What is a Managed Services Provider?

what is managed service provider

If you own or manage a business, you can do your organization a favor becoming familiar with managed services providers. As we march forward in the high-tech era, operations are becoming tethered to information technology. A managed services provider (MSP), is an organization that manages a client’s IT infrastructure and/or a client’s end-user systems in a remote manner. Most MSPs work under subscription models, charging a static monthly fee to each client. MSP offerings are usually provided with a service-level agreement that explains the MSP’s expected metrics for quality and performance.

How Managed Service Providers Operate

MSPs typically operate in a remote fashion to keep overhead costs down. Remote monitoring and management software allows MSPs to manage client’s IT needs off-site. MSPs can do everything from remotely troubleshoot issues to solving problems with endpoint devices. MSPs enjoy a stable base of business thanks to their recurring revenue streams. MSP customers typically fall in the small to medium business size range. Certain MSPs are capable of contracting labor out to supplement IT staff at client locations. During the client’s subscription, the MSP will deliver managed IT services in accordance with the client’s demands. Each party is bound by the terms of the service-level agreement. 

The Value of MSPs

Most businesses opt to do business with a MSP because it is an affordable means of preventing and solving critically important IT issues that really do make an impact on the bottom line. Allying with an MSP also helps a business remain up to date on the latest in tech advances. The prospect of cloud computing has many office managers a bit daunted, making their IT infrastructure concerns that much more fragile. MSPs often provide in-house cloud services. Some function as brokers in between clients and cloud services providers. Yet many managed services needs exist in more common realms like connectivity and bandwidth, security, disaster recovery, network monitoring, infrastructure management and virtualization. The management of these services is at the core of an MSP’s offerings. The best MSPs provide ongoing support and general responsibility for the around the clock monitoring and management of a business’s IT systems. In the end, the MSP should have helped the business operate as efficiently as possible in the context of information technology.

The Need for MSPs Continues to Grow

As IT-based operations becomes more omnipresent, the value of MSPs will only continue increase. The bottom line is that the small to medium sized business are quickly becoming overwhelmed with IT systems and their nuances. Falling behind in patches, security solutions, backups and other IT details will inevitably cause a problem down the road. An IT outage or other issue can wreak havoc on a business. Companies that fully understand the potential costs of IT issues are acting in a proactive fashion by allying with MSPs. Businesses regularly discover IT problems thanks the relationships they’ve formed managed services partners. Identifying and fixing these issues before they negatively affect an organization is a testament to the value of MSPs.