A managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party organization that remotely manages a company’s data technology (IT} infrastructure and other end-users’ systems. Large and small companies, nonprofits and government offices hire MSPs for specified set of day-to day management services. Some also hire these service providers to implement specific business requirements. Some large organizations have their own in-house IT staff and so need to contract with an external MSP for customized software or system integration and management.
Some of the typical advantages of hiring an outside MSP include lower costs. A managed service provider may be cheaper as compared to in-house IT solutions and can provide on-demand services, which save time and money. Another advantage is cost optimization. Some IT costs are out of reach for small and midsize enterprises. An outsourced MSP may be able to provide all or some of these services.
Some of the main advantages of working with an external managed service provider include:
- flexibility – the working hours of the MSP can be flexible; ability to offer customized solutions – an external contractor can offer solutions that are not available in-house; work from home – some MSPSs work from home. Moreover, companies that cannot afford to build or buy their own IT infrastructure can use an external provider for cost reduction. Some of the common benefits of using an external MSP include:
- Cost efficiency – by outsourcing IT, the company gets significantly reduced operating and maintenance expenses. On the other hand, a managed service provider has the advantage of providing scheduled and fully-availability on-call technicians who perform on-site tasks when the business owner is not available. The technicians are fully-trained on Microsoft technologies. In addition, some technicians may also perform maintenance tasks as per customer requirements.
- Knowledge and experience – an external MSSP can hire and train competent technicians who have a thorough knowledge of Microsoft technologies. This allows the technicians to handle various tasks such as installing and repairing systems and applications, and adding and updating programs and files. Moreover, professionals hired by external MSSPs may also perform troubleshooting activities such as correcting computer software issues and computer networking issues. An in-house technician may not possess this level of expertise and is not always readily available. An advantage of using a managed service provider is that you can get the expert assistance at your fingertips whenever you require it.
- Advantages of a Tiered Pricing Model. Another advantage of using an external MSP is that the service providers offer differentiated pricing plans based on the number of users in your organization. For instance, a small to mid-sized organization would be able to get a managed service provider at affordable rates and this is because they do not have many users or not too many computers in their networks. A large company however, would have to invest in better resources and larger networks to be able to afford similar services offered by an MSP on a smaller scale.
- Technical Support and Cybersecurity Expertise – a managed service provider is an ideal choice for companies that have many different departments with varying levels of technical knowledge. Each department will require specialized training to understand the latest threats and vulnerabilities. For example, there may be a risk of a security vulnerability affecting network applications in the finance department but not in the accounting department. The IT technical support department might discover the vulnerability and report it to the primary MSP. However, if a branch office has a good malware or cyber attack team, then the IT technical support department may be able to ascertain the vulnerability and find a suitable solution before the MSP decides to fix it.
These are some of the top 5 reasons as to why businesses choose a managed service provider. They also provide a way for organizations to keep their systems and networks secure without having to invest in huge amounts of capital equipment, such as routers, antivirus software, firewalls, and so forth. With this in mind, it may become clear to you why an MSP can offer your organization less downtime. And considering the risks associated with networks today, with or without a managed service provider behind them, a managed service provider has a distinct advantage when compared to what they would otherwise be able to do on their own.