A managed service provider (MSP) is an external company that remotely manages a customer's information technology (IT) infrastructure and end user systems. By contracting managed IT services to an MSP, businesses can easily budget and track expenses. MSPs provide the necessary amount of services and support when needed, and manage any IT issues that arise. Service level agreements between suppliers and customers clarify what to expect and when to expect it, since they cover both IT services and public services (electricity, Internet, etc.).
The evolution of MSPs began in the 1990s with the emergence of application service providers (ASPs), which offered a level of service for remote hosting of applications. MSPs that offer a subscription service model are based on the quality of service in an organization's network and generally bill customers on a monthly basis. Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is a centralized platform that uses a set of services and tools to monitor, manage, and implement solutions on servers and endpoint devices using agent software installed on endpoint systems. The strict regulations that govern data management, storage, and general cybersecurity in certain industries require the knowledge and experience that a managed IT company can provide.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), non-profit organizations, and government agencies hire MSPs to provide a defined set of daily management services. A good MSP will focus on the performance and quality metrics established by the customer at the beginning of the managed services agreement. Managed security service providers offer specialized types of services, such as remote administration of firewalls and other security-as-a-service offerings. Organizations seek a wide range of benefits when they decide to invest in a managed services model.
An IT professional can act as a final liaison to manage the relationship, provide feedback, and analyze the reports provided by the MSP. Customers or end users only pay for the services they need and can increase or decrease their level of service depending on the needs and demand of the company. For those who have an in-house department that needs support or for those who don't have an in-house IT department, a managed IT service provider is a viable solution. Since MSPs manage the functionality and security of their network, it naturally makes sense for them to work with providers that guarantee these points.