Over the last several years, organizations have become more familiar with managed services and are turning to them for management of certain IT functions, particularly email hosting, storage, backup and recovery, and network monitoring. From better IT support to financial benefits, the value a managed service provider can bring to your organization is unmatched.
What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
Managed IT services is the practice of outsourcing IT needs, such as maintaining and updating network security, managing infrastructure, and providing end-user help desks. A managed service provider, also known as an MSP, is the IT organization that takes on this responsibility for clients. Managed services often work off of an all-inclusive pricing model in which the MSP charges one flat rate to manage and monitor all of the IT support the plan offers. They focus on comprehensive solutions, monitor the overall health of an organization's IT environment, and help optimize the overall performance of IT infrastructure.
A question that we often get asked is "What does a Managed Service Provider (MSP) do? ". In short, the answer is that we help ensure your network is up-to-date, secure, and running as smooth as possible to enable your organization to run day-to-day operations without downtime or technical issues. Our main goal with each of our clients is to alleviate some of the stress from your internal IT team so that you may remain productive and focused on your core business goals.
To be more specific, a managed service provider, like Datalink Networks, may perform a combination of the following services:
For many organizations, daily ticket items can fill up all of your IT team's time. Between these daily ticket items, monitoring your security posture, and planning ahead for bigger picture IT security, many tasks can be slipping through the cracks.
An MSP can be your IT teams new best friend. By utilizing a managed service provider, your internal staff can focus on their daily tasks, while the MSP takes care of the rest. Not only will your IT team be less overwhelmed with the amount of work piling up, your organization will be better protected as the MSP can fill in security gaps and proactively plan for the future.
2. Predictable Low Monthly Cost
A question that we repeatedly get asked is whether or not managed services can lower down costs? The answer is yes.
Managed services can not only lower your overall IT expense but can make your monthly costs more predictable. With our managed service packages, your total cost is a set to a fixed amount paid on a monthly basis. Based on your managed service providers SLA and scope of work, you will refrain from draining your IT budget by knowing exactly what your MSP will complete for you monthly. The MSP pricing structure model can protect your IT budget from extreme fluctuation by improving the stability of your organization.
3. Minimized Downtime
A goal that every managed service provider should have for their clients, is to minimize overall downtime within the organization. In most cases, downtime occurs as a result of equipment issues such as servers failing, computers malfunctioning, electrical disruptions, and cyber attacks. Your managed service provider should be implementing systems to ensure there is a backup process in case their is a failure within the network.
What we often see with our clients is that in-house IT teams often do not have the bandwidth or expertise to tackle downtime issues effectively. Usually these clients reach out to us after an issue has occurred however by hiring an MSP you will prevent downtime from occurring in the first place.
4. Reliable 24x7x365 IT Support
When you enter into an MSP agreement, you have specific a Service Level Agreement, or SLA, that details all of your services. With this knowledge of commitment in your back pocket, you know that your MSP will always be available and ready to help. Some MSPs, like Datalink Networks, offer extended 24x7x365 support, but others may offer support with a shorter time frame. Regardless of your support timeframe, your MSP is there to help with anything listed in the SLA.
Additionally, by splitting up tasks between internal IT staff and your MSP, you increase reliability that long-term projects will be completed. MSPs often have the latest technology at their disposal, such as remote monitoring tools, that give insights to your organization's security and efficiency. By having a reliable IT team by your side, you can rest easy knowing that if a problem arises, your MSP can handle it.
(2) Find gaps in your security by running penetrations tests
(3) Offer recommendations to secure the gaps
(4) Deploy the solution so your organization is protected
Not only can your MSP help your overall security, they can also ensure that you are complaint with any required regulations for your industry, such as HIPAA. Many MSPs are well-versed in working within these specific guidelines and understand the importance of compliance for both you and your clients.
6. Proactive IT Team
By outsourcing your IT to Datalink Networks, you will immediately gain a proactive IT team that will place your organization goals and objectives as a top priority. Your managed service provider can act as your trusted IT consultant/partner for your in-house team and connect you with top technology vendors to enrich your network.
A valuable MSP partner should not only provide you the services outlined in their SLA terms but should also act to help you grow your business. A proactive managed service provider should take an interest in your organization's bottom line and should help deliver you with insights on how to improve your IT to accomplish organizational goals and objectives.
It is estimated that successful deployment of managed services will help in reducing IT cost by 25-45% and increase efficiency by 45-65%. But how? Depending on your SLA, you are likely paying one flat rate for all the IT work that needs to be completed within your organization. Because of this all-inclusive structure, it helps limit unexpected costs you might otherwise be facing.
Discounted Hardware and Software
When you go to your MSP to request software or equipment, they turn to one of their partnerships to provide you with models, descriptions, and pricing. Because MSPs have partnerships with a variety of IT vendors and manufacturers, they can lock in the lowest, most competitive price across all other vendors or sites. These savings directly translate into the customer cost, giving them a lower rate than larger IT vendors such as CDW or SHI.
Lower IT Department Costs
By partnering with an MSP, your internal IT department costs should go down. While MSPs are happy to work with your internal IT department, you might find it possible to downsize your current IT team or have no need to hire or train anyone additional employees. You will also have less in house IT-operations as most of them will be covered by your SLA, saving you time and money. Datalink Networks will be able to provide your organization with a cost analysis to see how much money you would be saving in your internal IT department.
Schedule a free 30 minute IT consultation with our team and receive recommendations from our experts on how to successfully execute your next IT project all while keeping in mind your budget, goals, and objectives.
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