As a small business owner, you’ve probably struggled with having all your IT, network and infrastructure needs met. This is when working with a managed service provider (MSP) can be advantageous.
Hiring an MSP can bridge the gap in an organization’s IT department by delivering high-performance and secure business technology. For the most part, MSPs work remotely to give specialized support in many technical areas such as technology or cybersecurity – meaning they can be available 24/7 to tackle any issues that may arise. Sounds like a load off, doesn’t it?
Let’s explore the various services provided by MSP and how they can be beneficial to small, medium, and large businesses.
What is a Managed Service Provider?
Let’s dive a little deeper into the inner workings of a managed service provider. These are businesses in and of themselves, and they are made up of specialized teams who take great pride in being experts in their field. MSPs specialize in a variety of IT activities and functions.
Some examples of MSP services include:
- Network administration
- Security consulting
- Disaster recovery (i.e., cyberattack relief, loss of data)
- Infrastructure integration
- Cloud migration
- Web hosting
- And the list goes on!
With an MSP, a business can get all of its IT needs in one place. One quick call to your MSP and you’ve already saved time explaining the problem, the software and asking what can be done. Outsourcing these related duties means you are always covered, especially during a time of crisis.
I’m A Small Business – Do I Really Need an MSP?
Outsourcing can be seen as a challenge for many businesses, who believe that an in-house IT team will bring more security, expertise and commitment to their IT operations. This is rarely the case, however. In reality, in-house IT staff often struggle to manage both their core responsibilities and constant troubleshooting issues, leading to outdated skills and perhaps at-risk infrastructure set-ups. Outsourcing managed services can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and give businesses access to the latest in technology and knowledge.
The ‘feat of losing control’ is a common feeling among small business owners, but this shouldn’t stop you from outsourcing a managed service provider and protecting your business, your employees, and your clients.
Top 5 Benefits of Working with an MSP
1. Cost Savings
Employing full-time IT personnel to cover all aspects of IT can be a very expensive undertaking for a small or medium business. Outsourcing IT services not only cuts the costs but provides customizable solutions so you’re only paying for the services you require.
2. 24/7 Access to Experts
An IT MSP monitors your networks and infrastructure round the clock (24/7) to detect threats and eliminate them before they can paralyze your business operations and productivity.
3. Unlimited IT Support
An outsourced IT service provider can provide all the help you need, whenever you need it. Their remote capabilities allow them to fix most IT issues remotely, so you reduce your downtime.
4. Better Resource Management
Spend less time and resources on managing your IT staff and infrastructure and more time and energy on growing your business.
5. Peace of Mind
You can sleep soundly knowing your data is secure against any disasters or cyber threats because you’ll have a team of highly specialized experts in managed IT services at your disposal.
The Qualities of an Outstanding Managed Service Provider
Whether you are a small or large organization, you should be looking for a technology-centric company that possesses a broad expertise in an array of IT activities and functions. The organization should be on the cutting edge of tools and knowledge to be efficient and innovative at problem solving as new issues arise. Your managed service provider should strive to unlock the possibilities that technology has to offer for your unique business to prosper.
What Needs Should My Managed Service Provider Meet?
You can and should shop around for a managed service provider that meets your unique needs and challenges as a small business. Have them build customized solutions so you’re not paying for services you don’t need.
In today’s tech climate, things seem to change, evolve, and get outdated almost instantly. MSP experts will know the latest trends, hacks, and stay on top of emerging news – so you don’t have to!
Services You Need from Your Managed Service Provider
This is perhaps the biggest reason small businesses (and large ones too!) employ a managed service provider. Managing cyberattack threats and trends is a lot to do for a single employee who hasn’t undergone intense training on the subject. With so many moving parts and changing aspects of data privacy, cyber security, infrastructure integration, and network management, it’s getting harder and harder for businesses to effectively protect themselves online despite all their hard efforts. With hackers continuously exploiting vulnerabilities – such as the rampant Log4J exposure we’ve seen recently – it remains difficult to stay on top of the many threats which continue to grow in severity and frequency. An MSP ensures your business will have the hardware and software it needs to ensure long-term functionality and security. These experts will know the best approaches, resources, and capabilities possible to receive maximum value from your IT functions.
Digital solutions involve many front-facing aspects that when done correctly, can improve your visibility and reception online. This can include things such as technical, creative, and professionally done websites, content, and marketing strategies. Whether its social media or graphic design, these services focus on making you stand out in today’s competitive online world. Again, it all depends on your business goals.
Many MSP may also provide guidance on business strategy, financial planning, operations, marketing, and other valuable services. The MSP you hire should be willing to get to know your business operations beyond just the surface or IT level. This will help collaboration on important issues and opportunities related to strategy, marketing, technology and financial budgeting. No matter the size of your business, expert business advice can help propel you to improve your efficiency where it matters most to you.
How MSPs Test Their Services
Most MSPs use break-fix models as a proactive approach to making sure your systems are good to go. This is a good thing – instead of waiting for a problem to happen (which would be reactive), MSPs tie in all the moving parts of your business and see where technical problems are most likely to occur, and then focus their efforts by going in and strengthening these areas.
Doing your research before hiring a Managed Service Provider will help you find the perfect fit for your small business goals. Relieve some stress and take a load off by allowing an MSP to take on many day-to-day functions related to your technology and infrastructure. You’ll be glad you did.
Still not sure if hiring an MSP is right for your business? Contact us today for a free assessment!