What is an MSP? All you need to know about managed service providers and what they can do for you

27 February 2023

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a third-party IT company. Either in place of an in-house team, or to support them, an MSP takes charge of all day-to-day IT operations for its clients – in effect acting as an outsourced IT department. In this article we’ll answer all the questions you might have about managed service providers: What is an MSP? What do they do? And what are the advantages of hiring an MSP rather than managing your IT in-house?

What do managed service providers do?

Managed service providers take long-term responsibility for a whole range of IT services, rather than just being hired for one or two single tasks. The role of a managed service provider can include taking care of:

  • Network installation and maintenance, setting up computer networks, ensuring that they function as they should, and resolving any issues
  • Hardware and software upgrades, keeping everything up-to-date for optimal performance and security
  • Management of cloud-based services, overseeing cloud storage and SaaS applications, ensuring that they are running smoothly and meeting the needs of the organisation
  • Device management, managing and maintaining computers, printers, and mobile devices, making sure that they are up-to-date and functioning correctly
  • Troubleshooting and fixing problems as they arise, identifying and resolving any software errors or hardware malfunctions
  • Datacentre provision, setting up and maintaining your datacentre 
  • Cybersecurity services, such as threat hunting, endpoint security, firewall management and data backup
  • Disaster recovery, getting systems and data up and running again in the event of an outage

Do managed service providers work onsite or remotely?

That depends on your service agreement, but in general MSPs will work both onsite and remotely, depending on your needs. At Croft MSP, providing value for our customers is one of our key priorities. That’s why we offer managed IT services that are highly flexible and adaptable to your business goals, with IT support available on your premises or remotely as required.

What are the benefits of using an MSP?

There are many benefits of using a managed service provider for your IT needs:

  • Flexible and adaptable packages. With an outsourced MSP it’s easy to scale your IT support up or down to match your changing business requirements. Rather than an expensive and time-consuming recruitment drive to accommodate business growth, you could simply upgrade your managed services package.
  • Up-to-date expertise. In the fast-moving world of technology, it’s important that the professionals involved in your IT infrastructure have the very latest knowledge and skills. When you hire an MSP, there is no need to invest in training for your in-house IT professionals: you are paying for experts who are abreast of all the latest developments in the field. 
  • A broad range of specialisms. With a managed services company in charge of your IT, you can benefit from in-depth technical knowledge in a wide variety of specialist areas, from network infrastructure to cybersecurity. 

Croft MSP providing IT support through a phone call

How much does it cost to hire an MSP?

MSPs are usually hired on a long-term basis, charging monthly for their services. The price you pay will depend on your exact service level agreement, the level of specialism involved, and how many hours of work you require every month. 

In general, for small and medium sized organisations, a managed service provider is likely to be more cost-effective than employing a full-time in-house IT team. Having an MSP on hand for all your IT needs is also less expensive per hour than hiring a third-party IT company for one-off jobs here and there. 

Without IT support, a cyber security breach could be hugely costly to your business. The average cost of a breach within a business in 2022 (in the UK) was £1200, with the figure increasing dramatically as the size of the business grows, according to Statista. 

Managed IT services from Croft MSP

At Croft MSP, we provide a comprehensive suite of IT services, easily adaptable for every organisation. With a dedicated account manager acting as a single point of contact, you’ll be able to get in touch when you need us, with fast and responsive support as standard.

Want to find out more? We’d love to hear from you. Just contact us today with your enquiry.