Modern-day businesses, both large and small alike, thrive solely based on how efficient and secure their network and IT systems are. With these networks evolving yearly, some companies may fall behind trying to ensure their systems are as effectively managed as they need to be in order to operate successfully while also maintaining daily productivity.
Instead of delegating time and resources to an in-house IT team, a managed service provider’s strategic method of monitoring and managing allows businesses to focus on enhancing their day-to-day operations without worrying about interruptions or downtime due to network malfunctions. But what exactly is a managed service provider and what do they do?
Managed service providers (MSPs) are third party companies that provide 24/7/365 real-time risk assessment and proactive monitoring of a business’s complete IT system and infrastructure to analyze and resolve potential threats before greater issues or outages can occur. The MSP works as a business partner that assumes responsibility for any and all aspects of a company’s network and provides comprehensive reporting of quality and performance which offers a full overview for easy tracking and following.
The most basic function of a managed service provider is to provide maintenance and troubleshooting support for common IT issues such as email solutions, software updates, and hardware repair. All employees of a company have access to an MSP’s help desk, which provides technicians who are usually able to resolve problems remotely or will send a technician if support on site is needed. More complex operations of MSPs include compliance, data protection, and cybersecurity, equipped with backup and recovery plans for different devices.
Who should use a managed service provider?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the best clientele for MSPs, specifically companies with 20 to 100 employees and in low technology industries. High technology companies usually come with a fully functional IT infrastructure, yet larger businesses and government agencies who have budget limitations can also benefit from managed services.
Sometimes, but not always, managed service providers completely replace any internal IT department a company may have. In other cases usually seen with larger companies, an MSP may partner with the IT department creating what are called co-managed or partially-managed service providers.
Businesses who aren’t yet large enough to justify having a full in-house IT team should use an MSP, as well as those whose IT staff could be better outsourced for improving revenue and productivity within the company. Instead of focusing on mundane network operations, employees can work on revenue-enhancing projects while the MSP handles routine monitoring and maintenance.
A final client who should consider using a managed service provider are companies thinking about making the switch to cloud-based services. Cloud technology is on-demand access to all of your data via the internet without being restricted to a particular device or location. A managed cloud service provider allows customers to choose which IT functions it prefers to manage themselves, leaving the remaining operations to the MSP which can include management of the company’s storage, network, and operating systems.
What are the benefits of using a managed service provider?
Managed service providers allow companies to reach their highest potential by supplying them with constant and consistent IT support, leaving employees and executives to focus on core business goals. Top service providers can cut IT costs while increasing operational efficiency and functionality in nearly every aspect of a company.
Here’s a look at five of the most notable benefits of using a managed service provider:
- Predictable costs and savings
Managed services are an affordable alternative to the reactive break-fix services that previously dominated IT support. Most MSPs utilize a subscription service on a continuous, monthly basis where customers pay a flat monthly fee for services detailed in service level agreements, or SLAs. Pricing per month is usually based on the number of devices that would be monitored, with different levels being different prices so businesses can get exactly what they need- no matter their size or budget.
These prices and levels also vary depending on the services you opt-in for, ranging from simple monitoring and notifying to full problem analysis and resolution. The savings that come with choosing this type of approach over repairing issues as they happen is one of the top benefits of using managed service providers.
When trying to expand a company or during substantial periods of growth, managed service providers offer the flexibility needed to scale up or down depending on the needs of the business. Training and maintaining in-house IT teams can be costly and defer time and resources from other important objectives of a company. MSPs cut out the cost of training and help upgrade systems as a company grows, or can scale back services that a company is no longer in need of at that time.
- Increased efficiency
Outsourcing IT functions to a top managed service provider increases efficiency and productivity both within a company’s network and with their employees. MSPs use a proactive approach to focus on prevention rather than reaction, by constantly monitoring and resolving issues remotely before they can occur. This leaves employees to focus on the core objectives of a business and increasing revenue with minimal downtime.
- 24/7/365 support
Just as businesses work around the clock, so do their networks. Managed service providers offer remote monitoring combined with a full team of skilled IT specialists to keep a company’s network secure and functioning at all times. When faced with a problem, MSPs provide immediate expert support day and night that will have your company back and running within minutes.
- Peace of mind
Along with proactively addressing potential risks, MSPs are required to follow safety and data management regulations which together offer peace of mind when it comes to the efficiency and security of your networks. When outsourcing a company’s IT system through managed services, employees no longer need to worry about systems failing when trying to meet important deadlines or deal with breakdowns and interruptions that can hinder daily operations.
Whether a business is just starting or is a Fortune 500 company, MSPs offer a variety of benefits that fit any company’s goals. With cost savings, increased efficiency and productivity, and around the clock support, outsourcing through a managed service provider may be the right move for your business to make.