Managed IT service providers (MSPs) provide technology services to a business as the client deems necessary. The provider is responsible for continuously managing the services or equipment associated with the technology and monitors all related software, hardware, and infrastructure, making changes as necessary.
What Do IT Service Providers Do?
Managed IT services allow clients to outsource their IT services to a professional organization whose sole responsibility is operating, maintaining, and providing technical support for a service or equipment.
The client for these services generally pays a monthly fee and can use the managed IT services whenever they believe it’s needed.
The organization is responsible for selecting a reputable IT service provider capable of understanding, maintaining, and operating the software to keep it running correctly.
Compared to in-house IT services, outsourcing can save considerable business expenses, given that managed IT services operate on a monthly subscription fee basis and are available whenever the client needs them.
MSPs provide coverage 24/7, every day of the year, contributing their expertise in situations that no one with a technical background could remedy. In general, MSPs take on the following responsibilities:
- Monitoring the hardware and infrastructure of a system
- Testing for potential security weaknesses
- Monitoring and configuring cloud services, both internally and externally
- Facilitating communications within the infrastructure
The Benefits of Managed IT Services
Compared to the fix-it-yourself attitude, managed IT services offer the technical experience, quick response time, and low costs that can benefit both large and small businesses. Hiring an IT service provider grants many benefits.
Offers Expertise in a Range of Services
Managed IT services spend most of their time monitoring different software for different companies. They are more than capable of fixing technical issues as they arise, squashing bugs, and ensuring that the service runs smoothly.
Some issues that may arise with software can have severe ramifications for business operations, which is where a third-party IT management service can step in with their technical expertise to help clients.
There’s no need to train IT employees on how to use the software or recruit anyone, allowing business owners to only pay for the services they need under an SLA and avoid costs associated with full-time hires.
Anyone who has worked in a corporate setting understands the collective groan of frustration when the IT department is dragging its feet and not fixing an issue that halts production.
A third-party IT management service is a better option when the IT department becomes overrun with problems or overcome with other responsibilities.
With the service provider’s sole responsibility being to handle any concerns with the service, they can quickly address time-wasting software glitches and get everyone back to business as usual.
Services provided by IT support are under a Service-Level Agreement (SLA), which means that the third-party IT management is responsible for always keeping the infrastructure operational.
As part of their SLA, it allows business owners to rest assured that there is always someone monitoring their infrastructure and ensuring that nothing goes wrong.
Uptime is one of the essential features of infrastructure. No one can get anything done on a network if it’s constantly down, which is why MSPs are continually monitoring the service, conducting updates and maintenance during off-hours, reducing workflow disruption, and making the functionality of the business more efficient.
As well as being more practical for various reasons, managed IT services also save business owners a lot of money.
Since managed IT services operate on a monthly subscription basis, any services provided throughout the month are covered in that fee, helping keep costs predictable and allowing business owners to use those resources as needed.
Lastly, MSPs are primarily responsible for security, testing potential security weaknesses, and updating the system to safeguard it from threats. IT cybersecurity specialists can also monitor the infrastructure to detect and potentially cut off unauthorized access to the network, stopping malicious attacks before they even begin.
In the event of a breach, MSPs are also generally accountable for putting data recovery safeguards in place and protecting sensitive data as needed.
Potential Concerns of Using an MSP
Getting an MSP doesn’t usually mean a completely hands-free experience. The IT services still need oversight, accountability, and a steady workflow to provide value to the business.
In particular, business owners hiring an MSP should always ensure that the SLAs are worth their salt. If they aren’t, then the IT company supposedly looking after the infrastructure of a business may not be held accountable in the event of loss or penetration.
As such, when striking a deal with managed IT services, businesses should look for clear, concise language in the SLAs that defines services and offers specific metrics.
In light of this, looking for MSPs with a good track record is always best. Services with excellent track records on other infrastructures are far more likely to add value to the company. MSPs unwilling to demonstrate their value often aren’t worth the investment of resources.
Similarly, IT services aren’t helpful if they aren’t part of the business pipeline.
Working closely with IT managers is a prudent idea to ensure that interdepartmental communication is at its best and that the MSP is actively working towards the company’s goals, providing upgrades and configurations while implementing crucial changes based on the feedback of the employees.
Without it, the MSP and employees could be actively working against each other without even realizing it.
The Bottom Line
A managed IT service handles all business infrastructure maintenance, upgrading, and repair. They can be invaluable to provide timely repairs, save a company money, enhance security, and offer expert advice on system management.
They will monitor hardware remotely on behalf of your company, and MSPs generally offer experienced staff members and 24/7 support to handle any problem that may present itself. Hiring a managed IT service provider can increase uptime, preempt security threats, and improve employee workflow.
Furthermore, as they are a contracted entity, you can use them as often or as little as needed and can end the contract if you decide that developing an in-house IT department becomes best for your business needs.