Introduction to Managed Service Provider (MSP)
A managed service provider (MSP) is a specialised type of business that offers services to other businesses. They are different from cloud service providers (CSPs) because they provide a wide range of IT services, not just cloud computing and storage. For example, an MSP might offer both on-premises hosting as well as remote backup solutions for their clients' data needs. In this article we'll discuss what MSPs are and how they work so that you can decide if one would be right for your business.
What is a managed service provider (MSP)?
An MSP is a company that provides outsourced IT support services and managed IT services to businesses. They manage the services of their clients' existing IT infrastructure, but do not necessarily own or operate it.
They will provide a range of services that are designed to fit the specific needs of your business. This bespoke approach will ensure you get what you need and only pay for what you need. However, you will have access to the support and expertise when it comes to your IT systems.
Difference between managed service provider and cloud service provider
The difference between a managed service provider (MSP) and cloud service provider is that an MSP is an IT support services provider, whereas a cloud service provider provides cloud computing services for a fee.
A managed cloud service provider will give businesses the opportunity to store date and systems off-site, all of which will be managed by the provider. An MSP will handle all of the IT needs for a business which might mean the entire IT system or certain elements of it.
How does MSPs work?
A managed services provider will work with their clients to develop a solution that meets their needs. They will carry out a thorough assessment of your current environment including cyber security audit and IT infrastructure audit to determine what might need improving, where problems might arise and what you can do more efficiently.
What are MSPs used for?
MSPs are a great option for small and medium businesses looking for IT support. They consist of qualified IT experts who have access to the right the tools and solutions to keep your business operating effectively. This can include:
- Ensuring that all systems are running effectively
- Helping businesses run efficiently
- Monitoring security risks
- Dealing with data storage
- Digital innovation
Types of MSPs
- Pure-play MSPs: These are often smaller providers that have a focus on monitoring networks and the performance of applications. Therefore, they provide their own services that provide reports and alerts.
- Staffing legacy MSPs: These are designed for medium-sized organisations and Fortune 500 companies so they offer a huge array of services such as reporting, monitoring and software installation and upgrades.
- High level MSPs: These will consist of both large and small providers that make allow clients to outsource the majority of their IT processes.
How managed service providers benefit your business?
Managed service providers (MSPs) can be a great asset to your business in several ways:
- They help deal with staff shortages. If you have a shortage of IT professionals, or if you have them but they're not experts in the same field, an MSP can provide the support you need.
- They can provide expertise and advice whenever you need it, so that your company always has access to experts for each task at hand.
- They deliver business continuity. In case something happens to your servers or backups—a flood, theft or natural disaster—the MSP will take care of these issues for you so that nothing interrupts your operations for too long. This is particularly important if you're running an online store where downtime means lost sales and unhappy customers who might not return
- Constant network monitoring ensures that everything is running smoothly from day-to-day and helps prevent issues before they happen by addressing potential problems immediately instead of letting them grow into major incidents over time. They help in business continuity management.
Challenges of a managed service provider
There are several challenges associated with the managed service provider model. First, many MSPs only provide basic security solutions such as antivirus software and endpoint security. This means you’ll need to find another partner or source for additional technologies like data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption. Additionally, depending on your industry, there may be a risk of becoming dependent on one vendor that can provide all your needs.
Finally, if you have an urgent security issue that requires immediate attention from an MSP employee but they aren't available due to to being unavailable, then you will need to wait for them to return or become available. This could lead to potential losses in revenue if any downtime occurs during peak hours when customers are most likely active online buying products/services or conducting business transactions over email/phone calls. The same goes for upselling as MSPs might secure the services you need but then attempt to upsell further technology or services that you don't need. A reputable MSP will only provide you with the services you require.
A managed service provider is the best way to ensure your business meets its goals. It can be hard to find the right MSP for your company, but with the right research and patience you will be able to find one that fits your needs. Remember that not all MSPs are created equal so make sure you look at their reputation before choosing one for yourself!