Leaning on a managed service provider (MSP) for a subset of IT services can be a blessing. Instead of tackling a specific domain, such as email hosting or customer relationship management, having an MSP as part of your IT mix can free up internal IT staff for more strategic projects.


But establishing a strong strategic partnership with your MSP is essential. Here we take a look at the current state of managed IT services, where companies are using the MSP model, and how to get the most out of their partnership with MSP.


The growth of managed services is constant

Managed services are the second most popular business model on the channel today, according to the CompTIA IT Industry Trade Association's fifth annual managed services trend study. Three out of 10 MSPs surveyed by CompTIA ranked managed services as the top revenue generator in the previous 12 months, second to 44% for IT solutions (such as projects that incorporate hardware, software and services), but ahead of other options in the business model. as a Value Added Reseller (VAR), IT support and consulting and desktop services.


How Managed Service Providers Improve Operations

Continuously putting off new projects and addressing a backlog of user requests are clear signs that it is time to look to managed services, especially for a provider that offers significant value.


Before choosing a partner, organizations should clearly define their requirements and the improvements they hope to see. For example, they may want to introduce after-hours coverage for network technology or a mobile monitoring platform used by competitors.


When meeting potential suppliers, operations teams should ask themselves how they will achieve these goals. Beware of vendors who only talk about their own characteristics - the toolsets they use, their processes, the quality of their engineering resources - rather than focusing on the organization's goal.


Another factor to consider is the breadth of the provider's experience. Many service providers focus on niche areas, but with the pace of change in technology, it's important to work with a partner who can meet an organization's needs now and in the future.