IT Magic: Understanding the True Scope of an MSP
Managed Service Providers have a lot to offer your business, but they are not IT magicians, and it’s important to understand what they can and can’t do.
The strength of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is that they can fill a variety of roles. They also offer many benefits, the biggest of which is operational cost-savings. They can replace an entire IT department or cover more nuanced roles—it just depends on what you need.
MSPs can apply to a range of outsourced IT services, including cybersecurity, technical support, and IT infrastructure. Moreover, they support all business sizes, from big to small.
What Can an MSP Do for Your Business?
While MSPs offer a lot, unfortunately, they are not IT magicians. There are limitations to what they can provide clients and different service options depending on your budget. It’s important to identify those limitations and your budget before choosing your MSP.
Outsourcing to an MSP will save you money compared to what you would invest in setting up in-house services. Initially, especially as an SMB, you won’t realise those savings, but they will come with time. There are a few reasons why.
Depending on what services you need, onboarding can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the cost. The financial benefits are long-term. Because you don’t have to purchase the necessary hardware and technologies or manage aspects like staffing, you’ll never see those costs. It’s difficult to quantify the value of an investment if you’re skipping most of the legwork, which is what MSPs offer. Something like cloud security can provide the most impactful benefits because there’s so much to it, and it’s all handled by the provider. The cost is offset since you’re leveraging the resources MSPs provide, which would be expensive to shoulder without support.
Finally, it takes time for the benefits to kick in, and that would be true even if the IT solutions were managed in-house. It’s not that cost savings are negligible, but it takes time to realise the true savings and benefits, especially for an SMB with limited activity.
An MSP brings the technology and software to the table, and they manage it all for you. What they provide is invaluable. You don’t have to focus on building out your IT infrastructure at scale or hosting a data centre internally. They also provide the necessary workstations, terminals, servers, and applications.
You and your team may find yourselves limited by what technologies or software the provider offers. In other words, they might only support Microsoft’s Office Suite instead of Google Docs. Alternatively, they might not offer support for a piece of software or hardware that you want. It happens, so it’s something you must look into when choosing an MSP. Even so, they always have an alternative that will help meet your needs one way or another.
You can double-check coverage by reviewing a provider’s maintenance and service agreements. You may be able to negotiate additional support or compatibility before signing on with them, too.
An MSP will handle the general upkeep of technologies while you focus on your core business. Most of a provider’s solutions are designed to be remote. They may visit your business, but only when it’s necessary, so the majority of support will be done online and from a distance.
When a physical presence is needed, like failing hardware on-site, support can take a little longer. Phone and online channels may also present limitations. However, most MSPs are responsive and provide excellent customer and technical support, with always-on access. Although they are not magicians, they will get you and your customers squared away.
Coverage in a Pinch
Disasters happen, manmade or otherwise. MSPs are a valid recovery source because their hardware is hosted and managed remotely. They can assist you in establishing a proper disaster recovery or data backup plan.
When something happens, like what’s going on in Texas currently due to power outages, you can sleep easy knowing your data and systems are protected and backed up. Without an MSP, you would have to manage all of this yourself.
What Your MSP Can Do for You
Limitations exist, but don’t be discouraged. MSPs still have a lot to offer you. By outsourcing IT, you take monumental pressure off your business and yourself. You no longer have to invest in the management of related technologies, platforms, and beyond. It’s all handled by your provider across a bevvy of remote services.
MSPs will save you money in the long-term, and they can help secure your digital assets. Those benefits alone are worth the price of admission.
For more information on the SMB Solutions MSP services currently available, get in touch with the support team today!