In the IT world, MSP stands for “managed service provider“. It’s a fairly generic term, so if you’re a bit confused about what an MSP actually does… you’re not alone.
The basic answer is that an MSP manages the IT infrastructure & systems for a business. However, they can do so in many different ways.
Here are some of the important specific services most MSPs offer.
1. Tech Support
The first thing that comes to mind for many businesses when thinking of IT is tech support – and that instinct is correct. An MSP should offer 24/7 tech support to keep your business up and running at its finest.
Even if your MSP is not in near your location or even your time zone, you should make sure that this is something they offer. It helps to keep your website, online databases, and IT infrastructure up and running at all times. Downtime results in lost productivity for your business and employees, so this aspect is of the utmost importance.
You hope that a big crash would never happen, but in the event that it does, an MSP should help you get back up and running quickly. That doesn’t just include getting your system back up and running in a timely manner. It also means having reliable backups of the information that you need to keep your business going.
Whether you lose your data from a cyberattack or from a disaster, swift recovery is key. The more time you can’t access your data, the more your business suffers reputationally and financially.
Digital security is now more important than ever. Hackers are exposing new weaknesses in systems all the time. Your MSP should stay on top of all the latest security updates and make sure your hardware and software are up to date, so that security updates are put in place as soon as they come out.
Additionally, managed service providers should perform general IT support security tasks like installing firewalls and anti-virus software to protect your data.
4. Strategic Future Planning
A good provider of MSP services will keep up with the latest technological trends and “futureproof” your infrastructure. They’ll know what’s just around the corner and will strategically plan craft a technology roadmap to account for tech evolution.
Your current IT systems likely aren’t going to be there forever. A great MSP seeks the smartest system upgrades that could help your business function even more smoothly as your needs change.
They’ll make the path to IT upgrades easy and clear to see.
5. Cloud Services
You’ve undoubtedly heard the term around. Though it may seem like just another technology buzzword, cloud technology innovation is really the future. It’s less costly, more flexible, and allows your team to access information easily from anywhere in the world.
It’s also more environmentally friendly because it creates less physical hardware waste. An MSP will help you get your data into the cloud for easy access and safe storage.
Small businesses can do these things on their own, either by training existing staff or hiring a dedicated IT staff. However, working with an MSP saves time, money and other resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your business.