A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that offers other businesses the opportunity to outsource their information technology needs. In essence, the managed service provider becomes that company’s IT department, handling the day to day technical needs that the company faces. For many small to medium businesses, this provides an opportunity to help increase the effectiveness of business operations and achieve business goals with a strong IT foundation.
The decision to move from an in-house IT department to an offsite MSP will undoubtedly have an effect on business operations. This isn’t just a department change, it is a change that will impact the future of IT operations within an organization. When considering whether or not to consider outsourcing your IT operations to a managed service provider, ask these yourself questions:
Does my company have a dedicated IT team in place?
Is the current IT team overwhelmed?
Does my company experience perpetual technical issues?
Did my company experience a major technical issue?
Does my company have concerns with prioritizing IT needs?
Does my company have an unpredictable IT budget?
Is IT contributing to business success or hindering the business from completing its goals?
Is IT increasing the effectiveness of business operations?
IT is at the heart of every business. It is essential that the operation is effective to ensure business success. It may be beneficial to examine the potential business outcomes of outsourcing your IT department.
The digital world never stops. It doesn’t care what time it is or the day of the week or whether its a holiday or not. In this always-on world, it is essential that IT operations do not stop. 24/7 monitoring helps protect IT assets and prevent problems. Managed service providers can ensure 24/7 monitoring which provides confidence that your IT investment is secure and operating at the fullest efficiency. Regardless of the time of day or day of the week, MSPs can monitor local Area Network Data, internet data usage, server status and alerts to existing networks . If monitoring your network is keeping you up at night, then a managed service provider keeping an eye on your network’s performance 24/7 is a solution beneficial to your business. Outages and other network disasters can occur at any time and they are a valid and dangerous threat to businesses everywhere regardless of the size or industry. By offering 24/7 network monitoring, managed service providers can detect problems before they cause outages.
Confidence in Security
When managed service providers offer 24/7 monitoring there comes with it an increase in security. In today’s digital age, security is incredibly important. Cyber Security Ventures estimates that the damages associated with cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 . Managed service providers can offer disaster recovery plans for the incidents your business might face. By protecting your business from this growing threat you are ensuring the protection of the critical data in your network. Managed services do this by making sure internal data is secure, that data shared is encrypted and shared securely, and that firewalls and web filtering are keeping intruders out of internal networks . Cybersecurity has never been more important. A study conducted by Continuum found that 60% of companies go out of business within 6 months of a data disaster . Outsourcing your IT to a managed service provider that looks after your business’s technology means that experts are doing everything in their power to keep your data safe and secure.
Disaster Recovery and Backups
Digital transformation has changed the way businesses execute disaster recovery and data backup. No businesses are outage-proof, and recovery is necessary. Disasters natural disasters such as hardware failure, human errors, and cyber crimes pose a real threat to business operations . Managed service providers can implement disaster recovery plans to maintain critical functions before, during, and after disaster events. The effect of this is the minimal disruption to business operations . Technical backups involve the copying of files and data and keeping them on a separate server. If they are ever needed in the event of a disaster, they are safe since they were kept separate. The managed service provider can then begin the recovery process. In the event of a disaster, it is helpful to have an outsourced IT provider. These providers are dedicated to your technology, your business-critical information, and getting your services back up and running 24/7.
Contracts with managed service providers often include network reports that allow a birds-eye-view of your IT infrastructure. You can choose how frequently these reports are sent to you. They are beneficial because they allow the managed service provider to track your activity and see if your network infrastructure is operating without issue. These reports can be used as a reference for important business decisions or resources for issues. These reports generated are key to ensuring operational efficiency across your business IT infrastructure.
Cutting costs is the goal of every business. Every business would like to operate at 100% efficiency. Outsourcing IT to managed service providers is cost-effective. When a business outsources their IT, they are paying that MSP for the services they provide. These services are executed by some of the most experienced and skilled professionals in the industry, and their skills and expertise are at your disposal. These skills and expertise cost a lot more in-house. Another way in which businesses cut costs by partnering with managed service providers is by reducing business interruption and downtime. In this digital world, outages and business interruption are very public. The world can be notified by an outage by social media and news coverage, even if that outage doesn’t affect them at all. Business reputations can be damaged by these events and clients can be lost. The monitoring and maintenance done by an MSP can reduce the potential for downtime and interruption . Managed service providers are also cost-effective because of their billing. A monthly fee is more budget-friendly for a business than the unpredictable costs associated with a disaster.
The decision to outsource an IT department to a managed service provider is not one to be taken lightly. There is extensive research to be done along with data analysis to evaluate a possible solution. There are a plethora of providers to choose from, but not all will be a good fit for your business and your business goals. It is important however to explore every possible route to take when deciding if a managed service provider is right for you.
 Spectrum Technology Solutions, “24/7 Network Monitoring is Beneficial”, 2016
 Cyber Security Ventures, “Cyber Damages 6 Trillion by 2021” 2019
 Auvik, “Managed Services and Cybersecurity”, 2019
 Continuum, “Why SMBs Need to Disaster-Proof Their Business” 2016
 Envision IT Solutions, “5 Reasons Why You Need a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan” 2018
 Mindsight, “The Difference Between Disaster Recovery and Backups: Why You Need Both”, 2018
 CWPS, “The Cost Effectiveness of Hiring an MSP” 2016