Which Managed Service Provider Capabilities Can You Benefit From?
In past blog posts, we’ve talked a lot about what makes a managed service provider (MSP) in today’s world. Historically, managed service provider responsibilities have centered solely around the delivery of infrastructure or device-centric services. The capabilities of today’s top managed service providers have enabled them to evolve beyond delivering such straightforward managed services offerings to instead serve as true business partners to their customers.
Modern Managed Service Provider Capabilities
Let’s take a look at the modern managed service provider capabilities and responsibilities that could benefit your organization:
Advocacy and Coordination for Technology Vendors
An MSP will coordinate the technology and synchronize the vendors that make your IT organization and business services run. These include your phone company, internet provider, cloud software, office equipment and more.
Cloud Services, Cloud Migrations and Cloud Support
This is a crucial area at this moment in time. Many organizations are finding it’s beneficial to leverage the cloud for some, if not all, of their compute and service delivery needs. Reduced spending, improved backup and solid business continuity solutions are available through strategic cloud migrations.
However, the ability to architect and implement a cloud solution that best fits your business is an area where considerable expertise is required. Rapidly evolving technologies and best practices require dedicated staff to stay on top of things, and that’s where an MSP can be of service.
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Business Continuity with Backup/Disaster Recovery Planning
One core element of managed services offerings is that they enable you to secure your data and easily recover information in the event of a disaster. Whether your data is located on premises or in the cloud, your MSP should provide backup and real-time monitoring to ensure that you can continue to deliver your business services without interruption.
24/7 Onsite or Remote Labor Expertise
With this capability, you and your staff have access to IT support experts whenever and wherever you need help. Most MSPs have seen everything. When they catch a problem in your infrastructure at 2:00AM, it won’t be the first time they have dealt with that type of issue. A good MSP can provide you with a round-the-clock solution for your traditional IT needs.
Flexible Deployment Models
Your MSP should be able to provide a variety of engagement models to adapt to the unique needs of your business. In addition to an outright managed service model, this could include platform-as-a-service or managed-platform-as-a-service models as well. Each of these models provides for different levels of sharing in the responsibility of platform operations.
The top managed service providers possess all of the above capabilities. However, one of the advantages of managed services offerings is that you can typically pick and choose only those elements that your company needs at the moment while knowing your MSP has additional expertise you can tap into as you grow and your needs become more complex.
Finding Top Managed Service Providers
When hunting for a top managed service provider, start your research with Gartner. They keep tabs on emerging and established MSPs and recently published their first-ever Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services. This piece highlights some of the top managed service providers across the globe and provides overviews of their respective capabilities.
If you require onsite support, ask your local network of acquaintances and business connections for MSP recommendations. Even if your contacts work in a different industry, they are likely to leverage the same types of managed services that your organization needs. Your vendors, partners and suppliers might also have good advice to share.
Any reputable MSP will be willing and able to provide prospective customers with references or testimonials from existing customers that speak to the quality of the MSP’s work. When evaluating an MSP, request reviews from customers who fit a similar profile as your company in terms of size, industry, business requirements and other criteria. The needs of such organizations are likely to be aligned with those of your own.
Today’s technology requires serious expertise to help your business reach its full potential. Follow the guidance in this post to help you select a top MSP that you can trust to handle the mechanics of your infrastructure, freeing you to do what you do best: run your business.
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