The number of hardware, software and middle-ware used to manage businesses has grown exponentially in recent years. As the market grows more competitive, companies are shifting to more technology to offer the best service at the lowest price. However, the technology can easily overwhelm a small or medium-sized business. And if they are not careful, the costs can get out of hand too. For that reason, more companies are turning to managed service providers (MSP) to eliminate hassle, save time and money. These services help the business scale and get to the next level of profitability.
A managed service provider is fundamentally an IT outsourcing company, but usually one that can interact and support you on a daily basis. The firm can provide desktop and server support, virtual CIO services and individual IT projects. Whereas an in-house IT department might take months and hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to create, a managed service provider joins your team with the stroke of a pen.
For example, the time and expense of hiring a person to run a server support system does not make sense for small and mid-sized companies. While set-up and customization take effort, the everyday monitoring and administration are not too time consuming. For that reason, it makes much more sense to use an outsource provider that can manage the server system among many other tasks that they perform.
Cloud storage and support is another big function of managed service providers. In recent years, cloud storage providers have offered more and more outsourced server space at lower costs. However, managing and scaling this storage is becoming unwieldy for companies. In addition, they need customization on top of the cloud storage service that is best handled by an internal or contracted IT provider. In particular, companies need to manage their security, access and permissions. They need end-to-end encryption and multi-layer password protection. Otherwise, they could become vulnerable to hackers.
Companies also often have short-term IT projects that do not require a full-time IT department. Managed service providers are best for this task. For example, a company may want to set-up an advanced customer relationship management (CRM) system for its sales team. The company can buy and off-the-shelf system from a leading provider, but those are not customized to the individual company’s needs and come with a perpetual subscription cost.
In contrast, company can develop its own CRM system perfectly suited to its needs to track, analyze and contact potential customers. The managed service provider could build-out the system over a few months or year with a one time cost rather than an ongoing subscription into eternity. In addition, the company would have complete control over the data. If they ever want to migrate it to another system or share it, they will have the flexibility to do so.
Finally, an MSP can be used as a stand-in for a CIO. They can help make the purchasing decisions and technology adoption decisions when a qualified or less costly person is not able to. The MSP can get up and running quickly to help implement project, make IT purchasing decisions or decide which technology is most suited for the firm’s needs. Of course, the CEO and COO will still have tight oversight of the virtual CIO function and have the ultimate power of the purse strings.
GeekTek It Services is a leading managed service provider an IT outsourcing company. The firm has helped many small and medium businesses with their IT projects, server support and other functions. It acts as a full-fledged IT department to help clients save time and money with an extremely high-touch service model. For more information, please contact us.