A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is typically an outsourced company that proactively manages – remotely in many cases – an enterprise IT infrastructure and systems under a subscription model. Many MSPs today are mostly "cloud service" providers.
An MSP can have a significant positive effect on a company's success, particularly due to its impact on the end-user system's UX. One critical advantage that MSPs provide is the agility without much of the risk one may encounter in the public cloud. Many companies lose significant amounts of data due to internal incidents such as human error, malware or hard drive crashes. Here are some critical reasons companies have for partnering with MSPs:
With increasing adoption of a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and hybrid cloud, the role of administrators is changing. Organizations need managers who can take responsibility for the virtualization, compute, storage and networking on a unified level.
It’s necessary to achieve overall simplicity and efficiency in operations by removal of silos in infrastructure services. MSPs bring centralization to infrastructure management.
The adoption of cloud computing brings greater levels of responsiveness to the business, and enables the IT infrastructure to keep pace with the levels of agility and automation that is seen in software. Having an MSP deploy and manage cloud solutions frees up in-house IT staff to focus on enhancing performance, availability, and recovery, and increase transparency in all of these.
MSPs offer a wide range of services from managed private cloud to desktops as a service to hybrid cloud that allow for bursting for seasonal workloads to hosted applications delivered over the internet. Each MSP brings their own unique value from agility to resiliency to security to simplicity. Organizations can choose an MSP that has demonstrated expertise in deploying, simplifying, and bringing down the TCO on their priorities for transformation – be it data management, uptime, compliance, or application development.
In order to determine which MSP is the best fit, key decision-makers should shore up on their research and take the time to ask vendors some pointed questions.
But first, a question for the key decision maker in the organization itself – we will call this Question Zero:
Q0. Which IT services can be better managed in-house and which ones need to be outsourced to an MSP?
In an article published in the NEXT magazine, Niel Nickolaisen presented a framework to help determine if IT resources are focused where they can deliver maximum business value, and where bringing in the right MSP would be beneficial.