As the digital revolution propels businesses to greater heights than ever before, there’s been a noticeable buzz around the methods these growing corporations should use to maintain their IT. The past few years practically made managed IT services synonymous with IT support in general, but businesses new to this service might still be asking the question: what is a managed service provider (MSP)?
In the booming era of technology, there are more than a few ways your business can benefit from this partnership with managed IT services, with enhanced data protection and cost-effectiveness being some of the most notable improvements. Still, you may be hesitant to turn your IT services over to another supplier until you know more. In that case, be sure to read on as we answer what using an MSP really means for your business.
Why Were Managed IT Services Created?
It’s no question that modern technology is almost unrecognisable compared to what was considered high-tech a decade ago. Just as our devices, networks and tools have expanded and changed forms, so have the methods of maintaining such intricate and critical business operations.
In the past, break-fix maintenance was one of the main support methods for IT services, meaning an IT professional would only be called in if a network was down or a glitch was causing issues. Eventually, this technique evolved into weekly or monthly check-ups — but this still wasn’t optimal, as it meant days without IT maintenance.
As the mid-2000s rolled around, companies exploded in size alongside their IT networks. Businesses needed someone monitoring their IT day-in and day-out to avoid catastrophic technical problems. In response, the modern MSP was born: a 24/7 maintenance system that tracks and addresses issues before they can even begin.
What About the Other Types of IT Support?
IT requirements are only expanding with each passing year, and they aren’t showing any sign of stopping. At a basic level, your business now needs to stay on top of critical aspects like updates, data security, disaster recovery, offsite backup services and patching — and that’s just some to name.
Now imagine handling those things alone. Without the proper technical expertise, it’d be easy for a single network outage to wreak unrecoverable damage onto your business’s productivity output. Small companies face more significant risk, as they may not have the workforce size or resources available to handle these issues.
Of course, there are always alternatives: hire an in-house IT team or hire IT help when a problem arises. However, these also come with their own pitfalls.
While convenient, having an in-house IT team handle your IT services can add up to incredible costs. You’ll be tasked with supplying salaries, benefits, holidays and more. As a result, most businesses are only willing to hire a few in-house IT employees, which can be problematic if a worker has to call out sick and leaves the team shorthanded in the face of a large-scale issue.
The second option also has a unique con. With this method, you’ll be using a “break-fix” or “reactive” approach to maintain your IT infrastructure. Since you won’t have a dedicated team on-call, you’ll most likely use various companies to handle the problem, which can waste time and result in limited pricing flexibility. You’ll essentially be placing a band-aid over a bullet wound. This is where a managed service provider comes in.
With an MSP, your IT infrastructure will be monitored 24/7. Compared to a break-fix approach, this makes for rapid response times and limited technical issues. Since most MSPs take a preventative approach to your IT services, their focus will be on tackling problems before they impact your workforce, making for a smoother experience overall.
The Benefits of Managed Services
Besides the comfort that comes with year-round maintenance of your valuable IT infrastructure, your business can expect to enjoy these benefits when partnering with an MSP in London.
An MSP charges you a monthly, usually flat-rate fee for their outsourced IT services. You’ll be able to choose the package and price that fits your business’s requirements best, with the availability to upgrade if your business grows, making for a cost-effective option in the long run. As a bonus, you can list the monthly charges as a business expense on your tax return!
A managed service provider’s primary goal is to make your business as efficient as possible. Everything they do is meant to prevent issues, tackle current problems and boost your workforce’s productivity — something you’ll be hard-pressed to find with a break-fix support company.
There is one benefit MSPs hold over everything else: large workforces. Their teams are often filled with dozens of highly-qualified IT experts who’ve worked with multiple businesses — not just yours. As you might expect, this makes for smarter problem-solving and access to valuable industry advice. They also tend to have the latest technology at their disposal, which won’t be your responsibility to purchase!
Taking the Next Step
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of worthwhile managed service providers throughout large metropolitan cities. When it’s time to start your search, ensure you still pay particular attention to the services different companies provide and do your share of research on their track record.
But, once you’ve found the right provider, there shouldn’t be anything else holding you back. Managed service providers may still be considered a new option, but they’re an essential resource that can keep your business thriving for years to come.