What Is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
An MSP can act as your IT department or augment your in-house staff. In addition, an MSP can provide a wealth of IT services to reduce the burden so that you can focus on your business goals.
Services can include:
- IT support desk to resolve problems
- Optimize security to minimize threats
- Infrastructure management to improve IT stability
- Management of hardware, software, and systems
- Backup solutions
- Unified communication and collaboration tools
Many small and medium-sized businesses have engaged an MSP as part of their IT solutions. 68% of SMBs say that outsourcing their IT helps them stay ahead of their competition.
Why Businesses Are Outsourcing their IT
The biggest reasons businesses are gravitating to Managed IT services? Saving money and improved security.
IT experts can be expensive. Recruiting and retaining qualified talent has also become increasingly difficult. When there’s turnover, the learning curve can be severe. Managed IT services provide continuity and stability to managing your infrastructure.
There’s also predictability to your expenses. You can forecast your costs more accurately by entering into a service agreement with a managed IT services provider.
94% of enterprises are already using cloud services as part of their business. More than three-quarters are employing multiple cloud connections or mixing public cloud and private cloud connectivity.
While improving speed and productivity, this has also added complexity to infrastructure, even for small businesses. It also opens up new threat vectors. Multiple connections to third-party solutions can leave you more vulnerable to attacks.
Working with a Managed IT provider, you get robust security that is centrally managed. Your provider can secure your internal and cloud-based infrastructure to provide an additional layer of protection from cyber threats and disruption to your business.
An experienced IT provider will monitor your systems and infrastructure 24/7 with dedicated data center resources, optimize your storage, automate your backups, and provide access to resources regardless of where your team members are working.
This level of performance monitoring reduces costly downtime and ensures you have access to the service you are paying for.
Experts on Call
In most companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, IT teams tend to be generalists – able to manage and fix a wide variety of IT concerns. However, few are expert in every area of IT.
When you work with an MSP, you have access to a team of experts in specific aspects of IT infrastructure and management.
Many in-house IT teams are so busy staffing the help desk or dealing with problems that pop up that they may not have adequate time to be proactive. However, managed IT providers must provide consistently high-quality service for all of their customers, so they will be proactive about managing resources, upgrading equipment, and staying on top of software updates.
While some businesses outsource their entire IT infrastructure management, MSPs can customize services to meet your business needs.
Managed IT solutions can take care of everything you need or help your existing staff stay on track. By outsourcing, you will free up resources to focus on core businesses, add scale to your IT team, and get access to specialists when needed.
If a server goes down or a device fails, it can shut down your business and impact productivity. It can also be expensive and take time to fix. Adding redundant systems only increases the costs.
A Managed IT provider, by comparison, will have backup systems already in place with automatic failovers. In many cases, if a component fails, you may not even notice and your service will continue uninterrupted.
The MSP will also manage updates and proactive IT maintenance for you, addressing and eliminating problems BEFORE they occur and ultimately cutting maintenance or repair costs.
Another aspect of Managed IT is that you can quickly scale resources. When there’s a problem, your MSP will bring together teams of pros to solve issues. For example, suppose you have heavier workloads during seasonal periods or need to upgrade your service quickly. In that case, it’s easy to do — especially when you compare that to the headache of buying new equipment or hiring and training IT team members.
Want to learn more about Managed IT solutions? Contact the experts at Higher Information Group today.