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Should I Hire a Managed Service Provider? A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, yet they often face complex and daunting technological challenges. In an era where cyber threats such as crypto-virus attacks, network compromises, website breaches, and data loss are rapidly increasing, small businesses without a dedicated IT department are left vulnerable. Fortunately, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can be a viable, cost-effective solution to these challenges.

Should I hire a managed service provider to support my IT needs?” To help you consider your answer to the question, we outline the crucial role MSPs play in ensuring a business’s digital security and overall success. We also explore the various cyber threats small businesses face and present a cost-effective solution: partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

a scale showing benefits outweigh costs.

The Costs: Cyber Threats and Small Businesses

The digital landscape is fraught with potential dangers for small businesses. Take, for instance, the threat of crypto-viruses, malicious software that encrypts a user’s data and demands ransom for its release. According to a study by Cybereason (2022), small businesses are hit by 43% of all crypto-virus attacks, often costing businesses thousands, if not millions, of dollars in ransom payments and lost productivity.

Network compromises and website breaches are equally harmful, leading to unauthorized access, data theft, and reputational damage. Additionally, data loss, either accidental or due to malicious activity, can render invaluable business information irretrievable. A survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance (2022) revealed that 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of a data breach.

Let’s explore a few more examples of cyber risks:

Take an instance of email compromise, which can lead to significant financial loss due to fraudulent transactions or compromised sensitive data. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report (2023), businesses lost an average of $75,000 due to email compromises.

With attackers gaining access to confidential files and information. According to a 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 94% of malware was delivered via email, highlighting the need for strong email security protocols including anti-phishing, anti-spam, and secure email gateway services, would cost significantly less, even over several years..

Another significant cost for businesses is network downtime, which can occur due to a myriad of reasons ranging from hardware failure to cyber-attacks.

A report by Gartner (2022) estimates the average cost of IT downtime at around $5,600 per minute. For a small business, even an hour of downtime can lead to a loss of thousands of dollars.

The loss of critical data can also lead to substantial costs for businesses, particularly when it involves recovery efforts or results in loss of business opportunities. A study by the Ponemon Institute (2022) found that the average cost of data recovery after a breach for small businesses was around $1 million.

Having consistent backup and disaster recovery solutions can offer protection against such costly data loss.

Cybersecurity breaches represent one of the most significant threats to businesses today, with potentially disastrous financial implications. The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2023 indicates that the average cost of a cyber breach for a small business is around $200,000.

This includes expenses related to business interruption, loss of customer trust, regulatory fines, and the cost of restoring systems and data.

tools to calculat a cost Benefit analysis of hiring a managed service provider

The Benefits: Partnering with a Managed Service Provider

In response to these threats, small businesses without dedicated IT departments can look to MSPs for help. MSPs can provide end-to-end IT services, from network monitoring and data backup to cybersecurity solutions and disaster recovery.

A study by MarketsandMarkets (2023) found that businesses using MSPs reduced their annual IT costs by an average of 25-30%, while also increasing operational efficiency by 50-60%. This is in stark contrast to the costs associated with dealing with cyber threats and data loss, which can be significantly higher.

The benefits of partnering with an MSP extend beyond just IT security. They also include increased operational efficiency, reduction in IT costs, and access to the latest technology without heavy upfront investment.

Let’s examine a few benefits of partnering with an MSP to support your business’s IT needs:

MSPs offer a wide range of services tailored to fit the needs of each individual business. This flexibility can prove advantageous for small businesses, as it allows them to pick and choose services based on their specific IT needs.

As a business grows, MSPs can scale their services accordingly, ensuring that the IT infrastructure keeps pace with business expansion. As stated in a report by Accenture (2023), businesses that use MSPs experience a 60% improvement in the scalability of their IT operations.

Efficiency gains from using MSPs can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. For instance, businesses often waste precious hours dealing with IT issues, time that could have been spent on revenue-generating activities.

According to a study by IDC (2023), businesses that used MSPs reported a 42% increase in operational efficiency, leading to an estimated $101,000 annual cost savings for a small business with 50 employees. This starkly contrasts the cost of lost productivity due to IT-related issues when not using an MSP.

The cost of maintaining an in-house IT team, including salaries, benefits, training, and infrastructure, can be prohibitively high for many small businesses. MSPs, on the other hand, provide a range of IT services at a fraction of the cost.

A report by KPMG (2023) revealed that businesses that partner with MSPs can reduce their IT costs by up to 40%, providing significant financial benefits.

Keeping software up-to-date is critical to ensure optimal performance and security. However, software upgrades can be expensive and complex to implement. MSPs often include software upgrades as part of their service packages, ensuring businesses always have the latest versions at no additional cost. A Forrester study (2023) found that businesses using MSPs saved an average of 26% on software upgrade costs annually compared to businesses handling upgrades in-house.

For more on this, read our article: The Role of an MSP in Software and Licensing Upgrades.

Keeping up with the latest technology trends and implementing new systems can be costly and time-consuming. MSPs, however, are continually updating their knowledge and toolsets, providing businesses with access to the latest technology without the need for heavy upfront investment. A survey by PwC (2023) found that businesses using MSPs saved up to 35% of their budget on technology investments and software upgrades.

By partnering with an MSP, small businesses gain access to expert IT personnel and advanced technology without having to shoulder the costs of hiring an in-house team or investing in expensive technology upgrades. According to a Deloitte study (2023), businesses that utilized MSPs saw an improvement in their IT performance by an average of 45% due to access to expert knowledge and advanced technology.

A further significant advantage of utilizing MSPs is their proactive approach to IT management. Traditional IT services operate on a reactive basis, addressing issues as they occur. However, MSPs continually monitor and maintain a company’s IT infrastructure to identify and resolve potential issues before they result in system failures or data breaches.

For example, according to a report by Coveware (2023), the average cost of a crypto-virus attack on a small business is $150,000 when factoring in downtime, loss of business, and the ransom payment. The average cost of a data breach according to the IBM Security’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report is $4.24 million. In comparison, the national average monthly fee for an MSP can range from $100 to $250 per user (IT Services Pricing Guide, 2023). For a small business with 10 employees, this equates to $12,000 – $30,000 annually – a small fraction of the cost of a single cyber-incident.

This proactive management significantly reduces the risk of costly downtime and enhances the overall performance and reliability of business operations. A study conducted by CompTIA (2023) found that companies using MSPs reduced their risk of significant IT failure by 50%, underscoring the importance of a proactive approach to IT management in risk mitigation.

Did you know?

YellowHammer IT, LLC has developed creative ways to lower the cost of Managed Service Provider (MSP) services to cater effectively to the specific needs of small businesses. Reach out to us today to explore the custom-designed solutions created specifically for your business’s unique needs.

Final thoughts

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer a comprehensive, affordable, and scalable alternative to traditional in-house IT departments. By leveraging an MSP, small businesses can enhance their operational efficiency, reduce IT costs, and access the latest technology without significant upfront investment. MSPs also provide crucial protection against a variety of cyber threats, from crypto-virus attacks to network and website compromises, data loss, and email breaches. Cost-benefit analyses underline the substantial financial advantages of partnering with an MSP over managing these risks in-house.

Partnering with an MSP is more than just a strategic move; it’s a cost-effective way to ensure the longevity and success of your small businesses in a digital world fraught with threats. By leveraging the expertise of MSPs, small business owners can enjoy peace of mind, knowing your IT needs are in capable hands, while simultaneously reducing IT costs and increasing their operational efficiency.

To protect your small business from cyber threats and optimize your IT operations, consider partnering with YellowHammer IT, LLC. As your Managed Service Provider, we are dedicated to offering flexible, cutting-edge, and cost-effective solutions tailored to your unique business needs. Don’t leave your digital security to chance. Contact YellowHammer IT, LLC today and let us empower your business to thrive in the digital challenges of the 21st century.


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