What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

4 min

Whether you’re an IT professional, a commercial integrator, or part of a managed service team, understanding the intricate world of MSPs is essential.

This article demystifies the concept of a Managed Service Provider, illustrating how MSPs operate as the backbone of IT services across industries, providing vital support, proactive management, and strategic guidance for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital era.

Join us as we delve into the core of what makes MSPs indispensable in today’s technology-driven environment. We’ll discuss the following:

What is an MSP?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a third-party company that remotely looks after a business’s information technology services, including network management, security, and infrastructure. MSPs usually offer their services on a remote basis.

Businesses of all sizes hire MSPs to handle the day-to-day management of critical IT operations. This allows them to focus on growing their business without having to hire an employee to manage the IT infrastructure or overwork their own IT team. 

MSPs can assist an existing IT team, or completely replace the need for any internal IT staff by providing all services a business might need. Some MSPs, known as break/fix, offer their services as problems arise. On the other hand, most commonly, MSPs operate on a subscription basis for ongoing support in specific areas of IT. Similarly, some MSPs focus on very specific vertical markets, such as legal, financial services, healthcare or manufacturing.

Read on to learn more about what services MSPs provide and the huge advantages they bring to businesses.

What services do MSPs provide?

Not all MSPs are the same. Some focus on offering a specific service such as security management or storage solutions, while others provide a suite of services to specific industries like education or finance. Let’s explore some of the popular services offered by MSPs.

1. Business Continuity

First of all, every business, no matter the size, is at risk of a technical disaster. Whether this is caused by a cyberattack, accident, or a major malfunction, recovering devices and lost data is an expensive task. An MSP can use their expertise to recover lost data and help your business get back on its feet as quickly as possible with minimal downtime.

2. Network Monitoring

Network monitoring tracks the performance of hardware and software your business uses. An MSP can handle this monitoring for you, identifying when processes aren’t running as smoothly as they could be or if your system has been compromised. MSPs use special monitoring tools to track aspects such as network traffic, bandwidth, and connection failures.

3. Cybersecurity

The landscape of tech changes constantly and it can be difficult for internal IT teams to stay on top of security. Nearly half of cyberattacks are aimed at SMEs with only a fraction of those able to defend themselves against hackers. MSPs have access to the latest antivirus updates, software security patches, and knowledge of emerging security threats. An MSP can implement preventative measures and ensure everything’s up to date to keep your business protected from hackers.

4. Infrastructure Management

IT infrastructure includes computers, mobile devices, peripherals, software, servers, and business equipment. A business needs to manage infrastructure to ensure everything is working seamlessly together, both virtually and physically. Fortunately, MSPs can monitor the performance and fix problems as they arise.

5. Day-to-day Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Tech is complex. Problems can seemly arise out of nowhere and put businesses out of operation until the issues are fixed. MSPs solve these day-to-day situations in two ways: MSPs are equipped to identify likely problems before they arise, putting preventative measures in place—like enabling scheduled backups for important data in case of a disaster.

An MSP has the expertise and knowledge of tools and platforms to provide quick, effective fixes for common problems when they do happen. This gets businesses back up and running quicker than if they were left dealing with it on their own.

Now you know the kinds of services an MSP can provide, what impact does this have on businesses?

What are the benefits of hiring an MSP?

1. Focus on Business Growth

When businesses work with an MSP to manage their IT, it frees up time and resources to focus on other aspects of the business. This is particularly helpful for smaller businesses as they typically don’t have the luxury of funding an in-house IT team with the same degree of knowledge as an MSP. An added business benefit is that MSPs provide more efficient IT processes which in turn boost business productivity.

2. Easier Adoption of New Technology

Researching and implementing the best technology for your business is a challenge. There are often steep learning curves, hefty price tags, and extensive time needed to assess the options. MSPs specialize in providing the most up-to-date, suitable platforms and tools for every business. They invest time into researching the latest tech advances for businesses so you don’t have to.

3. Access to IT experts

Hiring competent IT staff is time-consuming and expensive, especially if they’re not an ideal fit. Businesses can benefit from expert knowledge without paying for full-time employees by choosing to work with an MSP.

4. Predictable Costs

The average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,000 and that’s before you take into account the annual salary of a new full-time IT member (which is often much higher than employees in other departments). As tech evolves, you’ll also have to foot the bill for IT certifications.

MSP costs are predictable. You’ll usually pay a subscription for a specified service or suite of services. It’s far cheaper than hiring full-time staff and it’s easier to budget for. For example, if you adopt Domotz, you pay per month, per site. Read more about the Domotz pricing.

MSPs and Network Monitoring 

Partnering with an MSP is a smart decision for businesses of all sizes. They offer a range of IT-based services which include:

  • Infrastructure
  • Data storage
  • Network monitoring
  • Disaster recovery
  • Cybersecurity

MSPs have expert knowledge in many areas of IT, are much easier to budget for (particularly for smaller businesses where hiring full-time IT staff is pricey), and conduct extensive research into the best platforms for businesses. 

MSPs rely on tools to do their job, which is where Domotz network monitoring software comes in.

We provide a network monitoring software with features including automated infrastructure inventory, network topology mapping, infrastructure management, SNMP monitoring, performance monitoring, remote power control and thousands of software and hardware integrations. Domotz can help your MSP business: 

  • Scale services, deliver outstanding service for customers.
  • Stay competitive in a fast-moving market.
  • Save money and time by minimizing downtime, and troubleshooting customer issues faster than ever.
  • Automate processes.

Learn more about our network monitoring software and about our new refreshed interface!

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