Managed service providers (MSPs) are external companies that manage and assume responsibility for a range of day-to-day administrative services for their customers. They can be incredibly useful for a variety of industries, from corporate and government customers to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), non-profit organizations, and government agencies. MSPs can provide fast response times, proactive security, staffing services, business continuity, and more. MSPs can reduce or eliminate the need to purchase new computer hardware and software, especially in enterprise-grade infrastructures.
They often use the latest equipment and technologies, ensuring that their services are delivered at an up-to-date level. Plus, many MSPs work for a fixed monthly fee, so there are no financial surprises in “upgrade charges” or other unexpected bills. Managed services allow constant monitoring of a network, so companies can nullify risks instead of outsourcing IT when a problem occurs. All update and maintenance tasks are performed by a managed service provider, allowing managers to focus on their business rather than worrying about the company's IT.
When selecting an MSP, it's important to assess current and future IT needs. The company should advise on what kind of products and services should be implemented over the next year. The degree to which an MSP integrates into an organization can range from basic monitoring services that notify organizations of problems but allow them to resolve issues themselves to more intensive services covering everything from alerts to end resolution. MSPs often manage management services on a daily basis so that customer organizations can focus on improving their services without worrying about prolonged system downtime or service interruptions.
They also structure their business to offer technology services that are cheaper than it would cost a company to make them themselves, with a higher level of quality, with more flexibility and scalability. MSPs can dramatically improve their IT support efforts by introducing their own mature, feature-rich ticketing system. Last year's pandemic also saw an increase in demand for cloud-based solutions and increased momentum to accelerate digital transformations, as customer demand shifted away from integrating basic service systems and help desk services to remote work support and cybersecurity. By contracting with an MSP, you do not waive overall administrative control or responsibility for the operations that are outsourced and therefore remain accountable. These services may include an external help desk, which assists non-IT employees when needed and provides advice to IT staff in emergencies and business service interruptions. Where MPS are most beneficial to small businesses is often in the IT support space, from outsourced technical support to on-site fault repair and remote management and monitoring support services.