A Managed Services Provider is a company external to your business responsible for providing IT services. An MSP works proactively to maintain the technology in your business, offers remote IT support, creates IT disaster recovery plans, and develops business continuity solutions. Contracting an MSP reduces the costs and risks of maintaining IT in-house. MSP capabilities and specialties vary among providers, so it’s essential to choose carefully.
Businesses of all sizes and in all industries use MSPs for a variety of reasons. Staying updated with technology trends and security updates is a challenge that all organizations face. Small to medium size companies use MSPs to provide a fully-outsourced IT department, so they can focus on their core business and maintain operational cost control. Larger companies use MSPs to augment their in-house IT teams, freeing up resources to complete more strategic projects.
A good MSP is proactive, so they prevent costly downtime by proactively monitoring networks for issues and remediating them before you even know they exist. Since your network is remotely monitored, your risk of viruses, breaches and downtime decreases. Moreover, working with a quality MSP improves your business operation by letting your staff focus on their work, instead of dealing with IT problems. Plus, you’ll gain a partner that guides you through every major technology decision.
There’s no such thing as “standardized pricing” for Managed IT Services because many MSPs intentionally make it hard to understand what they offer and use varying pricing models. In many cases, comparing MSPs in terms of price can feel like comparing apples and oranges. To find the right MSP at the right price for your needs, your best bet is to find an MSP that offers all-in, fixed-fee pricing with no hidden costs, like after-hours upcharges. By the way, Gant Systems offers exactly that combo, so you know where to start looking.
According to payscale.com, the median salary of a single Information Technology Manager in the U.S. is $78,734, plus benefits and bonuses. An effective MSP provides an entire team of skilled IT professionals at a fraction of the cost. At Gant Systems, reducing overall costs while improving productivity and efficiency for small businesses is at the core of what we do.
We can’t speak for all MSPs, but our Managed IT Services clients participate in regularly scheduled business conversations with us – which we call the Client Business Review. During this review, you meet with your technology advisor to go over the details of your service. We bring all of the data and performance analytics, discuss your business goals, and assess anything that is or isn’t working. Businesses that partner with Gant Systems always have a clear vision of how their business is benefiting.
When comparing Managed IT Services to the break/fix model, the word you want to keep in mind is “proactive.” Break/fix companies provide traditional IT services: you break your technology – they come and fix it for you. So this is a reactive model of services. But with the rise of cybercrime these days, malicious hackers make their money by breaking your tech – and it’s not always possible to fix what they destroy. Managed IT Services proactively prevent ~99% of breakage and cyberattacks by keeping your systems up to date and secure around the clock. Of course, the best MSPs will also roll up their sleeves and get to work fixing your systems when you need them to, which means that MSP are often break/fix providers, too, but without the additional fees – so long as you find an MSP who offers a fixed-fee pricing model.
When considering Managed IT Services versus staff augmentation, keep in mind that Managed IT Services provide comprehensive support for all your technology, without you having to lift a finger. Staff augmentation provides an outsourced IT person or team that your in-house IT team can call in when they need additional help. Staff augmentation can also be handy when undertaking large, multifaceted IT projects, such as moving to Office 365 or installing a new VoIP (internet phone) system. However, Managed IT Services providers generally have project teams who can assist in these situations.
Professionals in both focus areas will help you determine the best business technology to support your company’s future, and both will implement that technology for you. Here’s how they differ: Though a consultant typically walks away at the end of an implementation or other engagement, a Managed Services Provider (MSP) will support your company’s IT for years to come, developing a long-term relationship that keeps your technology working well and worry-free.
Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, networking, and software – over the Internet (the cloud) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.