At Microbyte, we position ourselves as a proficient Managed Services Provider (MSP), supplying outsourced IT services through a dynamic and committed team. Our preventative measures and comprehensive service-level agreements guarantee seamless operations for our clientele.
The task of managing an in-house IT department without external assistance can be daunting, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. Issues like recruitment, training, team management, and addressing rapid expansion present unique hurdles.
A Managed Services Provider is the solution for businesses grappling with network management, security concerns, or the need to stay on top of fluctuating application and infrastructure needs. An MSP is specifically designed to simplify business operations.
Here are 8 of the benefits of a Managed Services Provider.
1. Scale Services with Increasing Demand
The use of cloud-based technologies – from load-balanced services to cloud storage systems – allows greater flexibility with on-demand services.
When infrastructure is designed for scalability from the ground up, rapid growth is managed exceptionally well. Servers are scaled via additional CPU processor cores, extra memory, increased storage capacity, and more significant bandwidth allocations to manage surging demand.
Also, in leaner times, it’s possible to scale down MSP requirements to reduce IT expenses during recessionary periods. A win-win.
2. Reduce Capital Outlay
For newer businesses or ones immediately requiring a highly capable IT team, the capital outlay and time required to get there is longer than expected.
Working with an MSP from the start offers more predictable, ongoing IT expenses while requiring a lower upfront outlay compared to going it alone.
3. Blend In House and MSP IT Services
MSP is not an either/or scenario for businesses. Many companies already have an IT department staffed with a few employees. However, internal IT teams can struggle to achieve and maintain acceptable service levels at a smaller size.
For these departments, augmenting them with MSP teams with individual specialisations removes the burden from in-house IT staff. This frees them to narrow their focus to what’s most pertinent to their company and the upper management team. The MSP is then responsible for day-to-day monitoring, net management, 24/7 IT helpdesk, and other activities.
4. 24/7 IT Helpdesk
Anyone who’s ever tried to manage a helpdesk or customer support line 24 hours a day, 365 days a year knows how hard it is. There are no two ways about it; it is a trial and doesn’t get much easier with time, either.
Operating a 24/7 helpdesk in-house often requires too many resources for smaller businesses. To do it well, training and retaining a deep pool of talented employees is necessary to properly manage incoming communications (live chat, email, phone calls, etc.). Gamely attempting it, it quickly becomes a drain on often short-staffed IT departments.
MSPs employ a range of strategies to minimise downtime and keep businesses running smoothly. These strategies include:
- Proactive Monitoring: MSPs continuously monitor IT infrastructure and systems to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major disruptions. This proactive approach helps prevent downtime and ensures that systems are always performing at their best.
- Incident Response: MSPs have experienced teams ready to respond to IT incidents promptly and effectively. They can quickly diagnose and resolve issues, minimizing the impact of downtime on business operations.
- Remote Access and Support: MSPs can remotely access and manage client systems, providing real-time support without the need for on-site visits. This remote access capability allows for faster resolution of issues and reduces downtime.
The importance of uptime for business operations cannot be overstated. Downtime can lead to:
- Lost Revenue: A single hour of downtime can cost businesses thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
- Productivity Declines: Downtime can disrupt workflows and reduce employee productivity.
- Customer Dissatisfaction: Downtime can lead to frustrated customers and damage to brand reputation.
Microbyte operates at a scale, across multiple locations, to deliver robust IT helpdesk support when and where it’s needed by our clients. Whether this means supporting the needs of a few personnel with basic tasks such as setting up a password manager or a client with several hundred employees, we’re there to resolve issues as they arise.
5. Proactive Approach to IT Solutions
An MSP takes a proactive, rather than reactive approach to managed IT services. The goal is to anticipate and resolve potential problems before they occur to minimise or remove business disruption.
Microbyte Managed IT Services are divided up into four segments:
Centralisation: Our network ops centre manages the corporate network and other related ones to avoid unexpected hick-ups or unintended downtime. This includes a remote monitoring team, infrastructure management personnel, and security specialists searching and protecting against the ever-present malware and virus threat.
Support: IT helpdesk support is present as the first port of call. Having an IT issue that’s cropped up? Reach out to the IT helpdesk first.
NetAdmin: The network administrative team ensures that the infrastructure and managed data centres are performing as expected. This team also handles updates and new configurations to ensure they do not unduly disrupt everyday operations.
vITD: As a virtual CIO or IT Director, this team anticipates future IT needs to avoid your business falling behind. They meet to discuss and provide updates on technology rollouts and anticipated future IT requirements. Additionally, they make recommendations from a ‘big picture’ standpoint.
6. Disaster Recovery
Major business setbacks, such as a break-in over the weekend or a fire at the business premises, are difficult to recover from. According to past UK research on business premises fires, up to 80 percent of companies that experienced one went out of business within 18 months.
Microbyte, as a leading Managed Services Provider (MSP), recognises the paramount importance of business continuity. Our comprehensive DR solutions go beyond reactive measures to encompass preventive care strategies that minimise the risk of failures in the first place. Our approach to DR is multifaceted, encompassing:
- Proactive Risk Assessment: We conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities that could disrupt business operations. This proactive approach allows us to implement preventive measures and mitigate risks before they materialise.
- Regular Backups and Data Replication: We establish robust backup and data replication procedures to ensure that critical business data is always available, even in the event of primary system failures. Our redundant data storage solutions safeguard against data loss and ensure quick recovery in case of emergencies.
- Cloud-based Infrastructure: We leverage the scalability and reliability of cloud-based infrastructure to provide businesses with a failover option in the event of on-premise disruptions. Our cloud-based solutions enable seamless failover and minimise downtime.
- Regular DR Testing and Simulations: We conduct regular DR testing and simulations to ensure that our disaster recovery plans are effective and up-to-date. These simulations help us identify and address any gaps in our DR strategy, ensuring that we are fully prepared to respond to any eventuality.
- Continuous Monitoring and Alerting: We continuously monitor IT systems and infrastructure to detect anomalies and potential threats. Our 24/7 monitoring and alerting mechanisms allow us to take immediate action to prevent issues from escalating into major disruptions.
The major culprits are the time to get back up and running, a loss of confidence from clients, and losses not covered by insurance claims. An MSP knows that maintaining business continuity is paramount. Their cloud-based solutions and disaster recovery planning ensure their clients’ core business survives traumatic events intact.
7. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is cost-effective, avoids system downtime, and improves operational efficiency.
Performing day-to-day tasks using online cloud services, whether that’s Microsoft 365 or a custom CRM solution, has become more familiar over the last few years.
Businesses now trust using the cloud due to its secure infrastructure, business data protection, and backup infrastructure, sidestepping business risks. Centralised data centres, with their virtual services, allow SaaS apps and other online solutions to scale effortlessly for the end user.
Additionally, MSPs assist many companies in fully embracing cloud computing. As a result, they benefit from long-term cost savings and greater economies of scale.
8. Cost Savings
The MSP market is expanding globally because it’s been found to reduce IT expenses by over 30 percent while boosting efficiency by up to 50 percent for companies that adopted it.
Internal IT Team Costs:
- Salaries and Benefits: Hiring and retaining qualified IT professionals can be costly, especially in competitive markets. Salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes can significantly impact IT budgets.
- Hardware and Software Costs: Maintaining an in-house IT infrastructure requires ongoing investments in hardware, software, and licensing fees. These costs can escalate quickly as technology advances.
- Training and Development: To keep up with the latest technologies and security threats, IT staff requires ongoing training and development. These expenses can add up over time.
- Overhead Costs: Maintaining an in-house IT department involves additional overhead costs such as office space, utilities, and administrative support.
Managed Services Provider (MSP) Costs:
- Predictable Monthly Fees: MSPs typically charge predictable monthly fees based on the agreed-upon services and the size of the client’s organization. This provides businesses with transparent and predictable IT expenses.
- Reduced Labor Costs: Businesses can avoid the direct costs of hiring, training, and retaining IT staff by outsourcing to an MSP.
- Improved Resource Utilization: MSPs can efficiently allocate resources across multiple clients, reducing the need for redundant infrastructure and staff.
- Cost-Effective Access to Expertise: Businesses gain access to a team of experienced IT professionals without the burden of full-time employment costs.
- Reduced Overhead Expenses: By outsourcing IT operations, businesses can eliminate overhead costs associated with in-house IT infrastructure.
Companies get the expertise they require without needing to employ someone to fill a role to obtain it. Expanded to all the major IT segments, it is often far more efficient to use an MSP than to try to do it all in-house.
Predictable monthly expenses coupled with no unexpected upgrade charges allow IT costs to become more controllable and predictable. No more impromptu meetings with the Finance Director to go over the latest over-budget IT expenses from the last quarter.
9. Leveraging Latest Technologies: Staying Ahead of the Curve
There’s a constant challenge in staying up-to-date with the latest malware, hacking technologies, and security practices. This is a daunting task and requires significant investments in new hardware, software, and training for IT staff almost annually. Managed Services Providers (MSPs) on the other hand, provide businesses with access to the latest technologies without the burden of upfront costs or ongoing training expenses.
MSPs continuously monitor the technology landscape and identify emerging trends and innovations that can benefit their clients. They then invest in these technologies and incorporate them into their service offerings, ensuring their clients always have access to the most advanced tools and solutions. This allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition, without any additional overhead cost.
10. Security By Reputation
Microbyte is a world-renowned brand with a reputation on the line. So, strictly following specific regulations from the PCI, DSS, and HIPAA are crucial for managed service providers.
MSPs operate under the scrutiny of a global audience. This external pressure serves as a powerful motivator for MSPs to maintain the most stringent security protocols and adhere to industry-leading compliance standards.
PCI DSS, HIPAA, and Beyond: A Commitment to Data Integrity
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other regulatory frameworks establish comprehensive guidelines for data protection. MSPs that handle sensitive information must strictly adhere to these standards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of client data.
How Should You Choose a Managed Service Provider?
If you’re sufficiently convinced but are wondering how to choose an IT Managed Services Provider (MSP), here are some suggestions to guide you:
Start Where You Are Now
Assess how well your current IT department is performing. How is the IT infrastructure managed? How often do issues crop up, and what’s the turnaround time to resolve them?
Is the team trying to manage a 24/7 IT support system and looking worn down by it?
What are the service levels like? Have they improved or worsened over the last 12 months? Are they where they need to be? Can the existing team get service levels to where you’d like them?
Are the allocated financial resources sufficient for what’s required? Are they being deployed as effectively as possible?
Request an Assessment of the Current IT Systems
Get an outside assessment of the IT systems. Let other experts provide their perspective on the current IT systems and the capabilities of the existing team to deliver what’s expected.
Let an MSP decide whether they see opportunities to provide the necessary additional resources, skills, and technologies to improve upon existing systems.
Can the MSP Scale with Your Business?
Ensure that the MSP has the broad capabilities to scale and grow with your business. If they’re too small, there’s a risk that they will constrain it. Therefore, choose one that has robust capabilities to accommodate future business growth.
24/7 Services and IT Support
Contact us to ask about MSP services. Reap the benefits of a lower operating expense model, greater efficiency, and protection for critical systems, ensuring business continuity.