A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that manages a particular service for your business. This is a typically a company that manages the IT operations of a business. Businesses prefer to use managed service providers because they can outsource all of their IT work and they are much more affordable than hiring in-house IT staff. Although businesses are aware of managed service providers, most don’t know exactly what they do. This post will cover some of the responsibilities you can expect from a managed service provider.
What does a managed service provider do?
A managed service provider is responsible for the IT services operations of its clients. Typically, businesses outsource some or all of their IT operations to managed service providers. The managed service provider ensures that businesses have 24/7 internal and external IT support. Some of the primary services they offer include:
When you work with a managed service provider, all of your cybersecurity needs will be taken care of. A managed service provider will provide you with complete cybersecurity coverage that includes cloud security, email security, domain security, firewalls and more. Paying for all of these services separately is extremely costly, but an MSP can provide you with this holistic coverage as part of your arrangement with them.
Backup & recovery
What makes cyberattacks lethal for most businesses is the permanent loss of data. Although a cyber attack is harmful to a business, the damage can be mitigated if a business has its data backed up properly. A managed service provider can help businesses back up all of their data properly and recover the data in case any unfortunate situations occur. Backup & recovery is a crucial component of IT management and this protects companies from losing their data permanently.
The network of a business is a crucial component of IT operations. In fact, networks control most of the data that is transmitted and shared in a business. Any issues related to the network can cause downtime in business applications, Wi-Fi issues, computer permissions and cybersecurity. The average company has little to no knowledge on how to manage their networks. This makes them primary targets for hackers and other third parties.
Managed service providers provide a host of network services that include network access, network security, network administration and more. By working with a managed service provider, all of your network operations will be fully managed and you can focus on your core business operations. In addition to management, managed service providers can help you make key network upgrades that will improve the productivity and operations.
Email is the backbone of business communications. For businesses of all sizes, issues related to emails can cause significant productivity loss in addition to unsatisfied customers. There are many changes related to email services that occur for businesses. This can be in the case of migrations, adding new employees, etc. Managed service providers provide email support for any platform or provider you use. Whether your business uses Gmail, Outlook or another provider, an MSP can diagnose, assess and solve any issues you have related to email.
Examples of specific email services that MSPs provide include spam protection, email migrations, username/password support and more. Employees spend a lot of time with email related issues, so outsourcing that part of your business to an MSP frees up your time to focus on higher ROI activities.
A managed service provider is your main point of contact for all of your IT support. The majority of MSPs offer help desk services and they can offer you help with any technical issue related to your business. MSPs have the staff and bandwidth to address all of your IT support needs 24/7; this will ensure that your business has all the technical support needed to finish projects and meet any client demands.
Many MSPs have the capability to provide you remote support on the phone or computer for any of your needs. If your issue is more urgent than that, they are able to send technicians to your physical location and address any technical issues you are facing. This is a great service for any business that needs IT support but doesn’t want to train and hire IT staff internally.
Servers are often one of the most expensive assets that companies own. Unless you have trained IT personnel in-house, managing servers can be very difficult and costly. Any issue with your servers can result in downtime in a key business application or your network. This alone can cost you thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands of dollars.
MSPs manage servers on behalf of businesses. With server management done by MSPs, all of your data will be stored and saved in addition to your servers being regularly tested. This will ensure your business’ servers are running optimally and all cybersecurity efforts are being maintained. If your business has multiple servers or relies heavily on in-house servers, make sure the MSP you work with has the server management capabilities.
MSPs play an important role in helping businesses train their employees on how to use new applications and programs. Businesses who use MSPs often consult with them prior to making any important software or hardware decisions in the business. MSPs help decision makers select the best tools for their business and they can help onboard staff with using new applications.
Another important area where MSPs train employees is in cybersecurity awareness. Your employees are your first line of defense and their ability to detect and prevent cyber threats is crucial to your cybersecurity. MSPs can help train your staff with cybersecurity by helping up set simulations where your employees can practice identifying cybersecurity threats. Working with an MSP to conduct cybersecurity training for your employees is a great way to prevent the majority of cyberattacks on your business.
MSPs can also help with IT training related to hiring and onboarding new IT staff. Many businesses use MSPs to bridge the gap in IT talent while they recruit IT employees for their business. Your MSP can help you hire the best IT talent for your business and help onboard new staff to using your processes and procedures.