Think for just a moment about what makes your business competitive within its respective industry. Your company likely offers a great product or service, focuses on providing a good customer experience, and has a strong working knowledge of your area of expertise.
However, you and your team are likely less proficient in auxiliary areas, including information technology management, accounting and finance, or other topics that are not directly related to the core service offering of your organization.
As the owner of a small to medium-sized business, you may feel like you have to handle everything in-house. Fortunately, this is simply not the case. Outsourcing highly technical aspects of business management to specialized firms can free you up to focus on things you do best, such as creating world-class products or serving your clients.
By far, one of the most effective ways of enhancing productivity and setting up your organization for long-term success is to partner with a managed services provider.
To help you decide whether this approach is right for your business, we have created this helpful guide to MSP services.
What Is a Managed Service Provider?
A managed service provider, or MSP, is an organization that will oversee, deploy, and maintain your company’s digital assets.
MSPs have an entire team of IT specialists with a diverse range of talents. Some staff members may specialize in cybersecurity, while others have mastered the art of deploying efficient IT infrastructure. Together, they provide a range of services that support your company’s assets.
Working with an MSP is far more economical than managing your IT assets in-house. An MSP serves multiple clients and has the technical prowess to tackle a wide range of information technology problems. We are assuming that you hire a good MSP, of course, but more on that a bit later.
MSPs can augment the capabilities of your on-site IT staff or serve as your sole source of information technology support. Partnering with an MSP is almost always the best approach for SMBs, as they can access IT expertise without paying a premium price.
What Services Do MSPs Provide?
While the solutions offered by each managed services provider will vary, most MSPs provide their clients with assistance, including:
Infrastructure Deployment and Management
IT infrastructure is an integral part of any network. This infrastructure lays the foundation for applications and other technologies your business relies on to conduct normal operations. Most MSPs will not only manage your existing IT infrastructure but will also provide deployment and migration services.
Cybersecurity has become a chief concern for businesses across all industries. Each year, hackers deploy increasingly sophisticated techniques to gain access to businesses’ data. In response, many MSPs offer comprehensive cybersecurity solutions. These often include anti-virus deployment, firewall installation, and network monitoring.
24/7 Remote Support
Downtime is one of the most detrimental IT issues that your business can encounter. Every minute that your network is down, your business could lose thousands of dollars in revenue. One of the most beneficial aspects of working with an MSP is the support they offer when inconveniences or disasters strike.
MSPs help you mitigate the risks of downtime and network outages by providing 24/7 remote support services. In the event of an outage or other serious issue, your staff can contact your MSP so that they can remedy the issue.
The best MSPs continuously monitor your network and become aware of most outages without being alerted by your staff.
Analytics and Reporting
Analytics and reporting tools are designed to help you understand how your network is performing. You can also use these tools to ensure that your managed services provider is facilitating optimal network efficiency and responsiveness.
When you’re seeking an MSP, make sure that they utilize some form of analytics and reporting software. Find out what metrics they track and how often they send you this data. You’ll want to have access to numerous variables so that your team can gain a comprehensive understanding of what’s going well and what can be improved upon.
Disaster Management and Response
Perhaps the most important service offered by MSPs is disaster management and response planning. Whether your network is brought down by a cyberattack or a natural disaster, it is crucial that you have a viable plan in place.
A reliable MSP maintains backup files of all essential business data. In the event of a catastrophic incident, you can retrieve your information quickly and get up and running quickly.
Lastly, a managed services provider will equip your business with a broad range of cloud-based resources. They will help your company identify applications and other software solutions that can optimize business operations.
These technologies are accessed exclusively via the cloud, which eliminates the need to download extensive data files onto local devices, such as computers or tablets. Cloud-based resources are popular for their ability to save time and storage while protecting your company’s data security.
What Pricing Models Do MSPs Utilize?
Traditionally, MSPs bill for their services using a monthly pricing model. They will charge a fixed monthly price based on the level of service and the number of resources you request. As the needs of your business change, you can add or remove services monthly. With this pricing model, you pay for exactly the resources you need and nothing you don’t.
Benefits of Managed Services
Partnering with a managed service provider offers several significant benefits to your business, your staff, and your consumers.
Most notably, managed services are economically efficient. An MSP can provide IT services at a far better rate than an in-house information technology team. This will free up financial resources for your company to pursue other organizational improvements, such as expanding your product lineup.
In addition, an MSP can significantly enhance the performance and reliability of your IT network. This will help you avoid downtime, optimize employee productivity, and provide your clients with a world-class experience.
These are just a few of the many advantages associated with outsourcing your IT management needs.
How to Find a Great MSP
When you’re searching for an MSP for your organization, make sure they offer the services your business needs in order to address its most glaring pain points. Be prepared to ask plenty of questions and discuss your expectations. A great MSP will be professional, responsive, and motivated to help your business succeed.
If you want to streamline your search, contact SugarShot. Our USA-based team offers a full suite of IT managed services, sweet pricing, and a client-centric approach. We look forward to hearing from you.