Businesses rely on their computers and other devices to stay in touch with customers, run their operations and remain competitive. But the technology needed to do this has become increasingly complex, and the time and cost of maintaining a technology infrastructure is too much for many businesses to handle themselves. That’s where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) come in.
What Is a Managed Service Provider?
An MSP provides all or part of an organization’s IT services, including monitoring and managing servers, networking, security, backup and disaster recovery—usually remotely. As a result, you don’t have to buy or manage your own equipment or hire full-time IT staff members. From network maintenance and data protection to complete business continuity planning—when an unexpected event occurs that threatens your organization’s critical functions, a managed service provider can help keep your business up and running 24/7/365 without having to pay large capital expenses upfront or incur expensive staffing costs over time. Their fees are typically based on a per-device or per-user basis, which can help you keep costs down as you grow.
What Are the Benefits of an MSP?
MSPs offer many advantages to small businesses that don’t want to be burdened with the cost and complexity of running their own IT infrastructure:
- No Capital Expense—When you use an MSP, they handle all the equipment purchases and maintenance. That means your business can start operating immediately without any upfront costs. Most MSPs even offer financing options so you can purchase services on credit.
- Lower operating expenses—An MSP typically provides better service at a lower cost than if you were in charge of managing your own IT infrastructure. For example, an IT company may charge $250 per hour for basic computer support services while an MSP charges $180 per month for a similar level of coverage. In addition, if something goes wrong with your technology, it’s one less thing for your staff to worry about
- Business Continuity Planning—Many MSPs provide Business Continuity Planning (BCP) services that can help minimize the disruption to your business if a disaster occurs. These specialists establish and maintain backups of your data, develop standard operating procedures and ensure that everyone in the company knows how to access critical information in an emergency.
- Security—Whether you have sensitive financial or customer information on your computers or servers, regular security assessments should be part of every business’s protection plan. An MSP offers comprehensive IT security services such as risk assessment, penetration testing and policy creation. This can keep up with new threats without requiring internal personnel to spend time on daily maintenance tasks.
- Better Service for Remote Employees—Many companies have workers who are out of the office most or all of the time. An MSP can help you set up your remote employees with secure access to your network and on-site support so they can get their work done no matter where they are.
How Do You Choose an MSP?
When searching for a managed service provider, keep these tips in mind:
- Seek recommendations from other business owners—Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the best ways to find a good MSP. Check with local small-business organizations and Chamber of Commerce chapters, as well as industry associations.
- Compare three or more providers—When you find an MSP that seems like a good fit for your company, ask them to give you pricing information on services such as security, disaster recovery planning and data protection. Make sure they can clearly explain what each service entails before signing any contracts.
- Trust your instincts—If something doesn’t feel right about the provider, keep looking until you find someone whose style is a better match for your company’s needs.
As you can see, a managed service provider is an excellent choice for any business. It allows you to focus on your core competencies while leaving the management of your IT infrastructure to the experts. Our team at MJN Technology Services is ready to provide you with all the benefits of a managed service provider at an affordable price. We hope this information has been helpful, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!