Reasons for the trend: PCs and networks are more affordable, but they’re complex and often need expert service. MSPs typically don’t need to send a human to troubleshoot your software, security and firewall issues. They can manage most of that over the Web.
MSPs also manage specific computer business functions, such as customer relationship and e-mail programs. Potential savings are great, since management, maintenance and installation account for 80 percent of PC costs.
Advice: Compare the cost to handling your own IT services. When comparing, include the costs for IT services, computer equipment, software and administration.
Scrutinize MSP contracts carefully for hidden fees and service specifics. Find out how much service time and routine maintenance the contract guarantees. Ask how the MSP responds to virus attacks, security breaches and disasters. Ask about compensation or free service if your company loses sales because of problems resulting from the MSP’s errors. Request a 30- to 90-day free trial.