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5 Benefits of Using a Managed Service Provider

Authors Photo Precisely Editor | October 30, 2023

In his classic business book “Good to Great,” author Jim Collins described what he calls “the hedgehog concept.” It asserts that to be successful, businesses should focus on one thing that they can do better than anyone else in the world. They should outsource or discontinue everything else.  A managed service provider (MSP) make that possible.

Many organizations turn to MSPs to simplify, streamline, and improve the quality of their operations. Rather than trying to be experts at performing routine IT tasks, companies can then focus on strategic decisions and core tactical execution. Modern MSPs are even expanding their scope to cover specialized functions such as customer communications management (CCM).

What Is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider typically takes responsibility for supporting and maintaining their clients’ IT infrastructure. In many cases, the MSP performs some of these functions remotely. It’s not uncommon, however, for an MSP to provide on-site staff, either on an ongoing basis or to address a temporary need.

The practice of managing IT operations completely in-house is quickly disappearing, as more and more companies discover the benefits of managed services. This model has gained substantial traction in recent years because it offers a far more efficient and agile approach than traditional in-house management.

MSPs enable small, growing organizations to focus on what they do best while avoiding large up-front IT investments. For larger enterprises, they simplify things such as security monitoring and management, desktop support, and more. They also offer proactive monitoring, specialized expertise, improved scalability, and predictable costs.

Today’s MSPs extend the managed services model to cover an even broader range of business functions, handling everything from payroll and sales tax compliance to customer communications management.

This article examines five key benefits of working with managed service providers. You’ll learn how the MSP model is helping companies become more agile, scalable, and efficient, freeing up resources to focus on matters of strategic importance.

woman using a headset - managed service provider

Benefit 1. Reduced IT Overhead

Outsourcing to a MSP lightens the overall load on an organization’s internal IT team, enabling them to focus on core business tasks rather than routine maintenance.

Hiring, onboarding, and supervising a large internal IT staff can consume substantial organizational resources. In today’s cost-conscious business environment, optimizing the use of internal resources is an important element in the quest to achieve efficiency and competitive advantage. One way organizations are doing this is by outsourcing certain functions to specialized service providers, allowing their in-house teams to concentrate on applying their core competencies to the greatest extent possible.

Initially, most organizations choose to outsource IT support and maintenance. Rather than spending their valuable time on routine support issues, system maintenance, or software updates, in-house IT staff can simply offload these tasks to an MSP, knowing that they’re in good hands. With a dedicated external team looking after these important but routine tasks, company personnel can spend more of their time on initiatives that have strategic value.

Read the Report

Digitization in the Fast Lane: EngageOne™ RapidCX

Aspire’s most recent enterprise research shows that businesses have reacted to 18 months of unprecedented market disruption by sharpening their focus on customer retention.

That might include projects directly related to the company’s primary products or services, strategic digital transformation initiatives, or collaborative partnerships that support the company in growing revenue or establishing a competitive advantage. In essence, rather than spending the time and energy keeping the lights on, the internal IT team can work on projects that align closely with the company’s business goals and growth strategies.

For small organizations, MSPs can mitigate or even eliminate concerns about economies of scale. If an organization hires just one or two people to handle routine IT tasks, those people need a relatively broad set of skills. For example, the person who handles password resets might also be the person who troubleshoots network performance issues. That leads to a “jack of all trades” problem, but it also means bringing in additional help when existing IT staff simply doesn’t have the skills they need to do everything.

MSPs reduce overhead by providing the right people with the right skills in the right quantities at the right time, without requiring you to hire additional staff.

Benefit 2. Proactive Monitoring

The best time to solve most problems is before they happen – or at least before they escalate into bigger issues. Proactive monitoring helps to prevent and/or mitigate a wide range of IT-related problems.

Today’s organizations need to be concerned about IT incidents that threaten to take their systems down, or which could compromise confidential data. Proactive 24/7 monitoring ensures that your company can fend off threats and resolve potential problems as soon as they emerge.

IT system downtime can be very costly, in terms of the money required to rectify an issue and the money lost due to missed sales, poor employee productivity, and reputational damage.

If it happens with any degree of frequency, system downtime can lead to lost customers and declining revenue. At a time when seamless digital experiences are not just preferred but expected, even a brief interruption can prompt a customer to buy from your competitors, establishing a new relationship that could undermine their brand loyalty to you. The intangible losses associated with that, from brand degradation to missed growth avenues, can often dwarf the immediate tangible expenses.

Security threats are an even bigger concern. Not only can they cause system downtime in their own right, but they also introduce the possibility of negative publicity, lawsuits, and potential regulatory action. MSPs provide proactive system monitoring to catch and address potential IT issues before they escalate into disruption of operations or compromise sensitive information.

Benefit 3. Increased Scalability

At the heart of the MSP model is its inherent adaptability. Instead of investing heavily in new hardware, software, or training every time their business scales or changes direction, an organization can simply call upon its MSP to adjust its service levels.

As a business grows, the organization’s IT capacity will frequently grow as well. Conversely, during leaner times or during off-peak seasons, an organization can scale back its IT operations without incurring unnecessary costs or leaving redundant resources idle.

Scalability is essential for growing organizations and for companies of all sizes seeking to be more agile amid volatile market conditions. MSPs have the potential to be partners in the growth of your business. While a start-up company might only require basic IT support, its needs can quickly change, calling for greater IT complexity, an improved security posture, and a broader array of business applications. This is where MSPs truly shine.

man holding a laptop - managed service provider

Benefit 4. Access to Expertise

Scalability isn’t just about size, however; it’s also about capabilities. As technology advances, new skills frequently become necessary. Systems grow more complex. New challenges emerge. By working with a MSP, you can accelerate your adoption of new technologies, which has a positive impact on innovation.

Most MSPs bring multiple forms of specialized expertise to the table, handling matters relating to security, database administration, disaster recovery, print management, and specialized application support. Not only do MSPs cover routine maintenance and support, but they also stay abreast of the latest technological advancements, security threats, and industry best practices. Continuous learning and adaptability ensure that your business remains resilient in the face of potential IT challenges.

It takes a lot of time and money to adapt to all of the changes happening in the world of technology. By partnering with a MSP, an organization can tap into a wide range of expertise and technological solutions without having to hire specialized staff for every new challenge. This dynamic capability ensures that businesses are equipped for their current challenges and primed to embrace future opportunities.

Benefit 5. Predictable Costs

Just as cloud computing has made IT infrastructure costs predictable, the MSP model makes IT staffing and support far more predictable than the conventional in-house approach. That supports more accurate budgeting and financial planning.

In many cases, MSPs provide their services for a fixed monthly fee. That fact alone makes the cost model more attractive for most companies. However, there are other elements of cost predictability that are less obvious. With a MSP, for example, it’s less likely that you’ll need to bring in costly outside specialists to address sporadic or short-term needs. If you’re experiencing a network or database problem and you need someone with specialized skills to solve it, your MSP is likely to already have people on call who can help.

As new technology becomes available, you won’t need to consume resources to upskill your IT staff. In most cases, a MSP will train its personnel as a matter of course. As the client, you benefit from that new knowledge, without having to pay for it upfront.

If you’re working with a MSP, you won’t need to concern yourself with the unexpected costs associated with staff turnover. Under a conventional IT staffing model, the unexpected departure of an employee often triggers a host of new expenses for recruiting, training, and onboarding their replacement. MSPs eliminate this headache for many organizations.

Managed Services vs. Shared Services

While many people associate managed services with generic IT services such as network monitoring and desktop support, innovative organizations have been applying the Managed Service Provider model to a range of specific business functions such as customer communications management (CCM). As a result, many companies are shifting from a conventional shared services model to a managed services approach.

With a shared services model, businesses create an in-house team to perform a specific function for every business unit throughout the organization. This may include services for accounting, marketing, or customer communications, for example.

The shared services model enables various groups within an organization to avail themselves of such services, without having to develop and manage them at the individual business unit level. The result is greater cost efficiency and increased focus on the unit’s core mission.

Innovative organizations are now adopting the MSP model to perform many of these same functions, replacing the shared services approach with something that is more flexible and scalable, more efficient, and easier to manage.

Precisely offers the EngageOneTM platform, for example, to provide a world-class customer communications management (CCM) solution for companies intent on delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX) to their clients. Aspire Customer Communications Services, a technology strategy firm specializing in CCM and digital CX, notes that the in-house shared services approach usually results in the “lack of a coherent, centralized approach to customer communications management.”

The authors of the Aspire report go on to say that “unclear ownership of communications and inaccurate or conflicting customer data” create major hurdles, preventing organizations from developing a single, coherent view of their customers. The result is a poor CX. That hurts revenue, brand loyalty, and long-term competitive viability.

MSPs Offer Simplicity and Peace of Mind

The managed services model provides some intangible benefits that merit a mention here as well, including the peace of mind that comes from knowing that a trusted service provider is taking good care of your IT systems. Most MSPs will stand behind their work by offering service-level agreements to their customers.

Working with a Managed Service Provider is much easier than managing an internal IT staff. As an organization, you can address concerns and complaints to a single point of contact instead of dealing with personnel issues on a one-to-one basis. That eliminates a great many headaches, and it allows managers to focus on matters of strategic importance.

Outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider enhances the capabilities of internal teams, allowing them to meet their highest potential. By relegating routine tasks to the MSP, the internal team can channel their energy, creativity, and expertise where it’s most needed – propelling the business forward in an era defined by digital transformation.

For companies that want to streamline their customer communications, operate more efficiently, and increase organizational agility, Precisely’s EngageOneTM RapidCX provides enormous benefits. Partnering with Precisely grants you access to a diverse team of skilled professionals who understand the value of outstanding CX and have the capabilities to keep your IT systems operating at peak effectiveness.

To learn more about how Precisely’s hosted managed services can help you deliver world-class communications to your customers, download your free copy of the report from Aspire Customer Communications Services, Digitization in the Fast Lane: EngageOneTM RapidCX.