Managed Service Provider (MSP), Defined
What is a “Managed Service Provider”?
A managed service provider is an outsourced company you hire to handle your IT services for maintaining a range of processes and functions. The company will consult with you and assess your IT needs, then integrate and maintain your IT systems according to the goals of your business. The IT support managed service provider may use hardware, software, and data management and storage (including cloud-based networking) to service the IT needs for your entire enterprise.
Why do I need an MSP?
You need a managed service provider so you can focus on your business, not your IT needs. You may have a small IT staff or perhaps your employees are tasked with fixing their own issues. This takes time and budget away from your business goals. With a managed services provider, you don’t have to buy the latest tech systems yourself. Paying a fixed fee, you’ll have access to an all-IT services company that keeps your systems running optimally and is there to trouble-shoot when issues arise.
An IT support managed service provider will handle your IT, providing stability when there are planned or sudden changes to:
- Compliance requirements
- Software (updates and patches)
- Stability (disasters, grid issues)
- Mobile and cloud-based applications
Why do companies use managed services?
Companies use managed service providers to reduce costs and gain access to highly trained tech experts and new software and technology. In addition to these foundational benefits, using a managed services provider also leads to:
- Increased network and data security
- Decreased frustration and down-time for employees
- Improved customer relations through fewer tech issues interfering with product and service delivery
- Fixed costs for planned and unplanned IT needs
- Increased scope of services as your business grows
What are examples of managed services?
Services provided vary, and may include but not be limited to the following:
- Help-desk, often 24/7
- Consultation and training
- Virtual CIO services
- Security assessments and maintenance
- Training for your staff
- Disaster recovery planning and implementation
- Proactive updates to infrastructure and systems
- Cloud-based networking
- Mobile network monitoring
- Desktop monitoring
- On-site servicing
How do I select a managed service provider?
Look for a company with an impeccable reputation. You’ll need to do some consulting to determine the scope and scale you’re looking for. You’ll also want to consult with a few companies to discuss your growth goals and the fit of the managed service provider’s capacities. Learn more about The CopperTree Difference to see what sets us apart from other outsourced managed IT services. Review references for more information on choosing an MSP.
Managed Service Providers provide different levels and scope of services, based on your current and projected needs and business goals. WIth that in mind, here are some things to consider:
- Will you outsource all or part of your IT?
- What are your network or device specific needs?
- What are the potential skill and tech gaps between a provider and your needs?
- Weigh the costs: how much are you spending on IT and what is your trajectory?
- As your business grows, will the company be able to continue to serve you?
- How are you handling security and (if required) regulatory compliance?
- Is the provider focused on proactive management, or are they oriented more towards a ‘break-fix solution?
- Does the provider support cloud-based infrastructure?
- Does the provider offer training?
- Does the provider offer comprehensive disaster solutions?
Once you’ve considered these questions and discussed them with potential providers, you will also need to consult about any time sensitivities you may have for onboarding your managed service provider. As you consult with MSPs that offer the highest quality service, you will find a fit for your business as you operate now and evolve.
Want to learn more about how hiring an outsourced managed IT service provider is right for your company? Contact CopperTree Solutions today for information!