One of the biggest challenges for any business is hiring the right talent. For an IT department, having the right people in place can mean the difference between fully supporting the organization's technology needs or falling short.

For business owners, this presents a significant risk, both to their ability to grow by leveraging the power of technology or to protect themselves against nefarious cyberattacks. Without the right talent in IT, a business can accomplish neither of these critical areas.

Finding the right talent — or even any talent at all — for IT can be a huge hurdle to overcome. Sixty-nine percent of enterprises say that they are struggling to find qualified employees amidst a global IT talent shortage. The crisis is even more acute in specialized technology areas like cybersecurity or cloud, which require additional skill sets and qualifications.

Leveraging an MSP to fill the gap

One way to fill this gap is to leverage a managed services provider (MSP). An MSP can outsource many of all of a businesses' critical IT functions and monitor them on an ongoing basis. This performs similarly to an in-house IT staff, but with significantly more staff dedicated to supporting the businesses' technology and often 24/7 monitoring.

Hiring an outsourced MSP can also be more cost-effective than adding internal headcount, especially for a small or medium business. The average small business spends an average of 6.9 percent of their annual revenue on IT-related costs, with the average medium business spending closer to 4.1percent of annual revenue on the same category.

However, these costs have been steadily increasing over time as organizations leverage the power of technology to support their business needs. An MSP can leverage their entire staff to fulfill 24/7 support needs for an ongoing subscription price. Meanwhile, achieving those same results would likely take multiple in-house individuals with an average salary of more than $81,000 in the U.S.

Because of their centralized resources, an MSP can also ensure staff is trained on an ongoing basis on the latest technologies and techniques for maintaining and securing a company's environment. This includes certifications on significant technology brands, as well as training in emerging technology areas.

The gap will only continue to grow

The same enterprises that said they are struggling to find qualified employees said the pandemic has only exacerbated the IT talent shortage, and 75 percent said they expect the crisis to worsen in the months and years to come as digital transformations continue. Organizations should consider how managed services can help best support their IT needs today as well as into the future.