A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a specialized company that provides services such as network, application, infrastructure, and security support through ongoing, regular maintenance and active administration. This can be done either at the customer's premises, in the MSP's data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center. MSPs are responsible for one or more of their company's IT services, such as email, help desk, cybersecurity, networking, data warehousing, cloud integration, backup and restore, patching, and more. They remotely monitor, update and manage the service while reporting on its quality, performance and availability.
MSPs can also help you purchase software and hardware, then track and report on hardware assets and software licenses. In short, an MSP manages their IT environment from soup to nuts. They take care of your day-to-day technology needs while providing strategic consulting with senior officials. Outsourcing to an MSP is advantageous for companies looking to reduce costs.
Managed services are available to small businesses looking for outsourcing options for their IT needs. These services include remote server and network monitoring and management, mobile device management, managed security, remote firewall management and security as a service, and managed print services. An MSP will use the information it has from the other managed services it receives to proactively address technical issues before they cause downtime. Large corporations and businesses may hire an MSP when they have budget and contracting constraints.
Managed security service providers and managed IT service providers can also focus on specific industries such as legal, financial services, health, and government agencies. This group of tools allows the management of an MSP to supervise internal staff and serve the staff of client companies. Most managed service providers promote all-inclusive packages with unlimited IT resources while contracted, including day-to-day network management. Some managed service providers only provide hard-to-find IT knowledge to avoid problems with a customer's system or help users with usage difficulties.
For example, an MSP specializing in managed network services will lean toward professionals with traditional experience in computer engineering, software engineering, and systems engineering, as well as software developers and network and security experts. Beyond the essential managed services mentioned above that you should receive or expect when partnering with an MSP, some will offer additional premium features included with your service or available as an add-on. Managed service providers structure their businesses to offer technology services cheaper than it would cost a company to do it on its own, with a higher level of quality and with more flexibility and scalability.