Using Managed Services is really about smartly growing your local business, especially if that business relies on technology to any degree. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a third-party contractor that partners with your company to do exactly what its name suggests: It manages a service or services for you, usually in the area of IT. Most MSPs provide services for a fixed monthly amount, so there are no budgetary surprises involved.
Options Provided by Managed Services
As the MSP sector has grown and improved over the years, the choices available for local businesses have increased as well. Your company may need an MSP for only a single purpose — such as tech support for a shared wireless printer — or for a host of reasons. You will likely be able to find a Managed Services Provider that will offer a customized and affordable plan to meet your business needs. Here are a few of the options available.
- Data storage
- Onsite or offsite tech support
- Backup & recovery services
- VoIP phone services
- Remote monitoring
- Compliance services
- Risk assessments
- Monthly reports
- Secure data centers
- Private and/or public cloud services
- And much more
Advantages of MSPs for Local Businesses
Outsourcing IT tasks to a Managed Services Provider can give local businesses access to state-of-the-art services without a significant investment of capital. A company with an upward trajectory may not be ready to hire its own full-time IT staff to manage these tasks. Most small business owners can imagine the potential headaches that are created by hiring a lone IT staffer; when that person gets sick or quits, it can be crippling in the short-term. With that in mind, here are some of the significant advantages that an MSP can offer a local business:
- Improved Productivity: MSPs can improve productivity on both the technology side of your business and the human resources side. An MSP will reduce the overall expenses for a company, by avoiding the need for a full-time IT staff. Most MSPs also specialize in keeping technology upgraded when and where it needs to be done. For example, server upgrades may need to happen when data storage needs for your business increase. One of an MSP’s duties might be to monitor that situation and ensure the upgrade occurs before that point in time arrives, negating the need for downtime.
- Freeing up Internal Resources: Many IT tasks are routine, mundane events — but they are vitally necessary for a business. These tasks can be morale-killers for full-time staffers who want to be working on the latest new project for the company. While these routine tasks are necessary, they are likely not the optimal way for your best employees to spend their time. Having an MSP carry out everyday tasks makes excellent sense from this perspective.
- Improved Communication and Collaboration: Managed Services can provide the infrastructure needed for your employees to collaborate and communicate better. Downtime on projects can be reduced, for example, by having an MSP provide private cloud services combined with VoIP business phone services for your employees or even clients. Improved communications services can lead to faster production times and better product management.
- Reduced IT Budget: This is one of the most significant advantages for local businesses when it comes to using a Managed Services Provider. As just one example, imagine the costs of maintaining your own on-site servers for business. This requires a full-time staffer to monitor and manage the servers; the servers take up physical space within your property, and it will even cause a significant bump in the monthly electric bill for your office. Utilizing an MSP makes excellent business sense because it frees up budgetary expenses that can be effectively managed for a fraction of the cost.
- Added Stability and Scalability: You don’t have to worry about staffing turnover when you sign a contract with an MSP to handle IT services. An MSP lets you know that your business’ IT services are stable and continuous. Likewise, when your business is ready to scale up, you have two options: Have the business pay for added equipment, upgrades, staffing and more, or hire an MSP to do it for far less money. An MSP can allow you to dramatically reduce costs at the right time when you’re ready to expand.
- Customized Plans: Many MSPs provide package deals that are based on the number of services required, the number of devices covered, the number of users on your network, or a combination of these factors. These are frequently offered in tiered versions so that smaller companies with fewer IT needs can still utilize the services. Many will also offer an “a la carte” pricing structure based on your individualized needs.
Utilizing a Managed Services Provider can give local business owners peace of mind by reducing costs and providing state-of-the-art services that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Most important of all, an MSP can allow you to maintain a sustainable business growth pattern without breaking the bank.