What is a Managed IT Service Provider?
A managed IT service provider or IT managed service provider (MSP) is an outsourced third-party company that assumes responsibility for a defined set of day-to-day management services of on-premise and cloud-based information technology assets. Ultimately, this optimizes the daily operations of an IT department, and can save money with its low-cost model.
An MSP provides services on behalf of customers and organizations. These types of service providers take over operations, including monthly monitoring and management of servers, maintenance, backups, troubleshooting, and upgrades.
Managed IT Service Provider vs. Cloud Service Provider
The main difference between MSPs and cloud services providers (CSPs) is that MSPs manage and maintain technology that you own, whereas CSPs offer access to technology that they own.
Both MSPs and CSPs offer advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs. MSPs are business partners that manage, maintain, and monitor services such as Active Directory, data backup, anti-virus, and other IT functions on your behalf.
Cloud service providers enable you to host applications in a public or private cloud environment. They provide the infrastructure, storage, and networking capabilities you need to deliver hosted services to your end-users.
Managed IT Service Provider vs. Managed Security Service Provider
One often sees the terms “managed service provider” and “managed security services provider” used interchangeably, so it’s easy to get confused. While these two types of providers both offer managed services, they are not the same.
A managed security services provider (MSSP) focuses primarily on security services, such as firewalls, virus protection, and intrusion detection. MSSPs often specialize in a particular area, such as managed firewall service providers. An MSP typically takes on a broader range of responsibilities than an MSSP, including more general office support, as well as more specialized data center operations.
How Can a Managed IT Service Provider Help Your Business?
Given that data breach is on the rise according to Verizon, if your business has limited resources to maintain IT departments, MSPs is the way to go. By outsourcing your IT needs to an off-site provider, you can make sure your technology will be properly monitored and maintained, so your business won’t suffer from outages or problems in network traffic.
Or even if your current security posture is relatively secured, MSPs can plug any potential gaps to ensure your security is robust via conditional access policies and adaptive authentication.
Such management can save you time and money spent on hiring staff who would have to oversee these processes themselves.
What Can a Managed IT Service Provider Help with?
Tasks performed by your service provider may vary, depending on the needs of your business. However, there are some key services offered by MSPs. These include:
- Datacenter management
- Network management
- Mobility management
- Infrastructure management
- Backup and recovery management
- Communication management
- Security management
A service provider works closely with your company’s internal IT staff to oversee the maintenance and expansion of networks and computer systems. The provider ensures that any problems with the network are detected early on and dealt with before they become major issues.
By working closely with your business, the provider becomes familiar with your company’s needs and how they relate to your computer systems. Using this knowledge, your service provider will create a network infrastructure plan or address other areas of concern regarding your computer systems.
Is a Managed Services Provider Right for My Business?
Managed services providers offer many of the IT and network management services that businesses need. But how do you know if an MSP is right for your business?
MSPs focus on helping companies solve their toughest problems. They may help you with areas such as IT infrastructure, networking, security, or business continuity planning or even help you out with optimizing your supply chain by managing everything from your inventory to your transportation network.
Most MSPs can also help improve operations so that you’re able to achieve your goals more easily. In short, an MSP is a company that helps its clients run their businesses better. MSPs are a great option for businesses in many industries, lowering overhead and improving overall operations.
Essentially, MSPs empower businesses to focus on what they do best, their business. The rise of IT talent gap has made it difficult for many organizations to assemble a strong IT department. Sure, you can develop your internal IT team on your own, but you’d have to play catch up with the evolving landscape of IT and be prepared to allocate a huge budget. The other option is to outsource your IT. If you’re considering to partner with an MSP that would take your business to another level, speak to one of our experts today and they’ll help you plan.