MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDER: BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING
In a technology prone world and high speed working culture, it becomes very difficult for businesses to sustain their competitive position in the market. With the evolving technologies, many small and medium sized businesses began adapting cost effective solutions for managing customer’s IT infrastructure/end-user systems such as Managed Service Providers.
What is a Managed Service Provider?
Managed Service Provider MSP, is a third party Company which outsources management, operations, security and monitoring IT infrastructure and end-user system for their clients. MSPs work remotely by accessing and deploying solutions for their clients without becoming in-house team. These providers often work for government entities, SMBs, Non Profit Organizations.
MSPs began evolving in 1990s when application service providers started offering services for remote application hosting. MSPs initiated their working with the remote monitoring and management (RMM) services for servers and networks and eventually expanded their services. When an MSP delivers its services over internet it is supported by service level agreement signed with its client. MSPs provide in the range of services as mentioned below-
- Management of IT infrastructure Services
- Technical Support Staff Services
- Cyber Security Services
- User Access Account Management Services
- Contract Management Services
- Compliance and Risk Management Services
- Payroll Services
Some of Managed Service Provider examples are IMB, Accenture, Infosys, Wipro, etc. One of the Popular Managed IT Service provider for Orange County is Fothion.
Service Level Agreement
A service level agreement is a document justifying the terms and conditions between a MSP and its client. It specifies the level of services, expectations, specific needs of the client. It is created in a way which provides a clear understanding of the established relationship amongst both the parties.
Types of MSP Managed Service Providers
MSPs can be categorized on the basis of two factors responsibilities and services that they provide. On basis of responsibilities there are three types of Management Service Provides –
- Pure-Play MSPs: This type of MSPs provides their innate services mainly focusing on reporting and alerts. These are generally considered to be smaller providers monitoring networks and application performances.
- Staffing Legacy MSPs: These MSPs provide a wide range of services including monitoring, software installations & upgrades and reporting. They work with mid level organizations and fortune 500 companies.
- High-Level MSPs: They provide wide range of services such as managing IT infrastructure, cyber security and many more. They cater both small and large providers allowing them to outsource as many services possible.
On the basis of services MSPs provide there are 6 categories, which are –
- Monitoring – These MSPs monitor different applications, network devices, servers or websites for their clients.
- Reporting Support – These MSPs provide cloud-based software, support remote devices, and act as a technical support remotely.
- Proactive Support – These MSPs carry out preventative maintenance to stay ahead of potential device or network faults.
- Centralized Management – These MSPs offer security software, patch management, remote monitoring, a management console for complex networks, and several other solutions.
- Scheduled Maintenance- These MSPs deliver planned network maintenance for businesses.
- Simplified Billing– These MSPs use a billing management system to manage budgeting, payments, and invoices.
Benefits of Managed Service Providers
There are a number of benefits that comes from partnering with the Managed Service Providers, some of them are mentioned below –
- Affordability: Small – Medium Businesses can save a lot of operational cost, serious tech issues, and IT infrastructure costs. MSPs provide solutions where companies can subscribe and design plans as per the requirement of their business, thus making them cost effective.
- Efficient working on core objectives: As the business grows, the requirement for IT upgrades would also increase. Partnering with MSPs allows the company’s employees to concentrate on their core duties, without having to deal with the additional work.
- Expert Services- Many small scale companies do not posses expert knowledge when it comes to evolving technologies and IT infrastructure. These companies when associated with MSPs can experience the expert services that help them enhance the virtual presence of their business.
- Network Monitoring: Managed Network Service Providers provide a 24/7 network monitoring and management services that help business generate leads, system visibility and Cloud management.
- Continuity and Security: MSPs are bound to provide for see any technical disasters of the business prepare for them and recover the business from them.
Considerations to be made while partnering with a Managed Service Provider
A company should consider the following points while deciding to partner with a msp managed service provider.
- Services provided: Many managed service providers do not cater all the services; hence a company should always look for a MSP that provides maximum services which will allow them to revise their subscription plan as per the requirement of the business.
- Security: It is very crucial to find a MSP that value and operates in a secured environment that ensures the safety of the company data. A business should always consider reading the security policies and procedures before drawing the Service-Level Agreement.
- Customer Service: A company should always associate with the a managed service provider that is equipped with excellent customer support staff, as MSPs would become an important part of the tech team of the business and should have sufficient resources.
- Customization: A business should always go with a Managed IT Service Provider that customizes plans and features as per the exact requirements of the business. This enables businesses to optimize the level of growth that the MSP have provided them and receive effective outcomes.
- Cost: A managed service provider should be selected for its cost effectiveness, a business should receive effective results for the amount of money they are engaging in the association.