What an IT MSP is and How It Can Benefit Your Business
What is an MSP
An IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides remote services for managing a company’s IT infrastructure. Managed IT services ensure availability and security for a business and that business’s customers. Managed IT services can be useful to many businesses needing IT support. MSPs may specialize in networking, systems administration, and cybersecurity, among others.
MSPs are typically used by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These businesses only have so much bandwidth to support a complex IT infrastructure. Larger businesses may also use MSPs, especially those not able quickly hire new staff members or those bound by particular guidelines. MSPs are able to handle the workload by implementing automated administration routines. This automation allows the MSP to remain agile and ready to work when an issue arises. The MSP term also includes application service providers (ASPs) and network service providers (NSPs).
Advantages of Using MSP
Many businesses rely on IT to support their operations, but not every business has the expertise to manage their systems. Managed service providers often provide around the clock monitoring every day of the year. This means you can sleep easy at night knowing that if something breaks, the MSP has it covered. This constant monitoring decreases employee downtime thereby preventing lost revenue. MSPs also perform maintenance on a regular basis to prevent downtime.
Not only do MSPs ensure availability MSPs also have a large and diverse staff of professionals. This large team can have many different experts in different IT areas. MSPs also provide security monitoring services to protect organizations from cyber-attacks. Preventing confidential files from falling into the wrong hands can keep you ahead of the cybercriminals. MSPs also work with a business to determine who should have access to certain systems. Cloud-managed service providers host IT services in the cloud. Cloud services allows for a decentralized IT infrastructure which is a huge advantage in case of disaster recovery. A single day’s worth of lost data can mean thousands of hours wasted.
Signing with an MSP
Managed service providers will typically contract to customers on monthly or annual contracts. Often these contracts define a Service Level Agreement, or SLA. An SLA gives defined measurables to how quickly the MSP should respond to an incident or the hours of availability for a service. Contract prices are often based on the number of users being supported. In an IT environment without an MSP, costly surprises may come up and IT needs can constantly change. MSPs offer one rate on the contract, which gives the customer an advantage as it provides fixed IT costs for budgeting.
Managed IT services allow an organization to look past the constraints of human resources on hand. MSPs also allow organizations to streamline their costs and prepare for the future. Should disaster recovery be a concern, a cloud MSP can provide a customer with fault tolerance and quick recovery. An MSP is perfect for a business that needs IT management without needing to bring on full-time resources.