Information technology is the backbone of virtually all businesses in operation today. Technology is tremendously dynamic and constantly evolving. As most companies need IT systems to function, they have two options for managing them. The first is an in-house IT department, which is comprehensive and accessible, but can be costly and suboptimal for many, especially smaller, businesses. The other option is a managed service provider (MSP).
An MSP is a third-party company working remotely to manage a customer's IT infrastructure or end-user systems. This article aims to explore MSPs in more depth and show you the value these services have for your company.
Role of a Managed Service Provider
A managed service provider is essentially an IT support team that works and manages an infrastructure remotely. Some of the many services they can provide include network management, data backup, cybersecurity, and cloud services.
These are some of the things an MSP can do for a business:
- Managed service providers proactively monitor IT systems 24/7. They can identify and fix technical issues before they cause noticeable disruptions.
- With an MSP, you only pay for the necessary services. Such an arrangement may be significantly more cost-effective than an in-house IT department, especially for small businesses.
- An MSP team consists of members with diverse skills in different aspects of IT. They can cover various IT needs, and you are able to pick and choose the right services for your business.
Understandably, the decision between using a managed service provider and forming your own IT department is multi-faceted, and you'll have to assess your circumstances before settling.
Why Businesses Need This Service
Although IT systems are the backbone of business, they are also complex and require thoughtful and dedicated management that can be time-consuming. This is where a managed service provider comes in.
An MSP can make doing business easier in the following ways:
- With an MSP handling the IT portion of your company's workload, it's easier for employees to focus on running the business and not worry about technical hiccups.
- As your business grows, its IT infrastructure will scale and grow along with it. An MSP can scale up services to match this growth without falling behind or running obsolete systems.
- Through consistent IT system monitoring, MSPs can prevent IT problems that could cause downtime, thus conserving valuable time and money.
These are only some of the many ways a company can save on resources and boost efficiency by outsourcing IT to a managed service provider.
Choosing the Right MSP
It's not too hard to choose the right managed service provider, but the options are vast, and it can be overwhelming. To be sure you've made the right decision, keep a few general rules of thumb in mind:
- Look for an MSP with a solid, ideally extensive track record and expertise in the industry that's relevant to your business. Every company is a little different and may need different services.
- The MSP of choice should offer all the IT services that drive your company. It wouldn't be very cost-effective if you had to hire multiple services at once.
- Ideally, you'll want an MSP that offers 24/7 customer support and quick response times. It's worth being ready for any kind of emergency event.
- Research your shortlist of MSPs, read reviews, and get to know what others think of them. Sometimes, a second pair of eyes is greatly beneficial in deciding.
Managed Service Providers and Cybersecurity
Managed service providers are greatly beneficial for managing and maintaining technological systems within a client company. But as cyberattacks are an ever-present, looming threat, it's worth pointing out how these services help ward them off. A managed service provider safeguards a company's digital assets. The technicians implement robust security measures, conduct regular audits, and keep up with data protection regulations to keep the company not only safe but compliant.
These services also generally grant their clients 24/7 monitoring to detect and respond to security threats in real time. They also manage the local IT infrastructure's firewalls, detect intrusions and data misuse, and encrypt sensitive data. Firewalls pre-emptively stop malicious websites and programs from modifying a computer, while encryption makes it difficult for an unauthorized data signature to access or read classified data.
For more details on how a managed service provider can improve cybersecurity, you can refer to this Cyber Security Guide for Small Businesses.
How to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Managed service providers need to evolve continually to keep pace with technological advancements. This pace leaves little room for stagnation, or one risks severely falling behind. But MSP trends look promising. Here are some of the emerging trends shaping their role:
- As more businesses migrate some or most of their IT workload to cloud programs, MSPs offer more particular cloud services, including cloud migration, management, and security.
- MSPs can employ AI to automate many routine tasks, work more efficiently, and provide predictive analytics.
- With the rise of remote work, MSPs provide secure and efficient remote IT infrastructure management. This reduces the need for a local IT team, especially for smaller companies primarily focusing on remote work, keeping costs down.
It's clear that managed service providers have quickly become a significant force within the IT sector, and their success looks set to continue as they continually develop and evolve.
Manage Your Business, Not Your IT Services
When all is said and done, while they aren't the only option, managed service providers are a great advantage for businesses aiming to get the most out of IT. Proactive yet budget-friendly services from professionals with a solid track record let companies focus on more important tasks, expand without many hiccups, and decrease disruption.
If you're in Tulsa and want to contract a reliable managed service provider, you'll have great luck with the team at JD Young. With a wealth of experience and a range of valuable services, your business will thrive in the digital age through partnership with our business. Contact us, and let us elevate your company's IT infrastructure to the highest standards.