Is using an IT managed service provider the right choice?

James Baird
By James Baird
Using an IT MSP has now become a very attractive option for many businesses. Gone are the days of the term “outsourcing”, as a good MSP will become a valued partner and a genuine extension of your team.
Is using an IT managed service provider the right choice?

MSPs are always there working in the background to make sure your systems are maintained and monitored, 24/7. Working with an MSP allows your business to be more flexible; you can use them to supplement your in-house IT resources on specific one-off projects, or look at your in-house IT solutions against an MSP's offerings and combine the two for the best - and most cost effective - results.

For example, you could house your business's IT infrastructure on site and use the MSP to host a disaster recovery environment off site. The result is that your business systems would not be affected if a disaster were to ever happen, as the MSP would provide fault tolerance, enabling your IT systems to continue operating.

Other benefits of working with an MSP include:

  • The ability to focus on your core business - your MSP will manage and support your organisation's entire IT infrastructure, leaving you to focus on your core business. The advantage to a business is that you will not need to worry about IT staffing, hardware\software upgrades and support – it will all be taken care of.
  • Flexible support - it's easy to scale up your IT infrastructure as the business grows when you have an MSP. MSPs can advise you on the correct upgrade paths and carry out the installs to help you achieve both faster expansion and a future-proofed IT system.
  • Knowledge base - an MSP can give you access to a broad range of knowledge and support. Managed service providers will have specialist staff trained in specific technologies, which means that whatever your requirements, they can help you meet them.
  • Improved IT security - MSPs will offer managed service packages which will help protect your IT infrastructure. They will provide services such as firewalls and antivirus, as well as making sure the latest security updates are applied to your system.
  • Remote support & monitoring - MSPs will have an IT support team that's ready to take calls and help your users with any issues, giving you an IT helpdesk that is manned 24/7.

Finding the right IT partner is vital. Here are a few things businesses should think about when selecting an IT provider.

  1. Communication - You should never have to chase your IT company. They should be in regular contact with you, reassuring you that everything is in hand. They should also be taking care of all relevant software updates and upgrades without you having to prompt them.
  2. Cost efficiency - It isn't about finding the cheapest solution; it’s about finding the service and support that best meets your needs within your budget. A good service provider will take time to understand your business and IT needs, before recommending relevant solutions.
  3. Reduced liability - The IT provider should make sure they take extra care with any upgrades and new installs, and communicate any issues with you before problems can occur. Their job should be to reduce liability and risks in your computer infrastructure.
  4. Quality & customer service - Your IT company should be responsive to support requests, resolve them quickly and efficiently and let you know they’ve done it so that you're not left wondering.

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