What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

Posted on August 26, 2021 Backups & DR

A managed service provider is a business that manages an organization’s IT infrastructure remotely. The service is usually provided on a monthly prescription basis, and the company is expected to provide their services for the duration of the prescription. The exact nature of the services provided can vary.

Managed service providers can be traced back to the 1990s when the internet first became mainstream and the demand for online services was established. Application service providers (ASPs) arrived to meet this demand and provide services such as remote access to software, as well as other services that could be offered via the internet. Internet and internet-based platforms have evolved massively since the 1990s, eventually allowing for more comprehensive services. This is how the managed service provider emerged.

What Can a Managed Service Provider Do? 

A managed service provider will usually provide IT related services. These services can include:

  • Managing IT Infrastructure

Managing IT structure involves ensuring a company has all the IT equipment and services that it requires. This includes factors like vendors, human resources, networking, data, computers and software.

  •  Technical Support

IT is technical by nature and having the right technical support is critical. Technical support can include having new equipment or upgrades installed and fixing any problems that occur. Technical support makes sure that systems are up to date and that everything is functioning correctly. 

  •  Hardware Outsourcing

The cost of buying hardware can be costly for some organizations. A hardware outsourcing company can make it a lot more affordable by providing hardware for a nominal fee. The cost is spread out and the outsourcing company can also be responsible for repairs and upgrades etc.

  •  Remote Servers or Storage

More companies now have their data off-site. This offers numerous advantages, such as decreased investment in hardware, and increased security. Some managed service providers will lease servers to you, or allow you to buy your own servers and store them in their data centre.

  • Cybersecurity Hardening

Sensitive data is valuable and it’s important to keep your data protected. Some managed service provider companies will ensure that your security systems are up to date and provide maximum protection against potential threats. Security measures can include using secured premises and strict protocols as well as the latest in online protection software and hardware.

Managed Service Providers & The Cloud

There has been a surge in the adoption of cloud computing in recent years, and it’s a trend that looks set to stay for the foreseeable future. This has opened up new opportunities for managed service provider companies as well as creating new challenges.

Managed service providers now need to offer cloud-related services and management services for hybrid cloud environments. Many will provide their own cloud services such as disaster recovery services. As the cloud and cloud-based platforms continue to evolve so managed service providers need to evolve simultaneously.

What are the Benefits of a Managed Service Provider?

Using a managed service provider offers a number of benefits such as:

  • 24/7 Monitoring

A managed service provider will already have the personnel and infrastructure in place to provide 24/7 monitoring. This can include monitoring by experts, as well as advanced software and hardware that can monitor every aspect of your IT infrastructure.

  • Improved Security

A managed service provider that provides security will have the most modern and effective security systems in place and skilled internet security personnel. Acquiring the best security could be expensive, potentially leaving sensitive data vulnerable due to compromising on cost.

  • Cost-Effective

IT infrastructure can be costly to purchase and install. Systems quickly become out of date and need replacing, reducing the cost-effectiveness of your investment.

When you use a managed service provider, however, the cost of hardware, software, and other services and equipment are spread out for affordability. Any upgrades and repairs are carried out by the company providing the service, meaning you don’t have to pay for the cost of upgrades yourself.

  • Comprehensive Reporting

A managed service provider will provide regular reports on a wide variety of metrics that are useful to your organization. This includes reports on the costs involved,  monitoring how well your systems are performing and how secure your data is.

Managed Services vs. Break-Fix Methods

A managed service provider will provide ongoing services, whereas the break-fix approach involves a company being called out when needed on an ad-hoc basis.

The break-fix approach might seem to be the best option because it involves a lower cost commitment at any one point. However, this approach is more reactive than proactive and problems are more likely to occur, increasing the need for the break-fix provider to be called out again. With a managed services provider, systems are monitored and maintained, helping to reduce downtime and ensure optimal performance.

Why Use a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider is often the best option for organizations that don’t have the resources to do everything in-house themselves. The up-front costs involved in buying IT infrastructure in-house make it unaffordable to many businesses. New technology makes old systems obsolete quickly and also makes managing your IT infrastructure cost-inefficient, with investments only usually lasting a few years or so.

A managed service provider is also better equipped to invest in security and backups that help keep your data safe and prevent downtime. Equipment will be stored in a secure building that was built for the purpose. Using a service provider means that you get to focus more on other aspects of your business. 

Overall, using a managed service provider makes sense financially and in terms of security and performance, which makes it an easy choice for many organizations. Learn more about NETdepot’s Managed Services by contacting us at 1-844-25-CLOUD today.

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