It has never been more critical to consider your IT infrastructure, how to manage it properly, and have modern cyber security wrapped all around it. With the entire world more connected each day, this brings more opportunities for business growth but also threats to your business. Whether you are a small business or a large one, your data’s integrity and technology uptime is always of the utmost importance.
An MSP may be the solution you need to manage it for you so you can work ON your business and not IN it.
In this series of articles, I will dive into the modern management of business IT. What is an MSP, co-management, remote management, modern network security, endpoint detection and response (EDR) which replaces traditional anti-virus, business continuity, reliable data backup, Apple devices in business, mobile device management, and more.
What is an MSP? MSP or Managed Service Provider is an IT company that replaces or works alongside your traditional employed IT team. In almost all cases this can be a more cost-effective approach to managing your technology. They evaluate your infrastructure setup, recommend critical managed services, and provide ongoing support for a monthly fee. They can handle a vast majority of the management for your workstations and servers remotely, if any. Cost wise, rather than paying for a qualified IT professional to have on staff, you get an entire team of experts at your disposal with no labor burden, sick time, or vacations to consider.
When looking for a MSP it is important to ask what sort of remote monitoring capabilities they have, the strength of their network management tools and team, the strength of their cyber security services, other available managed services, what their trouble ticket turnaround time is, and what sort of policies and procedures they have in place. All of this and more create a long-lasting win-win partnership. Having trust in your IT service provider is of the utmost importance. They are a critical component to your business’s success and without it, you will never feel good about your technology. IT is a relationship business as much as any other industry.
You may not think about policies or procedures when it comes to managing IT. However, it is a critical part of managing your technology on an ongoing basis. How often and when are regular scheduled maintenance visits set up? Is there a reboot or shut down policy in place? What about employee onboarding and offboarding? Device naming? Do you have a mixed PC and Mac environment? How about a BYOD arrangement? All important issues to consider for the lifeblood of your business. An MSP with strong policies and systems in place should bring a comfort to you as a business owner. You should never have any doubt that your MSP knows what it’s doing and is following a standard set of policies to ensure your success.
How do you really know that you are getting what you pay for? As a part of your agreement with an MSP you should receive a management report on a regular cadence. The report should show you at a minimum, a list of your assets, their health status, as well as any threats that may have been mitigated. These reports will provide you a deliverable, so you know your MSP is providing what we all want in our business partners. Value.
Do you already have an IT staff? If so, it may be more time and cost effective to have an MSP work with your team on a ‘co-managed’ basis. This kind of arrangement if set up properly can take the burden of some of the more mundane or recurring tasks off the plate of your IT staff so they may concentrate on the bigger picture for your business’ continued growth. The best example of this is having an MSP handle all your managed services needs. For example, threat protection, Microsoft 365 services or a business class cloud file share service such as Egnyte.
Whether you are a startup or a large business, having confidence in your IT infrastructure is critical for efficient operation and growth. I encourage you to strongly consider having an MSP as a business partner on a fully managed or co-managed basis. With the right partner you may rest easy knowing that your data is secure, backed up, your assets are taken care of, and your employees are operating efficiently while saving money.
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