Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are specialized companies that provide a range of services, such as network, application, infrastructure, and security, through ongoing and regular support and active management. These services can be provided at the customer's premises, in the MSP's data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center. An MSP can give your business peace of mind by providing backup and restore service, as well as disaster recovery planning. Outsourcing to an MSP is a cost-cutting measure that can help your business save money while still providing the necessary IT functions.
An MSP can configure and maintain networks and infrastructure, provide Domain Name Services (DNS) for website addresses, and even provide all the technology for your business, such as workstations, servers, and software. When choosing an MSP, it is important to find one that is willing to customize their services and solutions to meet your specific needs. Additionally, they should provide advanced solutions such as management of updated service versions and proactive monitoring for better scalability. Security is also a key factor when selecting an MSP; they should operate in protected environments to ensure the security of your data.
An MSP will use the information it has from the other managed services it receives to proactively address technical issues before they cause downtime. They also provide access to experienced IT staff that you would otherwise need to hire as full-time employees. Finally, they can reduce barriers to technology adoption by providing infrastructure as a service (OpEx, not CapEx), managing their licensing agreements, staffing experts for migrations, training their employees, and providing business intelligence through reports. Before signing the dotted line with the first MSP that appears on Google, review these best practices for choosing a managed service provider. Beyond the essential managed services you should receive or expect when partnering with an MSP, some will offer additional premium features included with your service or available as an add-on.