Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for small to mid-size business IT businesses of any size require comprehensive IT support. While it’s tempting to maintain everything internally, recent advances in cloud, social, mobile, and even IoT computing create the necessity for well-trained IT professionals who are able to anticipate business needs and customize solutions to meet those needs. The days of hiring just a “computer guy” or “computer girl” are long gone.
An ideal IT provider must possess the following characteristics: competitively priced, skilled in the r&d, versatile, and willing to take on challenging IT challenges. IT vendors and other suppliers will be hesitant to hire the lowest-priced provider if they don’t know that contractor can deliver quality. The skill set of IT support specialists needed varies greatly by function. Some are better suited for data center management, others for mobile device management, and still others for enterprise security. A well-defined service level agreement can help lock providers into a contract by specifying how much IT help can be delivered.
Many companies prefer to outsource IT support instead of hiring a regular technician or establishing an in-house team. Outsourcing allows for rapid deployment of new technology and maintenance of old infrastructure. With an outsourced technical support provider, a business owner does not have to worry about hardware or software purchasing, monitoring, or maintenance. IT outsourcing enables the company to save money on personnel costs while insuring the ongoing maintenance of their IT infrastructure. These benefits provide a business owner with the ability to respond quickly to IT concerns, instead of having to do so themselves. An outsourced MSP also eliminates many of the problems associated with relying on in-house technicians.
What Services Do MSP Companies Provide for Businesses
Most companies only want basic support for network setup, malware removal, detecting vulnerabilities, and network optimization. A good provider will have the experience and expertise necessary to customize a solution to meet your specific needs. For instance, some specialize in application monitoring, while others focus on firewalls, application security, or system management. Some may only provide onsite software testing services. With a properly trained technician at your side, you can get the help you need with almost any IT concern, from security issues to monitoring your entire network and identifying weak points.
One great benefit of using a managed service provider is that it helps to ensure that you are getting an accurate and reliable solution. Since many MSPs offer remote monitoring, they have access to the most up-to-date resources. Remote monitoring can help you monitor your servers even if your MSP is located thousands of miles away from your business. Many top MSPs have extensive expertise in network security, intrusion detection, and malware analysis, as well as the expertise to provide standard support functions like system recovery and configuration management.
The primary downside to using an MSP for outsourced help is that the outsourced professionals might not have the same level of expertise that an in-house MSP has. In addition, an in-house MSP is likely to have access to a number of training resources, including white papers and technical documentation. Using an outsourced help service could be a cheaper way to implement improvements but the benefits are likely to be minimal.
How Much Should You Be Paying For MSP Services
Cost can also be a big factor for deciding whether to use an MSP for in-house IT Support or outsource IT Support. An MSP can provide IT Support at a more affordable price than an in-house based technician, since the MSP does not have to hire personnel to work in-house. However, in order to provide proper IT Support, it’s important to have a skilled workforce. An MSP will likely have to hire enough people to staff a small call center, for example. If the cost of training these employees isn’t covered in the contract, the IT Support contract could prove inefficient.
IT Support contracts can be an effective way for businesses to cut their IT costs, especially if the company requires IT Support on a regular basis. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of using an MSP for outsourced IT Support. Before making a final decision, it’s important for an organization to take a long hard look at its current IT needs. While it’s possible for an MSP to provide adequate IT Support, the overall cost of hiring an MSP could prove costly. The small savings provided by an in-house MSP might become offset when the business must spend thousands more dollars on purchasing the necessary resources to maintain an in-house MSP.