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  4. How To Choose a Managed Service...

Managed Service Providers are outsourced companies that support the needs of the IT department. It has since been in existence since computers came to be. It has, since then, evolved to be of use to the IT department to survive every change that has come to inception. Before, they would function in a reactionary way but has been able to provide proactive solutions to monitor functions and anticipating problems that would come about. They have therefore been functioning in a state of flux, always there to guide and guard the needs of IT independently deciding what to do because they know more on how to handle certain situations.

For example, in the rise of cloud-based computing, they have managed to stand relevance by providing back-up to cloud data and even disaster recovery systems.

So far, MSPs have managed to come up with new services that would add ROIs to their clients just to be able to go on with the times. It is a reality that they scrounge for every bit of idea to provide service ideas for their clients to add up to their companies as part of their solutions and to remain solvent as outsourcing partners.

Thus we realize that these MSPs provide not only the usual services but also

  • Strategic consultancies
  • Cybersecurity
  • Regulatory compliance

CTOs or Chief Technological Officers and CIOs or Chief Information Officers, all part of the executive board of the IT department, have a lot to consider in choosing their Managed Service Providers. They rely on these MSPs on a lot of things, therefore, choosing the right one goes a long way not just in the traditional sense of providing the needs of their IT but also in the financial sector as well.

The Reason Why MSPs Are Hired

Naturally, IT is overburdened by work. As it evolves, we see a growing increase in the use of technology in various ways which the IT is unable to follow through. It has become more than a nine to five business and one which requires the service of more than just several pairs of hands in the main IT department. There is a required need for more work past the regular working hours.

Also, there is a need for an added team so that the main IT can work on their main line which is in the interest of strategy and valuable work. Since there is more work needed, MSPs provide the much-needed support as the more challenging needs arise.

Routine work is now given to the MSPs so that the IT can now address other operational issues which they can now face given that there is more time. Time is of the essence in the Informational Technology track. Therefore, MSPs are valued for the help they can give.

We can see now that time is not only a 24-hour cycle. It is now divided into multidimensional terms through outsourcing. It is a challenge that has been solved and works up to this day. MSPs are still very much relevant in today’s technological world thus CTOs and CIOs take very good care to find the right Managed Service Provider because there is a lot on their plate that needs to be done.

Other than this, filling positions in the IT department is not a problem anymore since they are easily filled in by the outsourced team and the quality of the people they choose are very much of high standard having been familiar of the rigours of the job beforehand. There is also the lowering of costs in terms of training, recruitment and other human resource factors.

Leverage Your Managed Service Providers

It doesn’t mean that since this company you hired to outsource everything you need doing is inferior in any way and must struggle to leverage themselves to your standard to be able to prove themselves. You may be surprised at what they do know or may even know more than you do. They would want to sit on your board meetings and contribute what they can do to your IT department and this should never be an issue.

In fact, it is common these days for outsourcing companies to sit with you in board meetings for they have a lot to share in terms of skill and experience.

From the very start, they should be on board meetings not only for what they can share but what you would like to share as well. You would want them to know how you would want things to go in the company. The missions and goals of the company are information critical to the knowledge you would want to share with your outsource group.

Define your mission statement in terms of:

  • Cost
  • Management
  • Expertise

The cost would entail the budget that you have in mind, management is how you would want to handle every mission or goal to be tackled and expertise is how their skills are needed in the management of your company.

Good MSPs Should Meet Your Expectations

From the beginning, you should be able to express your preferences and expectations of the outsourcing team. Today’s providers are usually ultra-diligent that they can provide:

  • data analytics
  • business intelligence
  • advanced application monitoring.

They are able to well cover these complex issues that you realize they truly are worth being hired.

Regulatory Compliance and Managed Security System

Under the regulatory compliance which is a critical issue in the field of IT with the General Data Regulation needed to be in order, ask if the Managed Service Provider you will hire has undergone third-party accreditation so that there is clearance in handling confidential files.

There is also the need for a strong provider to fight against threats to the security system of the company. In today’s world and technological advancement, there is a need to build strong walls against cyber threats. It isn’t that there is no available personnel to deal with these threats. It is that there is a lack of a security team to handle these threats. Traditional practices are still done by some providers to hire teams to handle cyber threats and to retain these teams. But other teams are more intuitive and creative in handling these threats by anticipating them as they come along.

Service Level Agreements

In terms of commitment, the best way to gauge this is through a Service Level Agreement contract. Here you will find what they expect from your company.

Warranties– the finer points of legalities such as the compensation should be stated here.
Client Duties– there should be an agreed upon code of conduct between the client and the Managed Service Provider.
Procedure for Problems– the severity of the problems must be gauged well and how they are handled as well as the response time the MSPs address the problems.
Performance Agreement– there are metric points to reflect the performance level of the outsourced company.
Termination– there should be an agreed upon situations by which to determine how the relationship between the provider and the client would end.

The SLA is a good contract that draws the line to delineate how things are to be done and to protect them as well as to help the client understand what the providers expects of them as well.

Pricing Models

  • Per device monitoring– this is the billing for monitoring mobile or desktop systems in the company. This can be expensive especially if there are a lot of devices to be monitored but this is the most predictable system in all the pricing models since you can simply see the varying devices needed to be monitored.
  • Per-user– like the per device monitoring system this one is different because it happens to charge at the end of each month for all the devices used.
  • Tiered pricing– different services mean different price points, therefore, the billing depends on the services or amount of services offered or used up.
  • Value-Based Pricing– The pricing depends on the commercial value of the service offered to the company. If the service offered brings much money in return, then there is certainly more charged for this service.
    • It has been reported that at this evolutionary stage of third-party outsourcing team, it is still unclear whether money has increased for companies. But they helped the suppliers and so they continue to hire MSPs.

MSPs bring the much-needed resource to help out an ailing IT department from the new technological rigours of today’s modern world such that CIO or CTO truly have the task to help their personnel get added help to cover the time they cannot continue the task. And what better way to gather a well-spring of personnel to fill in gaps of positions than these outsource companies who are already trained and know the necessary compliance as well as their own Service Level Agreements, fully aware of their boundaries in taking on the task of the original personnel in the main IT department. The markdown of cost in training, recruitment and other human resource applications are now interestingly unnecessary. This is vital to know because the cost in human resource processing is expensive and has been mitigated.

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