By Cheryl Nelan
New York Managed IT Services means many different things to different people.
While Managed IT has become an industry standard term, the way it is applied is not standard. It becomes difficult for a prospective client to evaluate the services offered by various “MSP’s” or Managed Service Providers. Gets even more complex with the latest term, “Managed Security Service Providers” (or MSSP). What’s the difference?
Defining Managed IT Service Providers
Let’s start with the basics. Managed Services imply an on-going service model. I’ve seen some IT companies call it Managed IT Services as soon as a monthly fee is involved. True, price model is often a component but that is not what defines a true Managed Service Provider.
“A managed service provider (MSP) delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center. MSPs may deliver their own native services in conjunction with other providers’ services (for example, a security MSP providing sys admin on top of a third-party cloud IaaS). Pure-play MSPs focus on one vendor or technology, usually their own core offerings. Many MSPs include services from other types of providers. The term MSP traditionally was applied to infrastructure or device-centric types of services but has expanded to include any continuous, regular management, maintenance and support.”
Simply put, a Managed Service Provider is managing services that are provided to their clients.
They aren’t just loading software and then waiting for the client to call when there are problems. They are taking a proactive approach and working on their clients’ behalf to minimize risk and the occurrence of problems.
Managed Service Providers must be focused on service. Managing their clients’ networks and computer systems as they would their own – doing what it takes to protect the infrastructure and educate their clients to be sure data is safe.
Their goals align with their clients’ goals.
They provide the support their clients need to keep employees productive and data secure.
So, if a company says they are a managed service provider – ask them how. They should have a list of software and tools they use to protect their clients’ systems – but it better go further than that…
- How do they use those tools?
- How are they monitored?
- What happens when there’s an alert or something goes wrong?
- How are they supporting the end users?
- Do they have your company’s best interests in mind?
In other words, do they consult with you and help you build an IT strategy that matches the needs of your unique business?
Are they your partner – do they keep abreast of the latest changes in the industry – and do they understand your business enough to help you make good decisions?
Choosing a New York Managed IT Services Provider
With over 5600 IT providers in New York, it can be a daunting task to identify the right partner. And, most will say they are IT Managed Service Providers. This does not mean they are providing the same services in the same ways. Have conversations with those that might be a good fit and narrow the field. Ask questions – and listen to the questions they ask you. Do they understand your business and can they guide you through the cybersecurity framework to help you make the right decisions?
Understanding the full picture will help you find the right partner for your business.
Above were some questions to consider as you evaluate your managed service provider – this should be a long term partnership – so spend the time you need to get to know the partner and understand how they will support your business.
What keeps you up at night?
Hiring the right IT managed services partner can help you stay focused on growing your business while you rest assured a trusted partner is managing your IT.
But wait – we never talked about Managed Security Service Providers – that’s for the next blog…