In today’s IT landscape, the pace of innovation often overtakes the speed at which IT teams can proactively and effectively manage their environments.
The days of having a core team of generalist IT professionals, with a broad variety of skills to keep the devices and systems running within a business have long gone.
The advancement of IT applications and systems means that any enterprise IT team will, at some point, require specialist expertise to ensure they’re performing in line with their business requirements, in a secure and compliant way, whilst ensuring that employees have a seamless end-user experience.
It’s a lot to think about, particularly with the ever–increasing variety of solutions available for the enterprise.
Finding a suitable Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be a very effective way to outsource some elements of your IT operation, utilising their specific areas of expertise and can often lead to long-term cost savings for your organisation.
In this article, we’re going to cover the main benefits of choosing a Managed Service and the top things to consider when selecting your MSP.
Definition of a Managed Service
What is a Managed Service Provider? Gartner defines it as delivering services such as “network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data centre (hosting), or in a third-party data centre.”
The type of services delivered by a traditional MSP have expanded in recent years, with Gartner stating, “the term MSP traditionally was applied to infrastructure or device-centric types of services but has expanded to include any continuous, regular management, maintenance and support.”
With the recent evolution to the new Evergreen IT model, many IT leaders are turning to MSPs to help them stay ahead of the continual update and feature releases across their environments, particularly across the variety of solutions for their modern workplace.
Benefits of a Managed Service
1. On-demand expertise
With new technology comes a variety of new challenges for IT teams to contend with. Without costly training programmes, your IT team will struggle to learn and manage the never-ending number of new software and solutions within your IT estate.
By outsourcing this management to a Managed Service Provider, you effectively have on-demand access to highly skilled professionals who can help support you with ongoing management, updates and servicing, in the areas you need it most.
2. Services tailored to your business
One of the most beneficial elements of engaging with an MSP is that you can define the parameters of the service, in line with your business needs.
Outsourcing this work means you can structure the service around your team’s existing skills, capabilities and capacities. Good MSPs will be willing to flex to meet your requirements and will work as an extension of your existing team.
3. Cost Management
Engaging with an MSP allows you to accurately predict the recurring monthly cost of their services. During the initial business engagement, you’ll mutually agree a scope-of-service and the corresponding costs.
From there, every month you’ll have a clear understanding of the cost of their services instead of managing multiple ad-hoc (often expensive) consultants and contractors.
Aside from the on-demand nature of Managed Services, you can also scale the support up and down depending on when you need it.
When working with an MSP, you’ll come to learn their areas of specialism so should you need additional support you can call on them to support you, either on a long-term or ad-hoc basis.
5. Keep your BAU teams focused
IT teams, when effectively managed, should be directly contributing to the overall performance of your business.
Without outsourcing some areas of your IT operation, you run the risk of your BAU teams concentrating solely on maintenance rather than commercially beneficial, business-critical projects.
MSPs will work with you to ensure they’re collaborating effectively with your BAU teams, whilst freeing up their capacity to deliver the work they were hired to do.
What should you look for when selecting an MSP?
When exploring whether an MSP is the right fit for your business, it’s important to consider the following points:
- Is the MSP offering the level of flexibility you need? And are they able to offer you ad-hoc support in areas additional to the pre-determined service agreement?
- Do they have a proven track record of delivering Managed Services? You should ask about their previous and existing clients and how they’ve supported them.
- Establish who your dedicated point of contact will be – often your Service Delivery Manager. What experience does this individual have in managing customers with similar needs to your business?
- Do you have a clear escalation path within the MSP? Which senior stakeholders will be overseeing the delivery of your services?
- Does the MSP have strong partnerships with the appropriate software vendors?
- Are there any value-adds the MSP can offer you as part of your service agreement?
There are many Managed Service Providers with a plethora of specialisms within the UK, so it’s important you find the right fit for your organisation.
With over 20 years’ experience managing complex IT projects and services for a variety of industry-leading brands, a Gold partner status with Microsoft and innovative automated software solutions, we’d love to hear from you about your Managed Service requirements.
Contact the team today to schedule your no-commitment introductory call.