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  • Writer's pictureOdinson Staff

What is a Managed IT Service Provider?

Updated: May 17, 2023


An IT managed service provider (MSP) is a company that provides managed IT services such as server management, desktop management, cybersecurity management, and service help desk support for a monthly fee. MSPs offer small businesses an elite and robust IT staff for a fraction of the cost. MSPs allow small businesses to focus their efforts on their company's bottom line while still taking full advantage of existing and emerging technologies.


With the introduction of cloud technologies, remote working, and advanced cyber threats, MSPs have become a prominent means for businesses to keep up with technology. At first introduction, MSPs were mainly utilized by major corporations with massive networks and multiple satellite locations. Today, however, MSPs provide services to all types of businesses, from small to mid-size companies to well-established corporate giants. According to Spicework's "2019 State of IT" report, small businesses use outsourced IT companies, like MSPs, for communications, data storage, backups, and even hardware support.

What do MSPs provide?


An MSP provides a company with an outsourced expert IT support team. This team will –

  • Establish and manage the company's network

  • Design and manage the cloud architecture

  • Establish and manage the on-premises architecture

  • Perform desktop management

  • Perform server management

  • Provide IT service desk support

  • Provide telecommunications support

  • Establish and maintain data backup and disaster recovery

  • IT business software and hardware procurement

Why should a company hire an MSP?


The two biggest reasons companies are outsourcing their IT to MSPs are cost savings and negating risk. Instead of a company calling for help when they find themselves in a bad technological situation, having an MSP continually monitoring the network and employing emerging technologies to advance a company's bottom line allows said company to be proactive and maintain a stable peace of mind. Additionally, MSPs enable company executives to focus on their business instead of the company's IT.


What are the pros and cons of hiring an MSP?


Hiring an MSP offers a company more IT management resources and a deeper IT knowledge pool. However, there are specific considerations each company should factor in. For instance, does the company require someone on-site at all times? Does the company have the budget to maintain an in-house IT staff? But, if a company does not have an MSP, is that company taking full advantage of its IT resources and leading technologies? Moreover, is the company's network truly secure? Below are a few pros and cons to utilize when hiring an MSP.


Pros

  • An MSP will provide a proactive approach when managing your IT. MSPs pride themselves on fixing the problem, whatever it may be before it occurs, which they accomplish by consistently monitoring, patching, and updating a company's IT environment.

  • An MSP provides a company with certified and experienced IT professionals in all areas versus a staff of one or two "computer guys" to meet all your IT needs.

  • One of the core functions of all MSPs is backup and disaster recovery. When you hire an MSP, you ensure your business continuity.

  • The average cost for tier 1 IT personnel is about $60,000 annually. The minimum effective IT staff consists of two IT professionals to ensure continuity. That could amount to $120,000 or more a year. Moreover, the two individuals still cannot cover every avenue of IT required. On average, a productive MSP contract, which includes one server, ten workstations, and one network printer, will cost about $875 a month—totaling approximately $10,500 a year. That is a complete win for a small to mid-size business.

Cons

  • MSPs work remotely and may be located in a different area than the hiring company. However, you can hire an MSP in your local area. Some MSPs also offer on-sight services even if they are not in your area.

  • A reputable MSP can be expensive. Nevertheless, when you weigh the services offered and how much that would cost if your company staffed IT professionals. It's a total win.

  • MSPs will only manage what is covered in the managed service agreement. If you ask them to perform a function out of scope, you could be denied or charged an additional fee.

Conclusion


A reputable and well-established MSP will become a long-term strategic partner for your business that has your best interest at heart. An MSP's role is not to sell you shiny things but to ensure you leverage technology and your IT resources securely and efficiently. An MSP provides your business with IT peace of mind so you can focus on the company's core objectives. Each company must weigh the factors of paying for an MSP according to their requirements and needs. A great example of a company that will benefit from hiring an MSP is one that wants to leverage IT, like large corporations but does not have the budget to hire a robust staff to do so. If that sounds like your company. Contact us at Odinson Technologies and see how we can enhance your business.

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