Since its evolution in the 1990s, managed IT service providers, or MSPs, have become an integral part of business development. At present, the title is commonly used alongside “cloud service provider”, due to the explosion of online business opportunities in recent years, and the presence of a service level agreement.
What Is a Managed IT Service Provider?
Put simply, an MSP is an IT company who “remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems”, as defined by SearchITChannel. Upon the emergence of application service providers (ASPs), which later led to cloud computing, MSPs focused primarily on monitoring servers off-site. Though the responsibilities of an MSP have expanded, with some specialising in data storage while others focus more on legal IT services, the goal of an MSP is still the same – to ensure the efficiency and reliability of a company’s technological needs.
For a business to be productive and profitable, they need to embrace technology. With £137.38 billion being spent on e-commerce in 2018 and an estimated 93% of Brits were using online banking in 2022, the opportunities for a digitally connected company are constantly rising. But maintaining IT services is time-consuming and complex, hence the need for an externally managed IT service provider. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the market for MSPs has reached $193 billion.
What Does A Managed IT Service Provider Do?
As aforementioned, MSPs have a variety of specialisms which they tailor to a company’s unique needs. Such services strive to improve a business’ IT services through managing, monitoring and auditing, ultimately improving the daily operations of the company. The aim of an MSP is to find and solve any network or server issues before they happen, safeguarding the company’s digital future.
The following are MSP services:
- Securing desktop computers: From virus protection to software installation, MSPs avoid security threats and technology faults by offering desktop support.
- Cybersecurity: Online insecurities are around every corner for businesses, including email phishing and data ransom. MSPs can identify potential weaknesses in a company’s online information.
- Virtualising hardware: MSPs can virtualise expensive hardware to run operating systems, positioning the business in a privileged position over data attacks and staying on top of company demands.
- Managing Networks: To ensure a business’ network runs efficiently and smoothly, MSPs will review and improve its network management strategies through troubleshooting any connectivity limitations.
- Managing Servers: As business’ rely on server infrastructure, MSPs frequently upgrade, install and migrate servers safely, void of risk. They ensure servers consistently run at top capacity to maintain productivity.
- Digital Infrastructure: Specifically tailored to a business’ budget and unique needs, MSPs design infrastructure to increase a company’s efficiency.
Why are managed IT service providers important?
It is quicker, safer and cost-effective for businesses to prepare for the worse than try to recover from an IT disaster, which is why MSPs are so important. Capable of safeguarding the digital integrity of a company, they are in high demand due to their invaluable skill and knowledge.
When sourcing an MSP, business owners are looking for someone to improve their IT operation’s reliability and safety. Due to the number of malicious cyber attackers that can manipulate a server’s weaknesses, more companies than ever are investing in their organisation’s online security via MSPs. If a business’ in-house technology departments lack the capabilities of an MSP, then outsourcing their IT management would reduce the cost of training and free-up the departments time to focus on inhouse projects.
Investing in a remote IT management service is the same as investing in your business’ digital safety, integrity and productivity. Upon taking a closer look at the benefits of outsourcing an MSP, here are the reasons why they are important to your company:
1. Dependable IT Operations:
In a fast-paced business that relies on technology to remain connected, an MSP can ensure that a business’ IT operations are reliable and dependable. Offices commonly work on the same software, programme or server, so if it were to fail then the company would lose both time and money. Additionally, e-commerce sites rely on consumer ease of use, meaning that a network crash would directly prevent sales. An MSP can prevent both of these factors.
2. Maximises Investment:
Though outsourcing an MSP costs a business, the return on investment can greatly outweigh such a cost. Capable of budgeting your IT investment, MSPs can manage expenses for hardware and software costs, as well as IT labour. If a business isn’t capitalising on the most recent software updates, then they can miss out on profits.
Using an MSP can give you access to expert advice keeping your organisation up to date with the latest technology and security developments without having fully employed IT people, not only saving costs but giving more comprehensive support and cover through Service level agreements whilst also giving you flexibility and scalability to suit your current size and IT requirements .
3. Time Investment:
Business owners know more than anyone what it is like to be stretched thin. Their responsibilities span across the entire company, as they oversee the success of each department. Due to this, it is unlikely that they can invest their time in IT infrastructure, causing their networks connectivity speed to potentially suffer. An MSP can completely dedicate their time to a business’ IT operations, leaving the owner of the company free to develop business strategies and rise through their prospective market.
4. IT Security:
There are online dangers lurking around every corner, putting many businesses at risk of a cyber-attack. Even if they have perfect defences, human error is a gateway for hackers to infiltrate a company. MSPs make business owners aware of any potential risks, strengthening the company’s defences through tried and tested methods inspired by first-hand experiences. They can offer advice to employees and provide legal measures to safeguard your online integrity.
5. Internal IT Department:
One of the most integral reasons to outsource an MSP is not just what they can offer your IT operations, but how they can positively impact your IT department. If your network and server are managed remotely, then your inhouse IT specialists can dedicate their time to developing strategies and completing projects that benefit the business. MSPs are important because they increase productivity business-wide.
Managed IT service providers can position a business ahead of their competitors, because of the improvements they make to a company’s IT operations. Capable of securing efficiency and reliability, the multiple benefits of MSPs speaker for themselves.
If you’re seeking help with your IT management, get in touch with our team of IT specialists by today by calling 01332 333220 or by emailing us via firstname.lastname@example.org.