What do you think of when you hear the term “IT”? If you watch shows like “The IT Crowd,” you may assume that companies have an IT team with an office in the building who begrudgingly appear whenever the computers freeze up or the servers go down.

However, that stereotype isn’t hugely accurate, and if you’re looking for managed IT services in Albany, New York, you should learn more about your options before committing.

IT Departments and Outsourcing IT By Itself

Many companies actually have entire IT departments, while others have contracts with outsourced IT service providers. These practices are not always the best approach to IT, though, because departments and providers that focus solely on IT might not be there when you need them, may not be up to date on the best IT practices, are not well-educated, or are too slow with their response times.

This approach is especially problematic if you rely on providers who use the break/fix model (the one in which your computer breaks or your network is breached and you call an IT technician for help).

What Does MSP (Managed Service Provider) Stand For?

Instead, managed service providers (MSPs) like TAG Solutions deliver IT solutions that do not rely on the traditional break/fix model of maintaining and repairing hardware, software, and networks. Instead, they are industry experts who do this every day, with proactive approaches designed to prevent problems with centralized, reliable staff and services.

Having an MSP will almost certainly cost you less overall, especially when working with this sort of expert prevents a security breach. An MSP can offer network administration services, and this usually starts with an assessment of the existing technology. They will look for ways to improve the company’s IT operations, such as replacing hardware that is on the brink of failing. MSPs will identify areas of concern and make recommendations based on those areas. The goal here is to bring everything up to speed to align with current IT best practices

All About MSPs

An IT provider that is not an MSP will generally support customers on a break/fix basis and charge for labor and materials. Tech Target writes that MSPs are third-party companies that comprehensively and remotely manage their customers’ IT infrastructures and end-user systems with proactive approaches.

MSPs work with small and medium-sized companies, government agencies and nonprofits and are responsible for network and infrastructure management, monitoring, security and disaster recovery protocols. This delegation allows companies to devote more attention to other essential things, like sales, marketing and serving customers.

You can perform most of these tasks remotely over the internet, but the services usually start with an initial assessment of a business’s hardware, software and networks. Kelser explains that an MSP’s Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) uses this information and industry knowledge to design a custom plan to align a company’s business goals with an effective IT strategy. This information gets translated into actionable guidance covering everything from phone systems to improving network protocols to training employees on new equipment and safety regulations.

Not All MSPs are the Same

At TAG Solutions, our industry experts stay up-to-date on IT industry best practices in ways that in-house IT staff members and inefficient IT providers just can’t. Our staff is available if and when you need them, and you won’t have to worry about paying an IT staff member to be at the office every day when their services are not needed.

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Unlike some providers, we do not use the break/fix model; this model can lead to even worse problems down the road. Our practical, integrated approach reduces the chance of network breaches and downtime and improves network uptime every day. Besides that, when work is needed, it can be completed much faster because the systems will be up-to-date and running current software at all times.

We also stress employee education as part of our new way of delivering IT, so your employees will understand how data protection and business continuity fit into your company’s overall objectives. If employees don’t know how to protect themselves and the company’s data, they pose a significant risk for your assets.

How an MSP Can Save You Money

Hitachi claims that companies pay thousands of dollars to train IT employees every year, while an MSP charges flat rates. In addition, they can create custom service level agreements tailored to meet your needs. When your business grows, your IT needs will, too, and an MSP provider like TAG Solutions can help pave the way for this with less downtime, employee training and better business models. Not having to be concerned about your IT constantly means that you can focus more on your core objectives while saving money at the same time.

With TAG Solutions, you can scale your plan up or down, depending on your needs, to ensure you still get support when you need it. We offer 24/7 support, with additional service options you can choose. These are crucial if your system goes down or if there is a network breach.

An MSP will also help you design an emergency response plan just in case the worse happens and will assist with minimizing downtime and damages. They also keep clients well-informed about industry regulations and compliance to limit company and personal liability.

Although the upfront nature of the flat fee might make an MSP seem like a large investment, MSPs can save companies a great deal of money. MSPs are constantly monitoring networks to identify, diagnose and eradicate potential problems before they can develop into nightmares.

Think about this: Gartner reports that network downtime can cost a company $5,600 a minute or $300,000 an hour, and the fines and settlements from network breach litigation can cost millions. Using an MSP pays for itself.

MSPs also evaluate your hardware and software to keep it performing at maximum capacity and ensure that your IT operations flow smoothly and without incident. For more information about the new way IT is delivered, contact TAG Solutions, your Albany managed service provider, today. We offer everything from network penetration testing to unified call solutions, so we can be a one-stop shop for all of your company’s internet, software, hardware, server, and communication needs.