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When it comes to business technology, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Managed service providers (MSPs) know this firsthand. That’s why you’ll find they make it easy to partner with them for different levels of outsourced IT. This article outlines the three tiers of MSP outsourcing typically available.
Small and mid-sized businesses share many challenges. They need to manage resources, follow regulations, and combat cyberthreats. At the same time, they grapple with constant changes (e.g. growing workforce mobility). Yet for all these commonalities, the technology used in each business can vary, and so too can the level of in-house expertise to manage and maintain IT.
So, many businesses turn to MSPs to get to know their IT infrastructure. The MSP can act as an IT watchdog, offer specific value-added services, or replace an in-house IT team.
This level of MSP engagement is for the business that wants expert backup support. The MSP watches over the business infrastructure and makes sure everything runs smoothly.
The MSP will use remote monitoring to keep tabs on the IT environment. They won’t make any changes if an issue arises – that’s up to the business – but they’ll help detect concerns to avoid any business disruption.
Many businesses don’t have the personnel for around-the-clock IT monitoring. This basic level of MSP service is a good way to track critical networks, systems, and databases 24/7/365.
MSPs also offer a menu of value-added services on top of the monitoring. The added tasks outsourced can depend on your expertise, budget, and desire to be hands-on with IT.
Value-add services MSPs offer include:
Partnering with the MSP for these services can save the business time and money. Consider data backup: The MSP may have its own data centers for all its clients, which might mean a better rate on essential data backup thanks to economies of scale.
Other businesses can benefit from handing over all IT to a trusted MSP. For one thing, this saves the business from having to recruit, train, and keep its own IT team in a tight labor market.
The MSP continues to remotely monitor and manage the IT infrastructure, but they now have full responsibility. It’s not a matter of picking from the services available on the a la carte menu above. All those tasks are the MSPs responsibility.
Many internal IT teams are reactive, as they don’t have the bandwidth to act otherwise. Yet with an MSP in place of an overwhelmed IT staff, you gain a proactive partner. The MSP secures applications and networks, manages mobility, and handles any incidents. They keep your business running by avoiding disruptions leading to revenue loss, customer churn, and reputation damage.
Putting an MSP in charge of IT can concern some business owners who are reluctant to give up control, but an MSP brings the benefits of specialized experience with technology (and, ideally, your industry). They have the tools to provide data analytics, improve cybersecurity and continually better your business.
On any of these three levels, you want to work with an MSP that will become an extension of your business. The right MSP becomes a trusted partner looking out for your business’s best interests.
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