Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often face challenges in hiring IT professionals with niche skills, usually due to budget constraints and the fact that these skills aren't required all the time. This includes knowledge around cybersecurity, cloud computing, business intelligence and analytics, DevOps, and artificial intelligence (AI). So how do you decide whether it's worth hiring these people?

Why are professionals with niche skills important?

SMBs need to protect themselves from cyber threats and require the knowledge and skills to understand what these threats could be. They also need to know how they may be vulnerable. But if they don't have the budget or long term need to hire a dedicated cybersecurity expert, how are they supposed to do this?

Similarly, SMBs could want to take advantage of cloud computing to store and access data, however they don't have the expertise to manage their cloud environment effectively on their own. They also need to understand how to blend it with on premise IT requirements. These all require specialist skills, which might not be readily available in the team they already have.

Business intelligence and analytics can help SMBs make data-driven decisions, but SMBs may not have the resources to hire a data analyst. And SMBs might not have the knowledge to implement DevOps and AI practices.

This is where an MSP (managed service provider) comes into play.

How can an MSP help SMBs with niche IT skills?

Don't panic! MSPs are here to help. Hiring a specialist for each niche requirement is expensive and time consuming. But with an MSP, an SMB can get all those skills rolled into one. Here are some examples of how an MSP can provide SMBs with the IT skills they need.

  1. Cybersecurity – An MSP can give SMBs managed cybersecurity services, including threat assessments, security audits, and ongoing monitoring and management. They can also help develop a cybersecurity strategy, implement security policies and procedures giving long term protection, and provide employee training on cybersecurity best practices.
  2. Cloud computing – Need a cloud strategy developing? An MSP can help! Plus, they can migrate applications and data to the cloud, and deploy and manage SMBs cloud environment. They can also provide cloud security and compliance services, and help SMBs to optimise their cloud usage for cost savings.
  3. Business intelligence and analytics – MSPs can help the business collect, store, and analyse data, as well as provide insights into business operations. They can also help SMBs to implement business intelligence tools and dashboards, and provide training to employees on data analytics best practices.
  4. DevOps – An MSP can help implement DevOps practices, such as continuous delivery and automation. They can also provide process improvement and optimisation services, and help to support the adoption of agile development methodologies.
  5. Artificial intelligence (AI) – AI can work with you to develop specialised solutions to support machine learning workloads.

When IT is already stretched time and budget wise, working with an MSP can give an SMB access to the skills and tools they need without hiring multiple people. MSPs can build resilience and growth into the IT strategy to support the commercial goals of the business.

Need niche IT help? Look no further

If you're an SMB with niche IT needs, but don't have the time or budget to hire multiple skilled professionals, ProActive is the MSP for you. Need help managing and monitoring cybersecurity? Looking to implement DevOps practises into your business strategy? It's all covered with ProActive.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, our support team are available to answer any questions you have. Just give us a call on 0333 111 2000.

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Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson

Content Editor

More posts by Laura Wilson.