A Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides a range of fully-managed technology services on behalf of a client. MSPs bill for services based on a subscription model that takes into account the range of services required, how much support is likely to be needed, the length of the contract, and various other factors. MSPs are often used because an organization doesn’t have the resources or expertise to provide these services in house.
Terms related to Managed Service Provider: Infrastructure provider, managed information technology provider, cloud vendor, service level agreement, SLA
Managed Service Providers allow organizations to outsource some or all of their IT infrastructure, security, application, data, or other needs. An MSP manages the technology and functionality on behalf of the client, to the specifications of a “Service Level Agreement (SLA).”
The advantage of using an MSP is that an organization does not have to recruit their own staff or buy IT assets to provide the technology services they require. Instead, an MSP will take care of all of these aspects, including keeping hardware up to date and patched, training their staff on the latest developments and approaches, and deal with issues around quality of service, risk management, and other problems.
There are some disadvantages to using an MSP, including some loss of fine control, not specifying an SLA in a granular enough way, and ensuring that technology is always fit for purpose and secure. Most of these issues can be resolved through maintaining a good working relationship and ensuring all necessary points are captured in a robust contract.
Common managed services include cloud implementation, migration, and management; information services for data, authentication, and systems management; business to business integration; security services; and more.