Outsource.ITManaged Service Providers, or MSPs, deliver the technical expertise small businesses need at a much lower cost than hiring IT staff.

MSPs can recommend, install, and manage technology according to an SMB’s objectives and core competencies – all the while ensuring that critical data is safe. That’s why nearly 70% of U.S. small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) work with an IT service provider for some or even all critical IT needs. There are many considerations for SMBs currently thinking about moving IT services to a managed IT services provider. We’ve summed up a few key factors for SMBs to keep in mind as outsourcing IT becomes more a topic of conversation at the office.

What’s an MSP?

An MSP, or managed service provider, is an IT service professional to which SMBs outsource their IT needs. MSPs are the guardians of IT, delivering ongoing monitoring and management of client applications (email, web site, security, etc.) and IT infrastructure remotely. This is typically accomplished through remote monitoring services, which allows them to keep tabs on the health of their clients’ IT environments, change and update systems, and troubleshoot problems.

MSPs closely monitor a wide variety of IT solutions a business has implemented, including web apps, desktop and server management software, backup and disaster recovery, storage management tools and security software. Small businesses outsource IT to ensure all their business systems, operations and networks remain up and running. Managed service providers take a proactive approach to IT. Rather than waiting for something to break or shut down, MSPs ensure a company’s IT can avoid most tech issues in the first place. This is huge, because IT related downtime can have a devastating impact on revenue and reputation—especially for smaller businesses trying to grow.

According to IT industry trade association CompTIA, the top reason SMBs adopt managed services today is to “improve efficiency/reliability of IT operations” (51%). But, context is important. For a very small business, “improve efficiency/reliability of IT operations” might mean implementing and managing the IT infrastructure. At the other end of the spectrum, it might mean outsourcing some routine tasks so in-house staff can focus on higher-level technical challenges. MSPs can provide different levels of support to meet the technology requirements of different businesses.

Outsource.ITWhat’s the advantage of an MSP?

Working with an MSP allows businesses to offload tasks that are difficult and/or time consuming. That’s one of the reasons that managed data protection services are so popular today. Protecting company data through backup and restore has long been a pain point for companies of all sizes; MSPs can ensure the SMB company data is fully protected from malicious or inadvertent actions, reducing business risk by putting complex tasks in the hands of experts. MSPs can also initiate new projects and implement new technologies quickly. They have the resources and flexibility to get projects off the ground which might take weeks or months in-house. Implementing new technology with your existing environment can be complicated and time consuming. Because MSPs work with a wide variety of clients with different IT needs, they are uniquely equipped to take on complex IT projects. They also have vast experience troubleshooting the products they use—allowing them to resolve your problems quickly.

Ready for your free IT assessment? With CompuData’s Managed IT Services, you will no longer be reacting to IT issues – you will be proactively monitoring, measuring and maintaining the IT health and security of your business with accurate, predictable fixed fee support costs that meets your IT budget.

Let CompuData detect and prevent critical issues such as security vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and downtimes, so you can focus on your core business with CompuData’s proactive IT support services. Contact CompuData today!