In today's business world, it's hard to avoid outsourcing. It makes sense: You can save money, get better results and respond to new opportunities as they come up. However, some companies are still hesitant to jump on board with outsourcing their IT services. In this article, we'll look at why businesses rely on managed service providers (MSPs), what an MSP does for them — and how your business can benefit from partnering with one. 

What is a Managed Service Provider? 

If you're looking for a new IT provider, you may come across the term "managed services provider" (MSP). What is a managed service provider? And why should you consider hiring one instead of an in-house IT team? A managed service provider is a third-party company that offers business IT solutions. In other words, if your current system or process isn't working well and needs to be fixed, an MSP can do that for you—for a fee. 

Though it's important to understand what an MSP does before hiring one, it's also important not to confuse them with IT consultants who offer similar services on an hourly basis. An MSP generally charges a monthly fee that includes all of the services in their contracts, while consultants generally charge by the hour for each project they work on with their clients. 

Why do businesses need Managed Service Providers? 

You might have heard of managed service providers (MSPs) before, but it's not always clear what they do precisely. These companies help businesses manage their IT infrastructure. They can provide a variety of services, including: 

  • Helping you save money by cutting down on expensive IT maintenance and troubleshooting costs 
  • Helping you respond to opportunities as they come up to grow your business more effectively. 
  • Getting better results from your existing IT infrastructure 

What services does an MSP provide? 

MSPs can help with a wide range of IT services, including: 

What's the difference between an MSP and an IT Consultant? 

An MSP is a business that provides services to multiple clients. The distinction between an MSP and an IT consultant is one of specialization versus generalization. An IT consultant will typically be more focused on technology (e.g., installing and maintaining servers). In contrast, an MSP's focus is on the entire infrastructure of your company (e.g., providing 24/7 support). 

As you may have guessed, this also means that an IT consultant can provide less value than a managed service provider for many companies because they don't take care of every aspect of your infrastructure; however, some businesses prefer having a single person or team responsible for their entire network over splitting it up into multiple parts. 

Turning to Managed Service Providers 

Many businesses are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to save money, get better results, and respond to new opportunities as they come up. 

For example: 

  • MSPs can help you avoid the costs of hiring full-time employees. 
  • MSPs can help you save money by providing more than just IT services; they might also offer things like marketing or HR support so that your company has less overhead. 
  • Many small businesses have found that working with an MSP allows them to focus on their core competencies without worrying about IT issues. 

How important is IT for your organization? 

It is vital for every organization. In a business, IT can help you grow your business, save money and be more efficient. 

IT can allow you to be more productive by making sure that your employees are using the right tools to do their jobs properly. For example, if you have an employee who frequently makes mistakes when inputting data into your accounting software, then having someone else look over their work can ensure that the errors are caught before they even get pushed through to accounting. This saves time and prevents costly mistakes that could result in fines or even legal consequences for your company if something goes wrong later down the line. 

What does a Managed Services Provider do? 

A managed services provider offers a variety of IT services, including:

  • Network monitoring and maintenance 
  • Fixing problems before they become serious 
  • Providing 24/7 support 

In addition to these core areas, managed service providers also can help you make the most of your technology investment. For example, they may recommend additional products or services that will enable you to accomplish more with your existing assets. On the other hand, they might create a disaster recovery plan so that if something goes wrong, you won't lose any business-critical data or must take time from other vital projects to fix it yourself. 

Why do organizations choose Managed Service Providers (MSPs)? 

There are several reasons why organizations choose MSPs over in-house IT. The following five benefits are the most common: 

  • Reduce Costs 
  • Increase Efficiency 
  • Improve Security 
  • Improve Customer Service 
  • Increase Revenue 

How do MSPs benefit your business? 

  • It's no secret that having a managed service provider can help you save money. This is because an MSP will manage your IT operations, so you don't have to worry about it. The cost of running an in-house IT department is high and requires a lot of staffing and equipment. On the other hand, an MSP does not require any of these things as they are already equipped with all the necessary tools and trained employees. 
  • Not only do they save you money, but managed services providers also help improve performance, which means faster service delivery times for your company or organization. 
  • With their expertise in managing multiple clients at once, managed service providers can keep up with current technology trends and implement them into the daily operations of their clients' businesses without breaking their budget limits or slowing down business processes unnecessarily due to technical issues unrelated directly related towards actual functionality requirements set forth by management level decision makers within each respective organization being serviced by said provider(s). 

What are some of the challenges companies face with IT management? 

  • IT management can be a time-consuming, complicated job.
  • IT managers are often stretched thin and may not have enough time to manage their IT systems properly. 
  • Many companies don't have the expertise to manage their own IT systems, so they use an outside service provider like a managed service provider (MSP). 

What should you look for in an outsourced IT services partner? 

  • Look for a partner that will help you meet your business goals. 
  • Proven experience and a track record of success with similar projects. Your managed service provider should be able to show you the results of its past work so that you can get an idea of what to expect from them. 
  • A transparent and honest partner with their pricing practices, as well as any other policies or procedures they have in place (like SLAs). Will your MSP compensate you if something goes wrong with your service due to no fault? Do they offer an uptime guarantee? Do they have high standards when it comes to security? All these questions should be answered before signing on with any company, especially without face-to-face interactions between clients and providers. 
  • Finally, make sure the vendor provides the right level of support based upon your needs and budget constraints—and this may change over time as new challenges arise throughout different stages within each year's calendar cycle (i.e., Q4 may require additional attention around holidays whereas Q1 might need more support due to tax season). 

If you are part of an IT department or manage one, outsourcing to an MSP may help you to save money and be more efficient. 

Why? Well, because it provides the following benefits: 

  • Savings on infrastructure costs 

Using a managed service provider means they take responsibility for your network infrastructure and software updates, freeing up your time to focus on other business areas. The MSP can also help with other aspects of IT management, such as cybersecurity or disaster recovery planning, so that you don't have these concerns weighing heavily on your network. 

If you don't have the time or expertise, using a managed service provider is in your best interest. 

  • Time and expertise are not the only reasons to hire a managed service provider. While the initial investment may seem steep, it can save you money in the long run by making your business more efficient and less prone to costly errors. 
  • A managed service provider can help you find new opportunities that come up faster than you could on your own because they have a more comprehensive range of resources at their disposal than an in-house team would. 
  • An outside team has access to all of its client's data and expertise, which means they can respond quickly when something unexpected happens. You'll be more prepared when responding to new opportunities because they'll have access to everything they need right away. 

IT outsourcing: What's the difference? 

Outsourcing is when a company hires an outside company to handle some of its operations. When it comes to IT, outsourcing can be done in several ways, including through managed services. 

Managed services is a type of outsourcing in which an MSP takes over certain aspects of the customer's IT infrastructure—namely those that are typical trouble areas for companies using traditional outsourced models. In this scenario, the customer retains ownership over their technology and has complete control over their data while allowing the MSP to manage day-to-day tasks and provide technical support as needed. 

The top reasons to use a Managed Service Provider 

By using a managed service provider, you'll be able to: 

  • Reduce costs. Cloud-based MSPs can help you save money by reducing IT infrastructure costs, allowing you to focus on your core business instead of on infrastructure maintenance. According to a recent study by Gartner, organizations that use an MSP reduced their overall cost of ownership by 7% over three years compared to those that didn't use one. In addition, many MSPs offer pay-as-you-go services so that it won't cost an arm and a leg if there's an unexpected issue with your system or network; rather than having an expensive contract in place with set fees for regular maintenance tasks (such as configuring email addresses), these companies will charge based on usage instead. 
  • Increase productivity by ensuring employees have access to the proper hardware and software without worrying about downtime resulting from technical issues—which means they can focus on what matters most: serving clients! Using cloud technology also allows employees from different locations within one company or even different companies altogether (for example, if they're working remotely) to access each other across platforms seamlessly through secure connections like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), which makes collaboration easy between colleagues no matter how far apart physically speaking they may be located at any given moment during business hours. 
  •  Improve employee satisfaction because everyone enjoys knowing there is someone else looking after their systems 24/7 so they don't have to worry about whether something might go wrong before work starts tomorrow morning again,and then there's always the peace of mind factor, too—knowing someone else has got everything covered means less time spent worrying about things outside our control happening unexpectedly during busy seasons when trying to handle everything ourselves would otherwise tell working longer hours without overtime pay 

What is included in the Managed Services stack? 

One of the most common questions is, "What are managed services?" The answer is that it can mean many different things. 

There are three leading platforms: 

  • Security 
  • Backup and recovery 
  • Cloud services (including infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service). 

The last two are often bundled under "managed IT services" because they require some level of oversight to function correctly. 

Managed services can help your business grow and reduce costs. 

You can focus on your core business with managed services by letting the MSPs handle day-to-day IT tasks. This means that you won't have to spend your time figuring out what's wrong with the network or fixing a server problem. Instead of thinking about technology 24/7, you can focus on growing your business and making money. 

Managed services also help reduce costs by taking care of the equipment and software updates so that they are done when needed. With this type of maintenance plan in place, there is less chance for critical failures or downtime, which means less time spent dealing with technical issues and more time working on other parts of your company. 

Managed services will help grow your business by providing excellent support at affordable rates while saving money on capital investments such as servers or software licenses (which would otherwise need regular upgrades). 

Conclusion 

We've covered a lot of ground here, but it's worth repeating that business owners should not be intimidated by IT. It can seem like an overwhelming and complicated field, but with the right tools and support, you can make it work for you. If your company is growing fast or struggling to keep up with its growth, outsourcing some or all of your IT needs might solve these problems. 

You already have a lot on your plate. You want to be able to focus on your core competencies, and leave the IT management to us. 

With SSI as your managed IT services provider, you'll be able to get back to focusing on what matters most: growing your business. 

We'll take care of everything from hardware and software maintenance to network security and disaster recovery planning. We'll even help you implement new technologies that will help you save money and increase productivity.