Are you a CIO or IT Manager tired of dealing with IT problems? Does it seem like there’s another virus, security breach, or software update every time you turn around? And don’t get me started on the cost! You’ve probably spent a small fortune on your IT department over the years. If so, it may be time to consider a managed service provider (MSP).
Managed service providers can cover all your IT needs, from network security to software updates, for a fraction of the cost. A good provider can keep your network secure, update your software, and help you troubleshoot any problems that come up, in addition to offering 24/7 support.
What is the Work of a Managed Service Provider?
Let’s examine where a managed service provider fits into today’s IT environment in more detail.
COVID-19 pushed enterprises over the technology tipping point as the adoption of digital technologies accelerated. Experts opine that most organizations will soon operate in a hybrid environment that consists of a traditional data center, a cloud service provider, and a managed services provider.
In this new normal, enterprises contract a third party to provide IT hardware, software, and professional management services. They retain IT governance control through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the managed service provider (MSP). In addition, enterprises pay all the costs incurred by the managed service provider plus a profit markup. Where the MSP is more efficient than the contracting enterprise in providing contracted services, this option ends up less expensive than a traditional data center.
There are many reasons why enterprises may decide to hire an MSP. The advantages listed below will help you build a case for a managed services provider.
If you do it for no other reason, do it for the cost-benefit. First, there is the most direct financial benefit where you retain the services of highly qualified IT staff at a cheaper rate. By outsourcing skilled expertise, you can quickly reduce your direct payroll costs.
In addition to lower costs, you also save money on all the peripherals that come with keeping your IT staff happy. For example, you don’t have to worry about healthcare benefits or retirement plans when working with an MSP — it’s already included in their price tag!
You enjoy further cost savings by eliminating upfront capital expenditure for hardware, software, and licenses. The MSP will already have the latest technology and can implement it quickly in your environment.
To keep up with the fast pace of change in business today, you need a partner that can scale with you. Your MSP should be able to provide more resources as your company grows without having to worry about adding headcount or expanding your physical infrastructure.
This also goes for times when business is slow. An MSP can quickly ramp down services during those low periods, such as during the peak of COVID, without affecting your team’s ability to get back up and running when demand increases again.
One of the biggest advantages of working with a managed service provider is less downtime. MSPs understand how critical it is to keep your network up and running, no matter what. So, as part of their SLAs, they guarantee that your systems will always be available when you need them most. That’s something you can’t get from an in-house IT department. And if there are issues? An MSP will usually have a team monitoring 24/7, ready to resolve any technical problems before they affect productivity or sales opportunities.
Leverage Specialized Expertise
If you’re like most businesses today, then the chances are good that technology isn’t your company’s core competency (or expertise). Businesses that try to go it alone in the IT world quickly realize that they’re out of their depth and struggle to keep up with the latest trends and changes.
That’s where an MSP comes in. By working with an experienced provider, you can leverage their specialized knowledge and skillset, making sure your technology is always up-to-date and compliant. This allows you to focus on what you do best — running your business.
Meet Data Compliance Requirements
In order to protect your customers’ data, many industries have stringent compliance requirements that need to be followed at all times. For example, common compliance standards are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, compliance is challenging for companies without the necessary expertise or resources.
An MSP can help ensure that your company is always compliant by implementing security measures and protocols that meet or exceed industry standards. They also have the experience and knowledge to help you quickly address any security incidents, which can prevent costly fines and damage to your reputation.
Round the Clock System Monitoring
A core part of an MSP’s service offering is round-the-clock system monitoring. This means their team is always on alert, watching for issues and resolving them before they cause downtime or data loss.
This proactive approach helps keep your systems running smoothly without surprises. And if something does happen, the MSP will be there to help get things back up and running as quickly as possible.
Instant Access to Up-to-Date Technology
Technology moves fast, and it can be challenging for companies to keep up. Working with an MSP gives you instant access to the latest technology and trends.
This means that you can focus on your business goals instead of playing catch-up in the IT world. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about being out of date or behind the curve again.
Accelerate Business Transformation
In order to stay competitive, businesses need to evolve and transform their operations constantly. Unfortunately, this can be tough, especially if you don’t have the right resources in place.
An MSP can help by providing the necessary expertise and support to execute your business transformation plan successfully. They’ll work with you every step of the way, ensuring that everything goes smoothly and that you’re always on track to meet your goals.
Choosing the Right Managed Services Provider
Finally, we must stress that you must select the right managed services provider for you to enjoy these advantages. Not all MSPs are created equal, and it’s essential to choose one that will truly meet your needs. That means finding an MSP that offers the services and expertise you need at a price point that works for your business. You also want to make sure they have experience working with companies similar to yours and in industries where you operate. These things will help ensure a good fit between you and your provider of choice.