Tad, “We don’t sell things – we solve problems”. A self-proclaimed “outdoors person”, Tad enjoys camping, hiking, and riding motorcycles in his spare time.