MSPs Can Provide SMBs Crucial ‘Micro-Elements’

We all know that an increasing number of US jobs are heading to foreign countries, but there have been a lot of disagreements about the exact cause of this trend and whether it will continue to grow. A new report from the Harvard Business School, “Prosperity at Risk,” says a number of systemic problems in American business and politics are driving jobs offshore, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So what's the potential upside for managed services providers (MSPs)?

A closer look at several “micro” elements the report says are crucial for American businesses to stay competitive suggests that MSPs may able to help provide them, especially to SMBs who lack the resources to develop or locate these elements for themselves. These elements are communications infrastructure, availability of skilled labor, flexibility in hiring and firing of workers, and sophistication of firm management and operations. Following is a brief overview of each element and how MSPs can help deliver them to SMBs looking for a competitive edge.

Communications Infrastructure

The report recommends that American businesses have access to high-quality and widely available telephony, internet, and data. While large enterprises can easily develop their own sophisticated communications infrastructure, SMBs often do not have the money, time or in-house expertise needed to build a first-class communications infrastructure. Managed communications services can allow SMBs to take advantage of leading-edge communications technologies and still have money left over to have something to communicate about.

Availability of Skilled Labor

Genuine skilled labor is tough to find. Usually, a company must go through an intensive recruitment process that involves weeding out numerous unqualified candidates to locate one properly experienced and trained person. And that person is generally highly sought after in the job market, meaning larger companies who can afford to pay higher salaries have a decided edge compared to SMBs in hiring the most skilled employees.

MSPs can help SMBs save time and money in the recruitment process by offering the services of top-notch personnel as part of a managed services program. Sharing the services of highly qualified professionals on an as-needed basis puts the best people within reach of SMBs, and without busting their HR or payroll budgets.

Flexibility of Hiring and Firing Workers

As anyone involved in offering employment knows, there are numerous bureaucratic regulations around hiring and firing workers that makes the process onerous and exposes the employer to potential risk of lawsuit, especially in the case where a decision is made to terminate an employee’s position. SMBs are especially vulnerable in the case of a poor hiring decision, as they do not have substantial legal resources and may be forced to keep a subpar employee on board rather than face costly legal action. MSPs remove the difficulties SMBs face in hiring and firing workers while providing them needed services and manpower on a contract basis.

Sophistication of Firm Management and Operations

SMBs are less likely than their larger rivals to have access to the latest strategies, operating practices, management structures and analytical techniques. MSPs can deliver much of this knowledge and insight on as as-needed basis, at a fraction of the cost of obtaining new full-time personnel (see above) or pursuing education for existing employees.
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