In today’s increasingly connected world, technology plays a huge role, especially in the current business landscape. Often, where technology is involved, so too is change. For example, it may be changing and adapting your business to overcome new risks which have cropped up.
To change and adapt successfully, many businesses may need to outsource some of their responsibilities such as managing their IT infrastructure. And an increasing number of businesses are beginning to outsource responsibilities like these and instead invest in managed services.
What’s more? Across the globe, the forecast for spending on managed services is estimated to reach $193 billion by the year 2019.
Here, we’ll explain what a managed service provider is, how they work, and provide 5 ways that outsourcing your IT infrastructure can benefit your business.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
What Is a Managed Service Provider?
A managed service provider (or MSP) is a company that maintains a business’s IT infrastructure and other user systems from a remote location.
An MSP provides several different services to its clients. They can act as an administrator for your network, a security consultant, and provide recovery services in the wake of a disaster, among many other things.
How Does an MSP Work?
Typically, an MSP’s services are offered on either a pay-as-you-go or annual subscription model. Businesses would then pay their managed service provider on a monthly or annual basis, depending on the provider. Rates will vary from one provider to another as well, and often depend on what services your business will be outsourcing.
Once costs and fees have been negotiated and agreed on, an SLA or service-level agreement contract will be drafted. This contract serves to define both parties’ duties and responsibilities. Often, the service-level agreement will go so far as to designate specifics of the services such as uptime and availability.
Clients also have the ability to customize their MSP services as well. If your business only requires a handful of services, that’s generally all the managed service provider will require you to pay for. Why pay for services you don’t need and won’t use, right?
If you ask us, more businesses should offer a-la-carte options.
1. Improvements to Your Business’s Continuity
With a managed service provider on your side, network downtimes can be reduced significantly, which is just one of the ways you can improve your business’s continuity. And here’s how:
Fewer Network Issues
Because your MSP will have much more experience building and maintaining IT infrastructures than you or your employees likely do, the infrastructure built by these professionals will be less inclined to have issues with things like performance or availability. Just think about it: When you hire a professional to design and build your network, there will be fewer issues because it was designed, built, and maintained by a qualified team.
In addition, your MSP will have more time to dedicate to the monitoring of your network – and it’s unlikely that you or your team would have the same amount of time if you do everything in-house.
The MSP will also know exactly what to look out for, because, as we previously mentioned, they are professionals. Since they’re devoted to keeping your network up to par and know what to look for because of their experience, your MSP will be able to find and address any issues in a timely manner – which may not be the case if your team handles everything on their own.
And if a natural disaster or other unexpected circumstances occur and interrupt your business operations? Your MSP will be able to focus on recovery and get your network up and running again in little time.
2. Greater Scalability for Your Business
Working with a managed service provider means it will be easy as pie for your business to scale up or down whenever necessary, and your in-house team won’t have to lift a finger.
3. Help is Available 24/7
Whether your business hours are 9 AM to 5 PM. or something different, it’s unlikely that you never have to work late to get the job done. With a managed service provider, you’ll have assistance available when you need it during those late nights – and any other time.
Have a question or an issue when your IT team is based in-house? Good luck trying to get an answer once it’s past 5 PM and they’ve left the building.
4. Regulatory Compliance Made Easier
Typically, there are certain standards and audits the government requires businesses’ IT practices to comply with in order to remain in operation. Whether it’s the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or something else, chances are your business has a requirement to comply. A professional MSP will have no issues ensuring that your systems and processes are compliant with government rules and regulations because they will know exactly what needs to be done in order to remain compliant.
5. Increase Your Business’s ROI
Not all investments in your business are going to provide the ROI you desire. As with many areas in life, sometimes, the risks you take just won’t end up working out. For example, you may invest in an IT solution and find that your in-house team is unable to make it work as well as you’d like.
In this instance, it’s more than likely an issue of misunderstanding – because they’re not IT professionals.
However, if you partner with an MSP that has a good reputation, you’ll have experts managing your hardware and software solutions who know just how to make the most out of your investments.
Find the Right Managed Service Provider for Your Business
Now that you understand why investing in managed services can be so beneficial to your business, you may decide that you want to take the plunge and find a provider for you. If you have any more questions about finding the right MSP for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us today. From providing MSP services to simply answering questions, we’re here to assist you and your business.