Managed service providers (MSPs) pride themselves on high levels of support. Yet, there are some things we can do and others we can’t. Laundry and grocery shopping come to mind for the latter. But, more seriously, this article will explain what an MSP does and doesn’t do.
Your business faces many challenges today. You’re managing budget and employees while complying with government regulations and industry standards. Meanwhile, technology is changing the work environment, customer expectations, and market demands.
An MSP learns about your existing business technology and processes, as well as your objectives. This helps them suggest current, reliable, and secure technology solutions. Typically, you’ll engage an MSP for a consistent monthly fee. In return, you get up-to-date IT and the freedom to focus on the parts of your business you’re passionate about. You may even involve your strategic planning to streamline operations.
What an MSP Does
Let’s begin with what an MSP does do. As external IT help for your business, an MSP can:
- support your technology in a break-fix situation;
- help your IT infrastructure run better;
- provide server monitoring and IT maintenance;
- manage and meet your evolving technology needs;
- reduce your business costs by reducing hardware and software infrastructure costs;
- increase operational efficiency;
- secure your systems, back up your data, and plan for disaster recovery;
- support your users and their IT needs;
- match your business with the right technology for the task;
- develop strategy for your smooth cloud migration;
- enable you to avoid recruiting and retaining your own large in-house IT team.
Sounds great, right? Before you sign the dotted line, however, keep reading to be sure that you understand what this service provider can’t do.
What an MSP Doesn’t Do
These IT professionals fix problems and help optimize your business technology. Still, they can’t do everything. Your MSP also can’t immediately fix every problem. While an MSP will understand the urgency, not every technology solution is a simple one.
You also can’t expect to never have a tech problem ever again. Yes, an MSP’s job is to monitor your hardware and software to keep it updated and secure, but they can’t prevent every issue. For instance, if an employee finds an infected thumb drive and plugs it into a business desktop, all the MSP can do is act to fix the issue.
Also, the tech team at your MSP cannot magically intuit what’s wrong with your IT infrastructure. The more information you can provide from the outset, the more focused their efforts are. When filling out a service or support ticket it helps to share:
- who is affected;
- the extent of the issue;
- the urgency of the matter;
- what you tried to do to fix it;
- any error messages are seen.
Finally, the MSP should not be dictating policy or controlling how your business operates. Yes, these experts can offer input into how technology can help, and they can also weigh in on how proposed changes might impact your IT infrastructure, but you shouldn’t feel pressured by them to make decisions.
Partner with MSPs
Now you know what to expect of a partnership with your MSP. If a company is promising to do things on the doesn’t-do list, you might be in for terrible service.
Having a better picture of what an MSP does do, you can avoid unrealistic expectations. This can help you get the most from your investment in this IT partnership.
Questions about what we, as an MSP, can do for your particular business? Contact us today. We’d be happy to discuss it.