What Does MSP Stand For? Unpacking This Common Tech Acronym
As technology adoption picks up speed thanks to powerful and user-friendly IT tools, organizations face a challenge: How do they make the most of new solutions and services without getting overwhelmed by complexity or cost?
MSPs offer a way to get the best of both worlds by delivering essential IT benefits without breaking the bank. But what does MSP stand for? What industries are served and what advantages come with MSP adoption?
Here’s what you need to know.
Demystifying the MSP
MSP stands for managed service provider and refers to companies that manage some or all of an organization’s IT needs by leveraging a combination of outsourced services and staff. While MSPs are considered technology companies, they’re used across market verticals and industries worldwide as technology becomes a defining factor for business success and strategy development.
MSP adoption among organizations is growing. Recent data shows that 86% of surveyed businesses say provider partnerships will help boost security, improve cloud resource use and allow internal IT teams to focus on key corporate projects. Also critical is the role of MSPs in mitigating the growing the IT skills gap. While more than 70% of companies without managed service provider partnerships reported staffing challenges, just 20% of MSP users said the same.
Managed Service Provider Basics
While there’s no fixed set of services that MSPs provide, typical offerings include:
- Service desk support — MSP staff can take the burden off local IT pros to manage end-user issues with 24/7 service desk support.
- Disaster recovery and backup — Service providers can help manage backups and improve recovery time objectives (RTOs) with real-time assistance.
- Long-term infrastructure planning — Infrastructure isn’t static. Great MSPs develop technology roadmaps and make IT spending recommendations in response to evolving business needs.
- Cloud migration — Effectively leveraging the cloud is critical for business success. MSPs help manage cloud services to enhance performance and avoid overspending.
- Continuous updates — MSPs ensure that systems and security tools are always up-to-date, allowing your team to focus on mission-critical IT tasks.
What Outsourcing Looks Like With an MSP
The first step in choosing to outsource IT with an MSP is deciding which services should be handled by your provider and which you prefer to keep in-house. For example, smaller companies may choose to outsource their entire IT infrastructure — from security and networking to CRM, ERP and Internet connection management — to MSPs. This kind of complete outsourcing is often an ideal fit for companies with limited staff and computing resources. While MSPs handle day-to-day IT tasks, small and midsize companies can focus on growing their business.
Larger companies may prefer to supplement staff or services in specific areas, such as security. With infosec now evolving rapidly to keep pace with emerging IT threats, MSPs offer a way to stay secure without sacrificing your focus on other key technology deployments.
SLAs and Strategic Roadmaps
No matter the number and type of services selected, MSP partner relationships are governed by service-level agreements (SLAs) that define how services will be delivered along with specific expectations around uptime, data security, access and price. Here, organizations are best-served by looking for strong SLAs that include clear remedies if commitments aren’t met or services aren’t delivered as promised.
At Innovative Technology Solutions (ITS), we go beyond the standard MSP model to deliver strategic roadmaps built on data-driven insights. Our IT consulting services focus on holistic improvement by assessing your entire IT environment and identifying key candidates for managed support that will significantly impact employee productivity, service levels and customer satisfaction.
What does MSP stand for? Managed service provider. What are its key benefits? Streamlined outsourcing of critical IT functions. Ready to go beyond MSP basics and leverage strategic and specific support? Get in touch with ITS today.