Undoubtedly, different persons have different definitions of a managed service provider, majorly because of the discrepancies in how these providers are created. For instance, while some MSPs setup, install, and configure your IT equipment, some believe it should’ve been done already.

However, the differences in these MSPs aren’t really a reason to worry. You can ensure that you and your service providers are on the same page by listing all the requirements in a strict service level agreement (SLA). SLA is a legal contract between an MSP and their vendor, designed to ensure the maintenance of a predetermined service, establish a mutual understanding between a provider and their user, etc. The benefits of SLA are somewhat numberless, and Connectwise to Xero.

Who exactly is a Managed Services Provider?

MSPs can be described simply as a business partner responsible for managing your business’ IT infrastructure. That is, you allow an MSP to handle your servers and other network infrastructure, ensuring that the environment stays updated and runs smoothly.

Managed ServiceProviders provides this service by using several tools that ensure the automation of their maintenance tasks daily. Some MSPs also use automated alerts for equipment failures and thresholds that may cause system stress remotely review their system logs. Generally, your choice of Managed Service Provider should be focused on security, ensuring that the patches are monitored and applied as necessary. This ensures the elimination of network vulnerabilities that may let hackers and unauthorized users access your network.

Why Do You Need a Managed Services Provider?

Are you wondering why you need a Managed Service Provider when you already have IT personnel? Basically, it is safe to say that an MSP goes the extra mile, ensuring the regular availability of your data upon request. MSPs never go on vacation, neither do they fall sick, etc. Not that their IT experts are some immortals, or thereabout. But then, they are a few, which means that should the persons assigned to you fall ill or go on vacation, etc., another is assigned without affecting your business. Technically, a managed service provider is a contingency plan in case your IT resource isn’t available.

Also, when an MSP focuses on infrastructure maintenance, your IT personnel can become more business-oriented. This way, such personnel is allowed room to focus more on the business needs, ensuring that they are in tandem with the supporting technology.

7 Questions to Ask Managed Services Providers

Seeking to choose a Managed Service Provider? We have curated seven essential questions to ask any MSP to determine if such an MSP is the right choice for your business.

1.     How are my computers reviewed for stresses and errors?

2.     How will you ensure continued operations during a disaster or failure?

3.     What is your level of expertise in the services you are offering?

4.     What will you do to ensure your environment’s security?

5.     If you start handling my infrastructure management, how will you advise that I refocus my existing IT personnel?

6.     Do you offer onsite and offsite (remote) services?

7.     How do you share the documentation of your system?

The importance of hiring the right Managed Services Providers can never be exaggerated. An MSP that’s right for your business can offer all the services and tools needed to ensure your infrastructure's orderliness. MSPs are technically an expansion of your IT department. Sometimes, they may even be the IT department themselves.


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