10 Reasons You Should Use a Managed Service Provider
The Covid-19 pandemic saw more businesses than ever relying on their IT infrastructure to support core operations.
IT requirements quickly changed as working from home became the norm in 2020-21 and distributed teams were asked to deliver as efficiently as they had when they were working in the office.
As 2022 gets underway, it seems likely these arrangements will become permanent to some degree. This is allied to an increasing dependence on data and cloud systems, which means that every business will need an IT infrastructure that includes remote working solutions to support the large number of employees working from home. This infrastructure must deliver both proactively and reactively round the clock.
Working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) may now offer the optimum way forward for many businesses and other organisations.
In terms of IT, ‘managed services’ refers to the process of outsourcing the IT operations, support and management responsibilities of your business to a third party. The third party in this context is an MSP that can provide bespoke IT solutions around your business needs.
The benefits of using an MSP range from day-to-day IT support and management to more proactive cybersecurity protection and longer term IT strategy, and the growing popularity of MSPs underlines the positive impact it can have.
According to the report Managed Services Market – Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027), the managed services market was valued at $152.05 billion in 2020 , and is predicted to grow to $274.20 billion by 2026, a growth rate of 11.2%.
Why is this?
Access to technology
No matter what kind of business you run, your IT systems should always support your core activities, not the other way round.
But for an MSP, IT provision, support and management is the core activity. This means they will always be fully across leading edge IT technologies and techniques, and in a position to ensure that these are harnessed to support to your business.
A level playing field
Small and medium sized business have to compete not just with similar-sized businesses but also with much larger organisations. One disadvantage they face is that larger companies have more resources and can run their own dedicated, fully staffed IT department.
Working with an MSP will provide you with the specialised, highly focused IT support and management services tailored around your business on a similar basis to a dedicated internal IT department.
When you work with an MSP, every aspect of your IT provision becomes their responsibility and will be handled by specialised experts.
This means your people, resources and infrastructure are freed up to work on core business activities such as manufacturing, sales, marketing and operations or admin.
Meanwhile your IT is outsourced to specialists who can support these business operations.
The IT function of every type of modern business or organisation must provide round the clock operations and support to a high level of expertise. This requires a wide range of different types of technical skills and expertise.
When you work with an MSP, rather than employing your own large team of IT experts, or investing in training up existing team members, you’ll have access to a much wider pool of specialist experts who can handle virtually any IT issue that may arise.
Working with an MSP will bring cost management advantages.
First of these is that IT costs can be planned and budgeted across the board. IT costs become predictable instead of unpredictable and irregular.
Second, your capital investment costs will be reduced in favour of ongoing operational costs. For many businesses this is preferable to capital outlay for IT infrastructure.
Third, the “pay as you go” nature of MSP pricing means that you won’t need to invest in “just in case” infrastructure – IT investment that ends up being underused or not use at all. Instead, you’ll be able to scale your IT provision up and down as you need it.
Round the clock support
Your MSP contract will include round the clock support and monitoring of your services.
Most MSP contracts are supported by a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which guarantees features such as response times and certain other proactive aspects of IT support and management.
Round the clock proactive system monitoring means your MSP will spot potential problems before they develop, ensure compliance with the latest regulations and minimise the risk of damaging downtime.
If any problems ever do occur – such as an attempted ransomware attack – round the clock Endpoint monitoring will ensure an instant response and mitigation measures that reduce the risk to your business.
IT systems and support must be optimised to evolve with the business and scale up or down.
Scaling IT provision can often be easier to scale up than it is to scale down as costs maybe sunk or bound to longer term contracts.
An MSP service package can grow or contract in line with business requirements, as well as changing the mix of services it provides, and of course monthly fees will change in proportion.
Not all organisations have the resources needed to monitor end user and network-based IT infrastructure and systems, on a 24/7/365 basis. As a result, support and problem escalation may only be managed in a reactive manner.
An MSP on the other hand provides managed detection and response, monitoring your systems constantly and proactively, with systems being scanned for security alerts and networks, devices and cloud services kept up to date with regular patching, maintenance and security updates.
The risk of cyber-attack is something all organisations of every size must face and plan for.
The proactive monitoring mentioned above is a key aspect of managing security threats and mitigating them before they emerge to impact the wider organisation.
The multi-layered, multi-threaded nature of cyberthreats and the multitude of attack vectors, coupled with the additional risks of distributed teams working remotely (a fact not lost on hackers) makes protecting against these threats a highly complex business.
Your MSP will prioritise security at every level of your IT infrastructure, offering a multi-layered cyber security solution, protecting all elements from endpoints through gateways and in the cloud.
A key benefit of using an MSP is that they can offer an additional layer over and above operational IT.
They will typically have the expertise and insight to help you use IT as a strategic tool, allowing you to develop an IT infrastructure plan and framework which doesn’t merely keep the lights on – but also enables you to develop a competitive advantage over the longer term.
Here at Alliance Solutions, we offer an MSP solution which offers all these advantages and much more. We create bespoke packages fine tuned to the needs of each of our clients, and work in close partnership to ensure that the managed provision we provide combines flexibility, effectiveness and value. If you would like to know more then please contact us on 01438 900 830 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.