Why your business needs a certified managed service provider

A managed service provider (MSP) is basically an outsourced IT department that handles all your company's IT support needs and is available in an instant. That means your entire company's data is managed, monitored, and remediated 24/7/365.

At Sagiss, we divide our services into three main buckets:

If you're already familiar with the concept of a managed service provider, you may have a hard time determining if a managed service provider is the right fit for your business.


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One of the first things to consider is how fast you are growing.

If you are experiencing rapid growth, you might need to outsource. The same might be true if you're making some state-of-the-art changes. If you don’t know anything about IT and you haven’t changed anything in your technology as your business has grown, it is at least time to bring in a consultant to look at your network.

Hiring someone internally is a process—it can be done but with a managed service provider, you will have immediate access to skilled technicians. When you partner with a managed service provider, you are hiring a group of experts to handle your technology while you worry about everything else.


What are the benefits of a managed service provider?

Partnering with a quality managed service provider is the best option for businesses struggling with IT. Yet many such companies aren't familiar with the value that managed service providers offer.


Security

In this day and age, the technology landscape is ever growing. From laptops to tablets and smartphones to wearables (smart watches), the many ways hackers can choose to do their mayhem is ever growing as well.

That's why security is—and always will be—the number one reason to switch to a managed service provider.

Security doesn't just mean preventing risks, threats and attacks though. Managed service providers like Sagiss offer HIPAA compliance for clients like doctor's offices. HIPAA regulations are of great importance when it comes to managing data from the healthcare sector and many other types of businesses. They ensure privacy standards are met when personal information is used and accessed. HIPPA compliance and training ensures that managed service providers know the correct way to handle your data.


Cloud expertise

There are three types of cloud structures:

  • Public cloud — The most common type of cloud computing, the cloud sources are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivered over the internet.

  • Private cloud — A private cloud consists of cloud computing resources used exclusively by one business or organization.

  • Hybrid cloud — A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines on-premises infrastructure—or a private cloud—with a public cloud. Hybrid clouds allow data and apps to move between the two environments.

Note: Credit for the definitions of the cloud structures above are courtesy of Microsoft.

All three cloud structures share one basic principle: They deliver hosted services over the internet. They are all designed to enable businesses to create virtual machines and hosted applications instead of building and maintaining physical hardware.

While each cloud has its own perks, they do overlap in the benefits they provide:

  • Elasticity: Businesses can scale their network up or down on demand.

  • Data backup and disaster recovery: Cloud based data backup and disaster recovery solutions give businesses the power to have built in safeguards that save time and money, and can be managed by third parties.

  • Automatic software updates: Security and software updates (patches) can be pushed to the client whenever/wherever, all while freeing up the business to tend to more important things, like running the day-to-day operations.

  • Increased collaboration: Access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere with your team using cloud-based workflows and apps like Microsoft's 365 and SharePoint. These services also have real-time file updates so collaboration is seamless.


Return on investment

Every business owner wants to maximize efficiency, but sometimes efficiency means nothing when systems are slow, email doesn't flow, or networks have frequent outages.

Sagiss's managed services offer efficiency in ongoing, proactive maintenance. To use an ancient proverb, time is money. If a business can save time (and money) by not having to work through hundreds of support tickets or worry about IT worries, that's more bottom line to spend elsewhere.


The value of a certified managed service provider over internal IT

Partnering with a managed service provider may look expensive when considering only the sticker price of the service. But partnering with the right certified managed service provider can offer far greater value than the price tag would suggest.

And for many companies, managed service providers are a better choice than an internal IT department.

To be clear, we are deliberate in comparing internal IT to a certified managed service provider.

There are few ways to guarantee quality, but your odds are much better when selecting a certified managed service provider as opposed to just picking a managed service provider at random.

When you're looking for a certified managed service provider, it helps to know which certifications to look for. The Cyber Verify from MSPAlliance is a great certification to seek. Less than 1% of the global MSP community has achieved a AAA Cyber Verify rating, so any managed service provider with this rating is in elite company.

The right certifications are third-party endorsements that a managed service provider maintains a certain level of standards.

Below are the main points to consider when weighing the value of a certified managed service provider over internal IT.


Points of failure and knowledge

Small companies may see no problem in relying on only one person to handle all the IT needs. On most days, this setup may be fine.

But running lean can create problems when the one-person IT department is sick or injured. The situation can be devastating if the person quits without notice or without having the opportunity to pass his or her knowledge on to someone else.

Even the best intentioned solo IT person likely does not have the time to document processes and systems in addition to keeping everything working properly.

The right managed service provider, on the other hand, is prepared to have someone else fill in if your dedicated tech is sick or quits.

Also, certain situations can be too much for one person, such as a ransomware infection or any other network disaster. The right managed service provider should be able to temporarily scale up to help out until your issues are resolved.


Control and admin rights

Whoever handles your IT also has access to your company's critical data, including but not limited to payroll information, HR documentation, and crucial contracts. An internal IT employee looking at these items could present some obvious conflicts.

Of course, there are obvious concerns with a third party having access to that same data.

That's why we'll repeat our point above about certifications: A managed service provider with the proper certifications (like the Cyber Verify from MSPAlliance) has been vouched to be trustworthy with your data and systems.

If a managed service provider has gone through the trouble of getting certifications, you know they place value in these credentials and will not keep around employees who can't be trusted with a client's assets.


Motivations of managed service provider vs. internal IT

A competent managed service provider is motivated to innovate and improve processes. This focus encourages growth for both your company and the managed service provider itself.

Internal IT, on the other hand, has incentives to maintain the status quo. Changing processes or growing employees (users) brings more opportunity for systems to break.

Growth is often a negative for internal IT, because growth increases IT's responsibilities. The IT department may not be equipped to handle the challenges that growth brings, especially if your company is having trouble finding the funds to invest into the resources IT needs to keep up with your growing business.

Managed service providers are motivated to improve processes because they juggle multiple clients. Anything that helps a managed service provider save a little time and effort with one client may be able to be applied to all clients, thereby increasing the value of the newly discovered efficiency.


Training and career path

If you have an "IT department," then chances are that IT is not your core business.

The unfortunate truth is that IT employees (and their development) are often not priority for most companies. When the development of IT employees is neglected, those employees stagnate and eventually become a liability because they are not able to keep up with the ever-changing demands of IT and security.

But IT is at the core of a managed service provider's business. If a managed service provider hopes to stay in business, it has no choice but to invest in the development of its employees.


Costs of internal IT

In many cases, partnering with a managed service provider makes more financial sense than creating your own internal IT department. The cost of a fully-burdened (salary, benefits, PTO, etc.) IT employee may cost your business more than outsourcing your IT responsibilities to a managed service provider.

Creating your own IT department gets even more costly when you consider the costs acquiring and maintaining the software, hardware, and training your internal IT employees need to perform their duties.