Most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are not in the IT technology business. They are in the business of providing a particular set of products and services to customers, and that's where their focus should be.

So, rather than expending a lot of time and internal resources on their IT infrastructure, more and more SMBs are entrusting that responsibility to a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) partner.

A Good MSP Will Guarantee That Your IT Operations Stay Up and Running

Companies don't have to just blindly trust an MSP to take care of them. By contracting by specific SLA (service level agreement) provisions, the MSP takes on legally enforceable obligations to achieve guaranteed results.

For instance, most MSP SLAs specify some level of uptime guarantee. With a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, for example, your MSP would be committed to ensuring that your IT operations are down for no more than 8.76 hours per year, or an average of no more than 43.8 minutes per month. If your downtime exceeds the limit specified in the SLA, the MSP suffers a financial penalty. That gives them a great incentive to proactively do all they can to ensure that your IT operations keep running.

To meet the terms of the SLA, a top-notch MSP will remotely monitor your IT operations on a 24/7/365 basis and proactively detect and address potential problems, often before they cause any disruption to your operations.

Your MSP Can Provide The IT Expertise Your Company Lacks

One significant advantage a good MSP will offer is a level of technical expertise that is tough for most SMBs to match on their own. It's the MSP's business to keep on its staff specialists who continually upgrade their skills in the technologies your IT infrastructure depends on to operate. Plus, a top-flight MSP will be able to provide training and helpdesk support to your staff, which will minimize the chances of some operational error taking your system down.

Other ways in which an MSP partner can help minimize your potential downtime include implementing an effective data backup and disaster recovery plan, advising you on data security issues, proactively performing preventive maintenance, executing hardware and software upgrades, and providing substantive IT-related input into your business's strategic planning process.

If you find yourself spending more time than you want on just keeping your IT operation functioning as it should, why not explore how a good MSP can relieve you of that burden and free you to concentrate on your business.

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