As a direct result of the digital revolution, the IT consulting firm and managed service provider industry has exploded over the last decade. Despite the rising popularity of this class of service providers, many small- to medium-sized business owners may not understand exactly what these entities do or how they can add value to their company.
This confusion comes as no fault of their own, as just about every consulting firm offers a unique mix of services and solutions.
In order to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding IT consulting firms, we have created this comprehensive guide. Below, we discuss what these firms are, what services they provide, and how you can find a great partner for your business.
Frequently, the phrases “IT consultant” and “managed services provider” are used interchangeably. While a single firm may provide both types of services, they are not one and the same.
A traditional managed services provider or MSP monitors and oversees a client’s digital assets. This oversight may include software, cloud architecture, and other digital resources.
Conversely, an IT consultant is intimately involved with the selection and deployment of new technologies across an organization. They help their clients determine which solutions best fit their needs and then facilitate the implementation of those resources. Many IT consultants also provide ongoing MSP services as well.
In summation, IT consulting firms allow their clients to maximize the return on investment on their suite of technologies. They ensure that they are using all of their software, applications, and other resources to their full potential.
IT managed service providers typically offer a broad range of services. Virtually every MSP provides routine network monitoring and testing. These services ensure that a client’s network is functioning optimally and is not experiencing any issues that may impact productivity.
In addition, most MSPs provide some sort of data storage and management services. They also manage the installation and upgrade of organizational assets, such as applications and software. The best MSPs take a more proactive approach and provide solutions such as advanced cybersecurity management, but more on that below.
Your run-of-the-mill IT services provider is very reactive. They consistently monitor your network, connectivity, and other components of your IT infrastructure. In addition, they will promptly install patches or other system upgrades to eliminate potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Other than that, they are essentially on standby in the event that your business experiences an outage or other IT issue. When that occurs, your team must reach out to them, notify them of the incident, and stay in communication with them until the issue is resolved.
While some aspects of managed services will always be reactive in nature, top providers proactively prevent network outages or asset downtime. These firms routinely perform maintenance on vital systems, conduct extensive security vulnerability testing, and search for ways to optimize your network.
If you are seeking a partnership that will offer maximum value to your organization, then working with a proactive MSP that also provides comprehensive IT consulting services is the ideal solution. Such a partnership offers many benefits, including:
Using a managed services provider to monitor and maintain your IT resources is far more economical than handing information technology in-house.
These agencies have an entire team of IT professionals who specialize in highly technical fields. Whether you need to enhance your cybersecurity, upgrade your software, or completely overhaul your entire digital infrastructure, they are up to the task.
Even if you are confident in the capabilities of your existing suite of digital resources, there is a good chance that you are not getting the most out of these assets.
An IT consultant will identify areas where you can improve your resource allocation, which will streamline internal operations and enhance profitability. In addition, they have the industry expertise and knowledge necessary to address key technological pain points that your business encounters as it grows.
It is impossible to remain competitive in our modern marketplace without leveraging leading-edge technologies.
An IT consulting and managed services partner will be able to connect your business with relevant solutions such as applications, tech stacks, and more. They will take the time to learn the needs of your business and then systematically meet those needs with the latest digital solutions.
By giving your team access to the latest and greatest tech, preventing network outages, and optimizing the deployment of resources, an IT consulting and MSP partner will pave the way for better productivity.
Ultimately, this will enhance your revenue stream, which will give you the opportunity to expand your business and develop innovative new products.
Now that you know what sort of value a managed services provider and IT consultant can add to your business let’s discuss how you can find the right partner for your needs.
First and foremost, you need an MSP that proactively prevents cyberattacks, network outages, and other incidents that pose a risk to business continuity. When meeting with prospective partners, make sure to ask how they intend to enhance operational security. Also, discuss how they plan to add value to your organization.
When answering these timely questions, your MSP should inspire confidence and be able to lay out their strategy for elevating the efficacy of your digital resources.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of IT services? Ready to partner with a dynamic team that is breaking the traditional MSP mold? If so, then it is time to connect with SugarShot. We look forward to helping your business adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape.