the-ins-and-outs-of-managed-service-providersTechnology changes—usually at dizzying pace. There are always new developments and trends influencing the way our digital world works. Keeping up is nearly impossible for the average person, which is why many companies outsource their technology services to managed services providers (MSPs). These outsourced IT providers oversee daily tech operations, leaving you with more time to focus on your business.

Understanding the Obligations of a Managed Service Provider

An MSP is like having a remote autopilot system for your IT infrastructure and end-user systems. These companies offer all the benefits of an in-house service manager, but often at a lower cost and more flexibility. In most cases, the service provider works under a predetermined subscription model and on an efficient, proactive basis.

MSPs work like insurance for your IT needs. You’re charged monthly, but they’re always working to prevent and/or repair any problems. One-time projects often cost more in the long run because of inflated charges and potential down time for your company. When you have an MSP working for you, you won’t need to worry about down time and costs unknown.

The Benefits of Working With an MSP

Companies choose MSPs for many reasons besides cost efficiency. MSPs offer high levels of experience and powerful IT solutions. They also provide:

    Service delegation. Whatever your business needs, MSPs can set the parameters remotely. Companies can save time and money by finding all their IT solutions with a single company.

    Added security. MSPs know how to keep confidential information and programs safe. This type of protection is priceless for the security and reputation of a business.

    Integrated data backup. The only loss comparable to stolen data is lost data. MSPs work to ensure you never lose your files, whether you’re dealing with a system virus or a building fire.

    Patch management. Tracking and installing patches can be tedious and confusing for many business owners. You never need worry about it again when partnered with a MSP.

    Fast and relevant alerts. Business owners should be informed about the state of their IT infrastructure at all times. MSPs send out alerts to ensure you’re aware and prepared for any challenges, updates, etc.

    Better IT strategy. It can be difficult—even impossible—to choose the right IT setup and services if you have no prior knowledge. Hiring an MSP means experts guide you through these decisions.

    How to Know if You Need a Managed Service Provider

    Even after hearing the benefits, you may still be on the fence about partnering with an MSP. The hesitation is logical – however, there are some simple signs that may signal a need for outside assistance.

    First, consider your IT department. Low morale and high turnover could be signs of a problem. Hiring an MSP lightens the workload for your employees. The MSP can take over many routine tasks, your workers will be able to perform better in an environment that frees them from time consuming and repetitive tasks.

    Not having a clear IT strategy or a long-term plan is another warning signal. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the big picture and make such decisions – especially without technical understanding or experience with IT programs. MSPs help prepare your company for the future by keeping software running as smoothly as possible.

    Other signs you may need an MSP include:

      • High numbers of temporary IT workers

      • Trouble staying on top of developments and competitors

      • Complaints about service and performance through IT

    MSPs will take your company to the next level of IT performance. If you’re looking for efficiency, dependability, and speed, you’re probably looking to partner with a quality MSP.

    Photo Credit: datanetworkcabling Flickr via Compfight cc