Managed Service Providers (MSPs) may not exactly be the stuff of legends, yet there are many common myths around managed services. These can cloud businesses understanding of a MSP’s true value. Consider the facts to decide whether partnering with a third-party IT vendor is right for you.
What is a Managed Service Provider?
It’s important to understand what an MSP is and how the model is different to other ways of providing IT support.
For a detailed explanation please visit our blog ‘What Is Fully Managed IT Support‘ but for a quick a definition we’ll jump to Wikipedia:
Managed services is the practice of outsourcing, on a proactive basis certain processes and functions intended to improve operations and cut expenses. It is an alternative to the break/fix or on-demand outsourcing model where the service provider performs on-demand services and bills the customer only for the work done. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is the provider of the outsourced services.
The client and the MSP are bound by a contractual, service-level agreement that states the performance and quality metrics of their relationship.
Myth #1: A Managed Service Provider won’t understand our business.
Not every Managed service provider will understand your business, that’s correct. But not every MSP is the same. The right MSP examines your existing infrastructure and workflows. They’ll also meet with your people to understand their needs.
A good relationship starts with the MSP asking questions about your business goals and direction NOT about your technology.
Hiring a MSP adds IT experts who can make specific technology recommendations which should be based on helping the business achieve what it wants to.
Myth #2: Outsourcing to a MSP is expensive.
Take a look at your IT budget today. Internal IT costs are typically high and often unpredictable. Managed services help you stay on top of your IT costs. Your business pays a simple, manageable monthly fee. This makes IT operating expenses far easier to budget.
MSPs also provide long-term cost savings by:
- Reducing downtime
- Cutting costs of IT infrastructure
- Improving IT team productivity
- Implementing greater security to avoid costly cyber attacks
Myth #3: Only enterprise-sized businesses can use MSPs.
One common misconception is that only big corporations hire outsourced managed service professionals. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses will often benefit more from working with a MSP. After all, large businesses tend to have a dedicated IT to secure data and maintain its systems.
Smaller businesses tend to rely on someone internally to be the ‘IT Guy’. This individual is often employed in another role, but gets dragged away when there’s a paper jam in the printer. They may be ‘good at IT’ but they are likely to putting on sticky plasters, not getting to the root cause of issues.
Outsourcing gives any business access to skilled IT specialists. They are specialists in securing data, managing networks, and user access. You get top talent and best practices, without having to add employees to your roster.
“Recent market studies show that, when properly executed, managed services for IT can reduce in-house IT costs by upwards of 40 percent while simultaneously facilitating a 50 to 60 percent increase in IT efficiencies.” — Cisco
Myth #4: You lose control of your business.
Only if you hand it over to the MSP or don’t effectively manage your partnership with your provider. You should hire an MSP with an understanding of what level of control you want to retain. Lay out the relationship in a Service Level Agreement. This document should outline expectations, roles and responsibilities, and scope of services.
Before hiring a MSP, look at client testimonials. Have others found the MSP works with businesses to only do what needs done? Ask prospective MSPs how they will keep you up-to-date about the work they do.
Also, identify someone on your team to actively manage that MSP relationship. They will take part in Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR’s). This gives an opportunity to review performance against the Service Level Agreement and also build an IT Roadmap.
The IT Roadmap will set out how the MSP is helping move the business forward in it’s effective use of technology.
Myth #5: You only use a Managed Service Provider for security backup.
Sure, backup and disaster recovery, might form a part of the services outsourced to MSPs. However a good MSP will offer much more. Infrastructure management, cyber security, managing patches and updates, even vendor management should all be covered.
The MSP does the work your general employees don’t have the skills or knowledge to carry out (but rely upon). Outsource monitoring and maintaining backend technology and routine, recurring tasks. You gain high quality, consistent IT support. And you improve the morale of your staff along the way.
Business today relies on its technology to be successful. Big or small, your business can benefit. Take advantage of a MSP’s expert help and powerful new technology.
How We Can Help
Your IT Department provide Fully Managed IT Support acting as an outsourced but fully integrated IT Department for our clients.
Our aim improve the performance of our client’s IT systems, reduce owner and staff stress, increase efficiency in business, provide flexibility and instant scalability and make the client more productive. All this comes at a fixed monthly cost with no nasty surprises!
For a no obligation review of your current IT systems call us today on 0115 8220200 or complete the contact form on the website.