Outsourced IT support, also known as managed IT, is a contracted third-party service which provides infrastructure, software, and other support to companies. You may also hear this kind of business referred to as an M SP, short for managed service provider. Companies that outsource their IT help usually do so to an MSP. However, what separates an MSP from an ITP?
It is quite natural for people to think that when you hire a managed IT service provider, then you are hiring an in-house employee who works for the company. On the contrary, this is not necessarily true. An in-house employee may be knowledgeable and experienced in information technology, but he may not have the time to deal with customers or meet deadlines. This will leave him without the necessary skills to implement or manage IT policies. He may also be limited in the number of clients he can assist, considering the tight competition in the IT industry today.
The other major difference between an in-house IT service provider and a managed service provider is that the latter is not an employee of the company. As such, he does not have the same benefits as his colleagues. This includes health, dental, vision, life insurance, parental Leave, Paid Leave, pension, accident, maternity and death benefits, paid holidays and paternity leave. Some providers also provide discounts to employees or groups such as students or alumni.
IT service providers also offer IT expertise. They may be skilled IT professional with several years of experience. On the other hand, some IT service providers are college graduate students who did not pursue higher education in computer science but still want to use their IT knowledge for business. It really does depend on the employer’s requirements.
Another important consideration in hiring the best IT support provider is the level of the set-up. Some IT outsourcing companies are just outsourcing parts of the entire IT system while others are set-up as full service providers which means they handle everything from installation to maintenance and uptime maintenance. When hiring a managed service provider, you would want to know how the provider plans to set-up their own system. It is important that you also know how the provider plans to keep their system up-to-date.
It is also helpful if you know how your IT managed services provider plans to deal with backups. Some IT outsourcing companies offer full or partial backups. There are also those who only offer backup software and do not provide any form of maintenance or security. If you want your IT support services provider to be on all sides of this issue, then you should inquire about the backup programs that their outsourced team will use.
Pricing models are also important. A good IT managed services provider would be one that has reasonable pricing models. The pricing models should be transparent enough so that clients can compare them from other IT service providers. It is also a plus if the outsourced team offering the IT managed services offers several pricing models since this gives clients more options when choosing. In addition to pricing models, you should also inquire if the IT managed services provider offers any discounts, rebates or other benefits such as usage-based billing.
The ability to use a variety of operating systems is also an advantage that most IT outsourcing service providers offer. This simply means that your business can enjoy a wide range of choices when it comes to their IT services. It is therefore essential to research and consider several options before hiring one. You can always have an IT outsourcing expert consult with you so you can be sure that you are making the right decision when it comes to hiring a managed service provider for your IT needs.