Managed Service Providers: How Do They Benefit Businesses?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is an company that manages another company’s IT infrastructure and user systems from a remote location. An MSP is a network administrator, security consultant, and disaster recovery expert rolled into one. These professionals handle information services, business-to-business integration, network management, compliance integrations, and all of the tasks clients don’t want to carry out themselves. MSPs provide services remotely and on-site to ensure their clients’ networks perform correctly and securely.

MSP Providers Explained

MSPs streamline a range of business services for clients in various industries, from healthcare to retail. These services include systems operations, email, compliance, network monitoring, and end-user or Helpdesk support. In a recent study, 77% of MSPs provided backup and disaster recovery – the most popular service offered by these professionals. Sixty-seven percent (67%) specialized in remote monitoring and management (RMM), and 57% provided managed network security. Other popular MSP services included mobile device management (MDM) and hosted and cloud video surveillance.

MSPs serve an important function. They execute functions that organizations don’t have the time – or the resources – to complete themselves. Fifty-six percent (56%) of companies with 100 or more employees who used managed IT Services said they chose an MSP to improve the efficiency and reliability of their IT operations. Moreover, 38% of companies said enhanced security and compliance was a motivating factor for choosing an MSP. As more organizations worry about IT security, 60% of small brands go out of business within 6 months of a cyber attack, according to one study. It makes sense to choose an MSP that has experience and knowledge in this field.

The services MSPs provide are even more critical to small and business businesses (SMBs) which do not have the internal resources needed to protect and administrate their operational IT infrastructure.

How an IT Managed Services Provider Works

Most MSPs operate on a subscription-based model. Clients pay monthly or annual fees for services, and costs vary depending on the MSP. MSPs in the United States typically bill on one of two methods: either per device or per user; or billing will be done with a combination of these two methods. After agreeing on costs, the MSP and the client will come up with a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) – a contract that defines the roles and the responsibilities of each party. The SLA will stipulate factors like performance benchmarks, availability, and uptime.

There are lots of customization options, too. Typically, clients just pay for the services they require – RMM services or Network Security for example – instead of expensive packages that include services they don’t need. Communication between the SMP and the client is critical. “To fully take advantage of the available managed services options, an IT department must become adept at managing relationship, not only with external providers but also with internal users, who are increasingly being seen as customer,” says Danny Bradbury from CenturyLink, writing for Forbes magazine.

The Benefits of an MSP Managed Service Provider

MSP IT providers optimizes various business processes. Clients who select an MSP to take over the operations of their systems do so to allow the MSPs take care of all the time-consuming and repetitive tasks. This provides client with more time to focus on other business-related duties and profit-generating operations. Outsourcing IT services to a third party suits organizations that have a small team of staff or want to drive business growth. They can reduce labor costs by delegating IT services to an MSP, for example.

MSPs save clients money, too. These professional search for ways to cut spending and improve cost management. Forty-six percent (46%) of managed IT services users and clients have reduced IT costs by 25 percent or more; 50% have reduced IT costs between 1% and 24%.

Network security is one of the most popular managed services. MSPs upgrade IT services, manage IT infrastructure and ensure systems aren’t compromised by malicious parties. They often have specialist IT skills, providing the client with peace of mind.

Also, MSPs are familiar with federal and state legislation and PCI compliance standards. This reduces the likelihood of clients receiving heft fines for non-compliance.

What are Cloud Managed Service Providers?

Cloud managed service providers are a type of MSP that deliver managed IT services via the cloud. These companies centralize network services and applications from a single data center, allowing users to access data quickly. Other benefits include data recovery: Cloud managed service providers store data in the cloud, so users and clients have access to files after a natural disaster or antlers emergency. More than half of all MSPs now offer cloud managed services to clients.

Businesses are under pressure to provide customers with high-quality IT services. Thirty-six percent (36%) of brands what to deliver IT services faster, and 16% hope to increase the quality of IT services. Managed IT services providers offer a solution. Clients can deploy services these professional to better manage their everyday business operations.

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