What is a Managed Service Provider?
If your company wants to outsource any or all aspects of your information technology services to improve operational performance, then a Managed Service Provider, (MSP) can help you. A Managed IT Services provider remotely manages your network infrastructures. Some IT Service Providers will extend service offerings to provide you with application infrastructures as well as manage them for you.
MSP’s have evolved in the marketplace to provide you with three primary levels of service.
- Pure Play MSP
- These MSP’s limit services to that of a management service provider. Pure Play MSP’s monitor your network and application performance without taking responsibility for your business operations.
- Staffing-legacy MSP
- These are mid-level MSPs that offer you a range of services and take more responsibility for your business. Staffing-legacy MSP’s often offer software patches, installations and upgrades as well as monitoring services.
- High-level MSP
- You choose High-level MSP’s when you would like to outsource your entire IT operations. High-level MSP’s can offer you lower levels of service similar to Staffing-legacy MSP’s.
The choice of MSP level depends on your company needs and budget.
What Benefits Do MSP’s Offer?
The full range of benefits of a Managed IT Provider for your company depend on the level of service you choose. Let’s discuss the benefits for you I you would choose a High-Level MSP, as they provide a range of services that encompass services offered by the lower-level service providers.
There are ten primary benefits for your company to work with an MSP. Let’s take a look at the top ten benefits your company will get from hiring a Managed IT Services provider:
- Cost reduction
- By offering economies of scale and industrialization of service delivery, MSP’s can provide services at a lower costs to you as infrastructure and staffing overhead costs are spread across multiple clients.
- Capital Expenditures Reduction
- Just as companies have moved to lease real estate rather than purchase, the move to cloud and managed services can reduce capital expenditures by shifting information technology costs to operating expenses, allowing you greater flexibility.
- Increased Efficiency
- MSP’s provide additional value from implementation of best practices, standardization of processes and added automation allowing higher efficiency and tighter internal controls.
- Access to Skills
- MSP’s take responsibility from you for attracting and retaining skilled professionals, therefore saving you time, money and risks associated with talent acquisition.
- Better Service Levels
- Increased service quality is the primary value MSP’s can offer you as the quality is backed by a contractual agreement. The service delivery is therefore consistently reliable and more cost effective.
- Risk Reduction
- MSP’s can provide improved security, business resilience and compliance risk through offering proven processes and procedures as well as added infrastructure resources for critical systems and data recovery.
- Access to Technology Innovation
- MSP’s can more readily implement new technologies allowing for access to innovation and provide you increased business value. As well the MSP lowers your risk of new technology innovation by taking responsibility for startup investment, training and implementation.
- Flexibility and Scalability
- MSP’s scale the scope, size and range of services based on your business needs. This allows you to better align information technology resources with business requirements as well as faster implementation of new resources.
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
- The MSP has data centers that will be available, resilient and redundant to help you maintain business continuity. Your data will be safe and voice services will continue in the event your main office is lost.
- MSP’s allow you to centralize all applications and servers within managed data centers, which provides improved performance and access to virtual services, as well as infrastructure for storage and backup.
How Should I Choose an MSP for My Company?
Your decision to hire an MSP will have a huge strategic, operations and financial impact on your company. The process to make the decision should consider all these aspects.
There are six areas to consider when researching which MSP is right for your company.
- When your provider isn’t responsive, your business can experience costly downtime that will harm client relations and ultimately affect your reputation.
- Honesty and Accessibility
- Your provider should provide information to you in a way you can understand in order to ensure proper decisions are made.
- Processes and Tools
- The MSP should have the right processes and tools to effectively handle your specific needs.
- The MSP should have experience with similar companies. Ask the provider about their experience.
- How long have they been in business?
- How many companies have they partnered with?
- Who are their current clients?
- Have they worked with companies similar to yours?
- The MSP should have a good reputation in the industry. Ask for references from current and former clients.
- Can the MSP be a Trusted Advisor?
- Your MSP should be a trusted advisor for your information technology questions and concerns. Gather the necessary information from them to ensure they are a fit for your business.
The decision to hire an MSP provider can have broad and long term effects on your business. Your technology infrastructure and services are the life’s blood of your business.
If you decide an MSP is right for you, determine what level of MSP you need, and what service provider can offer you the tools, services and stability you need to take your business to the next level.
Learn more about Managed IT Services: