MSP vs. DIY: the why and how of choosing the right data management for your business

In our technology-driven world, computer data is accumulating very quickly. Email, financial documents, presentations, spreadsheets, video and customer files are amassing to the point that most company’s storage solutions are no longer adequate.

One solution is to look to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). A good MSP can keep your data stored safely and offer easy access for those who need to use the information efficiently.

An MSP is a type of IT service company that provides server, network, and specialised applications support to end users and organisations. Critical business applications are hosted and managed by the service provider.

Reasons why companies choose MSPs

Regulation and compliance –  In the wake of Enron and WorldCom, government regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, require businesses to maintain and backup a variety of data they might have otherwise deleted.

> See also: A new age of IT service provider: security educator

This added collection of data puts a strain on companies’ already filled-to-capacity storage areas. In addition, for legal reasons most small and medium-sized companies archive e-mail messages dating back five or more years.

Increase in data breaches – Safely storing data to thwart hacking, viruses and spyware has become more difficult. Outsourcing to an MSP storage facility can mean centrally located files with a company that is on top of the latest security threats.

Growing storage needs – Companies are using more and more data with new applications, videos and graphics being added daily. Mobile data just adds to the already large collection of files. With the need for real-time back-up slow storage slows your entire teams application performance.

Cost savings – Virtualisation and storage have changed. Do it yourselfers’ profitability is reduced due to the uncertainty of ongoing break/fix incidents with outdated solutions.

Ultimately, the number of contractors, staff and costs required to manage system performance and reliability due to unexpected outages, hardware failure, unexpected site visits, and other types of technical misbehavior cause maintenance costs to skyrocket and cause unplanned expenditures in both labor and hardware replacement.

Regardless of the size of your business, storage will eventually become a problem. Looking into an MSP solution to solve the new problems associated with your storage may be the right fit for your needs. So, how can you create a profitable and beneficial MSP partnership?

The how

Define the strategy – In order to keep any good automobile running one must know how to care for it. Having a strong partner can help small organisations thrive. This begins with both sides understanding what needs to be included in the scope of work. Clearly defining the responsibilities of the MSP and the company they are assisting is a critical first step.

Analyse the gaps in resources that need to be filled – Does the MSP have the ability to cover and fill in the gaps where your company lacks strength in the IT area? What weaknesses does the organisation have and how can the MSP help the company get stronger?

> See also: 6 things to look for in a Managed Services Provider

Define communication – Be sure to set up a clear and mutually understandable communication procedure between the company and service provider. Avoiding miscommunication errors can help an MSP partnership thrive.

Get the team onboard – Some organisations see MSP as a threat to their jobs when in reality the purpose is to take the more tedious work off their hands. So, help them understand the overall benefit of an MSP.

A successful MSP will choose modern and robust technology that is easy to implement quickly, without a lot of training or education. They will deliver rock-solid resilience and performance, simply and scaleably and at cost model that makes unburdening easy.


Sourced from Jeff Boling, principle systems engineer, X-IO Technologies

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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