These days, managers find themselves increasingly under pressure to meet performance goals, operational expectations, and security needs of their businesses – all while trying to keep costs down. The world of Information Technology is getting more complex with every passing year, and many find it advantageous to partner with a company that understands the technology landscape, and whose core focus is ensuring your business technology strategy is on point.
That company is called a Managed Services Provider (MSP for short). Unlike traditional IT services, an MSP will tend to take 100% responsibility for the devices, users, or services they are contracted for, rather than taking a break\fix on-demand approach to service.
Differences Between Break\Fix and MSP
Break\fix service providers are fine for small organizations that don’t rely heavily on IT, but those that do will end up paying more than what MSPs charge for the same services. A break\fix provider will wait to get a service request after something to fails and downtime occurs. Break\fix service providers deal with every issue as a separate case, and charges for on-site visits are their major source of revenue. All of this adds up to unreliable costs, longer response and service times, and higher charges for emergency and on-site visits.
Most businesses find themselves in search of an MSP when they realize things are being said like:
- “We have too many service outages and too much downtime.”
- “We lost data due to lack of competence with the system.”
- “We haven’t called the IT guy because it will cost too much to fix.”
An MSP will actively monitor and care for the systems they are responsible for to ensure that downtime doesn’t occur and costs are regulated. They act as IT consultants and provide advice when their clients need to make strategic decisions. In our case, we go above and beyond to solve problems, consult with decision makers, and strategize at all levels – even outside the realm of IT – to ensure business success.
Simply put, when effectively executed, hiring an MSP is like having the capability of an entire IT department, complete with expertise of seasoned professionals, to deliver your company’s daily business technology needs and drive your corporate vision. At minimum, an MSP should:
- Provide new and additional capability to your end-users
- Remove complexity from daily operations
- Free your team to focus on its core competencies
A good MSP should focus on much more, including:
- Constantly improving security
- Ensuring complete data protection, no matter what
- Improving uptime
- Keeping current with all the latest technologies
- Maintaining a cost savings over in-house and break\fix IT
- Providing excellent peace of mind
Improving business mobility
Security and Efficiency
MSPs know that a client’s security is a top tier priority, as their entire business depends on trusting them with their IT infrastructure and business data. Any breach in security could potentially damage their client’s image – as well as their own. An MSP goes above and beyond to protect their client’s data because they have skin in the game. In order to protect again cybersecurity threats, an MSP will utilize fully managed security layers and intricate, redundant backup and disaster recovery solutions.
With service delivery being front and center for an MSP, they will focus on designing networks and data centers that provide resilience against the most common problems and comply with industry and manufacturer best-practices. Unlike break\fix providers, an MSP doesn’t charge per-visit, so ensuring that the networks they manage are highly functional and well documented is a prerogative.
Ensuring their client’s business is functioning 24/7 becomes an MSP’s full-time job. To accomplish this, an MSP performs routine hardware and software maintenance, automates patches and updates for each OS and third-party application, and provides continuous help desk and IT consulting to both the staff and management team.
Benefits of MSPs
In short, MSPs focus on improving their client’s businesses using technology as their delivery mechanism. When engaging with an MSP, your business can expect:
- Improved cost-effectiveness
- Access to expertise
- Focus on core business
- Improved scalability
- Improved resiliency
- Minimized risks
- Highly responsive availability