What Is An MSP?

What Is An MSP?

By Chris Brunau

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.

What is an MSP?

An MSP is an outsourced IT professional who provides ongoing services to clients based on a recurring revenue model. MSPs deliver ongoing monitoring and management of client applications (email, website, security, etc.) and IT infrastructure. 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 solutions and IT disaster recovery plans, 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.

Managed IT Services

A recent survey found that nearly 70% of small to medium businesses hire at least one type of managed IT service provider. IT, as a service, also known as managed IT services, is a model in which businesses hire a third party to oversee and manage all of their IT needs.

Managed IT services typically provide the technical expertise needed but at a much lower cost to a business that was considering having IT professionals on staff. Contracted IT service providers deliver the same services as in-house IT; they can recommend, install, and manage all of a business’ IT needs.

Hiring a managed service provider (MSP) to deliver their IT needs frees up the business to focus on innovation and growing daily operations.

Growth Of IT As A Service

Datto recently released its latest State of the MSP Report which found that IT service providers are adjusting their business model to include more managed services than ever. They are also looking to bump up hiring in response to demand.

The survey also found that MSPs are now becoming strategic advisors to their clients.

According to Markets and Markets, the managed IT services market is expected to be worth roughly $258 billion by 2022, which is nearly double what it was in 2017: $152 billion.

Managed IT services evolved from the more traditional break-fix model in which businesses would hire a third-party contractor on an ad hoc basis to repair or maintain its network. Now, companies hire MSPs on a subscription basis, paying an agreed-upon amount each month.

SMB Managed Service Consumption

A recent survey by B2B research firm Clutch showed that 69% of U.S. SMBs use at least one IT service provider, regardless of company size. 63% 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
  • Helpdesk
  • E-mail
  • Security
  • Storage
  • 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 technology. Rather, the expertise of the service provider holds the most value for SMBs.

The Datto Partner Program

Our partners are the driving force behind everything we do. From the very beginning, our foundation has been built on strong relationships, trust, and always doing the right thing for our partners. Partnering with Datto means that we’ll always have your back, and we are fully committed to helping you grow your business.

The Datto Partner Program aims to deliver the best tools and resources necessary to build your brand, generate more leads, and win more deals. It’s been designed to keep you engaged while rewarding you for your performance and loyalty along the way.

Learn more about why MSPs partner with Datto.

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