May 01, 2020
What Is An MSP?
When discussing whether or not a company should outsource their IT department to a managed service provider (MSP), the first step is to understand exactly what an MSP is.
MSPs are the guardians of IT, delivering ongoing monitoring and management of client applications (email, website, security, etc.) and IT infrastructure remotely. This is typically accomplished through remote monitoring services, which allows them to keep tabs on the health of their clients’ IT environments, change and update systems, and troubleshoot problems. MSPs closely monitor a wide variety of IT solutions a business has implemented, including web apps, desktop and server management software, backup and disaster recovery, storage management tools and security software.
Small businesses outsource IT to ensure all their business systems, operations and networks remain up and running. Managed service providers take a proactive approach to IT. Rather than waiting for something to break or shut down, MSPs ensure a customer’s IT can avoid most tech issues in the first place. This is huge because IT-related downtime can have a devastating impact on revenue and reputation—especially for smaller businesses trying to grow.
SMB Managed Service Consumption
A recent survey by B2B research firm Clutch showed that 69 percent of U.S. SMBs use at least one IT service provider, regardless of company size. 63 percent of respondents indicated they also have dedicated, in-house IT staff. However, this percentage was much lower among SMBs with 10 or fewer employees—only 31 percent of that group have in-house IT staff.
MSPs typically deliver services on a subscription basis; companies pay a fixed amount, usually monthly, for a specific set of IT services. Some common examples include, but are not limited to:
- Application monitoring/management
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
These services are typically offered either as packaged services or a la carte, depending on the needs of the SMB. They are also often priced at a fraction of the cost of a full-time IT resource. MSPs work with a variety of technology vendors in order to deliver these services. However, it’s not just about the technology. Rather, the expertise of the service provider holds the most value for SMBs.