It seems there are still some business owners who are experiencing confusion about what exactly a managed IT services company, or (MSP, is or does. Right now, many company owners are finding great value in what an MSP can do for them, while some are still asking – Why choose a managed services provider vs. a traditional computer support company (aka “break-fix” computer shop)?
In this article we aim to clear up exactly what an MSP is, and how it’s usually a better choice for small and mid-sized businesses than a traditional “computer fix” company.
What are Managed Services?
Managed services let you offload specific IT operations to a service provider, known in tech parlance as a Managed Services Provider (MSP). The managed service provider assumes ongoing responsibility for monitoring, managing and/or problem resolution for selected IT systems and functions on your behalf.
Managed services providers can offer services such as alerts, security, patch management, cloud data backup and recovery for different client devices: desktops, notebooks, servers, storage systems, networks, and applications. Offloading routine infrastructure management to an experienced managed services professional lets you concentrate on running your business, with fewer interruptions due to IT issues.
Managed services providers usually price their services on a subscription basis. Depending on the services they provide, pricing is usually based on the number of devices, with different packages priced at different levels. Some provide customer support onsite when required.
Basic services often start with a monitoring service, which notifies you of problems, which you resolve on your own. At the upper end of the spectrum, service providers offer fully managed services that cover everything from alerts through problem resolution.
Typically, a reputable managed services provider (like Amnet) will perform an initial assessment of your current IT environment and management requirements to help you decide what services and service levels you need.
The rest will just kind of tell you what you need and then do it, free of your input. Watch out for those types of MSPs!
Managed Services Providers vs. Computer Support Companies
Many companies are still relying on a small in-house staff (general one or two people) to handle not only all issues as they arise, but also the ongoing monitoring and maintenance, vendor management, and the special IT projects.
It’s nearly an impossible feat these days, and many companies, no surprise, are turning to managed services providers over computer support companies.
Just like larger companies, small businesses need technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. But as reliance on IT grows, the resources to support an increasingly complex IT environment may not. In many small businesses, IT resources are scarce and can be quickly overwhelmed with the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping the IT infrastructure that the business depends on up and running.
Already convinced, and want a managed services provider, not a limited computer support company? If you’ve realized the many benefits of a managed services provider vs. a computer support company, then contact us at (719) 442-6683, or email us for more information on how to get started right away with the MSP in Colorado Springs you need to grow your business with!
If you fall behind in keeping up with things such as backups, patches, and security, the odds are that you’ll face an IT outage or another problem down the road that will negatively impact your business. For instance, if your e-mail server, customer relationship management system, financial application or network goes down unexpectedly, you face substantial productivity and revenue losses as a result.
MSPs act as an extension of your IT department, taking care of routine IT infrastructure monitoring and management around the clock—freeing up your IT staff to focus on higher-value projects. By proactively monitoring and maintaining your systems, an MSP can help you avoid many technology problems in the first place. Should an issue occur, an experienced MSP can troubleshoot and resolve it more efficiently.
Unlike traditional outsourcing situations, where you surrender complete control of your IT assets, you decide what you want the service provider to take care of, and what you want to handle. You retain full visibility into the process and management of your systems. In addition, the MSP subscription model gives you more expense predictability than a consultant-type time and billing model.
More to Consider in the MSP vs. Straight Computer Services Debate
MSPs offer a much wider range of services than your average computer fix-it shop, or guy (no offense to any of them – they work just as hard, but don’t tend to provide all that growing companies need in the IT department).
Many MSPs focus on managing specific areas and functions, such as storage and related management services, or desktop management and help desk services. Some provide management services for server hardware, operating systems, and middleware, but limited support for applications such as e-mail. Many provide onsite services as required, but may have limited regional or local coverage areas.
If you are looking for something a bit more comprehensive or involved, Amnet offers a range of managed IT services options, including data storage, protection and management; disaster recovery and business continuity; messaging and collaboration; and email security services, just to name a few.
Granted, with so many different types of MSPs and offerings, the MSP label can be a confusing one. So, when considering managed services, think first about your requirements by asking yourself questions such as:
- How satisfied you are with the level and quality of support that you have today?
- Where are the gaps, pain points and inefficiencies in IT infrastructure management?
- How do downtime, outages and other problems impact your business?
With these requirements topmost in mind, you should evaluate MSPs that can adequately and sensibly configure your IT, business, and budget requirements, and who provide a flexible, proactive approach that can adapt with you as your needs evolve – like Amnet!
Ready to End the Managed Services Provider vs. Computer Support Company Suspense?
If you’re one of the IT savvy who’ve realized the many benefits of a managed services provider vs. a computer support company, contact us at (719) 442-6683, or email us for more information on how to get started right away with the right MSP to accelerate your business growth with!