4 Ways to Better Utilize Your MSP

The benefits of outsourcing IT are endless. There is no need to constantly wait for your technical issues to be fixed anymore. With an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) you’ll have an entire team of IT professionals on call 24/7 ready to handle any problems you might have. Although the services an MSP offers are vast, here are some of the best ways to utilize them. 

Additionally, with one flat monthly fee services through an MSP can be very cost effective for small and medium sized businesses. Many use a break fix model for maintenance and support. Although you might think this is less expensive than investing in a Managed Service Provider but it actually can be more beneficial for your business model. You’ll also be provided with real time remote monitoring and management. 

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Collaborate

Does your MSP truly know you? Every business has different information technology needs. Unless you are working collaboratively with someone who understands your operations and workflow, it’s extremely hard to implement a successful plan. 

That’s where an MSP comes in. They are constantly working to improve your cyber environment and security overall. 

An MSP provides round the clock monitoring and support to address your day-to-day business needs and provides strategic guidance to plan and budget for the short and long-term. You have an ongoing, open line of communication between you and your provider. Never hesitate to utilize these services like you would any other employee. Your MSP will work collaboratively with you to develop a mutually beneficial partnership and ensure that you surpass your overall business objectives.

Another important way to collaborate with your MSP is through your Account Manager or Technical Account Manager. They are there for you to communicate with about any and every concern you may have regarding your IT. It’s also their job to make sure you have the correct services in place. You should never pay for a service that doesn’t benefit you. 

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Hardware and Software

Another important way to utilize your MSP is through hardware updates and software upgrades. When partnering with an MSP, they will assess your current hardware setup and provide recommendations for future upgrades and changes to enhance security and the overall health of your environment. 

They will continue to monitor your hardware and will alert you when certain workstations and devices need to be replaced. In addition, they will collaborate with you to develop an equipment refresh plan to ensure your up-time is maximized and alleviate “surprises” related to capital expenditures that you did not plan for.

An MSP will make sure software is updated and patched daily. In most cases, when there is an issue with new software, your MSP will contact the partnered company and resolve things without you even knowing. There’s no reason to focus on technological problems when you have a business to run.

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Backup and Disaster Recovery

Data is the most vital asset to any organization. Despite the rise in natural and human related disasters in the last few years, Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) are still not given the attention they deserve. MSPs help you plan for “everyday disasters” and guard against downtime.

Having a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution and plan in place can save your company money by limiting downtime during an outage. At the end of the day there is nothing more important than your company’s privacy and proprietary information. An MSP will ensure that your data is backed up and that those backups are tested regularly.

Most people think that the odds of having their business impacted by a natural disaster are slim to none, and they don’t see the value in investing in a (BDR) solution. Do you invest in car or home insurance? Aren’t your company data, files and records important to the health of your business? 

Without your data it’s almost impossible to carry on. Many small to medium sized businesses  have tanked within six months of experiencing a data breach. 

There are a number of solutions on the market, but finding the right one is key. I caution when making these decisions to not base it solely on cost, without speaking to your IT Managed Service Provider (MSP).

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Cybersecurity

Finally, the most important way to utilize your MSP is through Cybersecurity. There are so many services an MSP can offer your company to ensure that its network is protected both inside and outside of the office. Through Managed Perimeter Protection, an MSP will actively surveille your systems and respond to necessary threats 24/7. Next Generation Firewalls provide stateful inspection of traffic and have features like Intrusion Prevention Systems, web filtering, malware detection, URL filtering, encryption, and anti-virus.

With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) on the rise in the workplace, it’s now a necessity to have a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution in place. An MSP can also guard your company against your weakest link: your employees. By implementing Security Awareness Training in your environment, your employees will know how to spot a phishing email, or they will be tested until they are able to.

An MSP also typically offers cloud based services. Cloud services include cloud storage, cloud infrastructure management and cloud computing. In today’s world a lot of business  is being done in the cloud. With platforms like Office 365 and G Suite your team will have the ability to securely work from anywhere. In many cases your data can also be stored in a data center as well to ensure redundancy. 

These are only a few of the many services that an MSP can offer your business. If an MSP is the right direction for you, contact The TNS Group today to get started.