Should I Hire an IT Guy? Should I Hire an MSP?

Should I Hire an IT Guy Should I Hire an MSP banner

Should I Hire an IT Guy? Should I Hire an MSP?

IT guys and MSPs are popping up everywhere these days. From your local hardware store to the big box retailers, there’s no shortage of places you can find a helpful tech or an experienced service provider (or both!). Even so, that doesn’t mean they’re all equally dependable.

The decision to hire an IT guy or an MSP (Managed Service Provider) depends on your organization’s specific needs and resources. Choosing an IT guy and an MSP should be based on carefully assessing your organization’s needs and resources. It may also be worth considering a combination of both, with an IT guy for on-site support and an MSP for broader IT management and support. With that in mind, here are some pros and cons to hiring IT guys and MSPs regarding your company’s IT needs.

 

Why Hire a Managed IT Service Provider?

Many companies don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to managing their IT needs. They often don’t have a dedicated team working on their technology and flounder in an overwhelmed and unproductive environment.

A managed IT service provider can help you get a handle on your technology and avoid these pitfalls. They may be able to provide solutions that are tailored to your specific needs. With an MSP, you can be sure you’re getting a full-service approach that includes expert advice, total control over all aspects of your technology, and a consistent level of service.

The managed IT service provider can handle more complicated IT tasks like backup and disaster recovery methods, network administration, cybersecurity procedures, data management services, and server management, to mention a few. In other words, think of your internal IT department as your daily IT support provider.

 

Pros and Cons When Hiring an IT Guy or MSP

Like any other business decision, there are pros and cons to hiring an IT guy or an MSP.

Hiring an IT Guy

Pros:

•       An IT guy can assist you with hardware configuration and setup.

•       An IT guy will be available to your business during peak business hours.

·        A good IT person should be able to assist your business and staff members with desktop repair, virus removal, and software issues.

Cons:

• Hiring a single IT specialist with a salary, health insurance, and other perks may be expensive depending on experience and specialty.

• It can be too much work for one individual to be the network manager, infrastructure planner, and IT support person for your IT department.

• The talents of your in-house IT specialist might only be dependent on the work they perform daily; they might not be as quick to adopt new technology.

Should-I-Hire-an-IT-Guy-Should-I-Hire-an-MSP middle

Hiring an MSP

Pros:

•       Managed service providers have access to cutting-edge equipment. Your MSP should be able to support you with workstations, networks, servers, software, and hardware, regardless of the industry you’re in.

•       The most crucial aspect of any organization, continuity, should be protected by your managed IT service provider. MSPs should be able to guarantee that your system is up and operating as much as possible by reducing the risk of downtime.

•       You have access to a group of committed IT experts who work on what they do for at least eight to nine hours daily.

•       Some remote IT support services are accessible around-the-clock.

•       Managed services are available with various services and expertise to pick from, whether in NYC or any other major city.

•       You should receive an SLA (Service Level Agreement) from your managed service provider that outlines the results you anticipate from your collaboration.

•       Managed service consultants bill firms with set monthly fees to help them better control their spending.

Cons:

•       Location is a crucial factor to consider when picking an MSP. We advise businesses to employ MSPs in the region or, at the very least, in the same city. When anything goes wrong on-site and companies have to wait for the MSP to send an IT specialist to assist fix it, the waiting game is a major drawback of joining a managed IT services provider.

•       Service level agreements (SLAs) allow MSPs to function based on the signed contracts. Expect to pay extra fees if your contract doesn’t cover something.

 

Why do you Need a Dedicated IT Team?

Establishing a dedicated IT team is crucial for organizations relying on technology for efficient operations. An IT team provides vital support and expertise to ensure smooth, secure, and cost-effective technology infrastructure. Investing in dedicated IT managed services enhances productivity, mitigates downtime and security risks, and fosters organizational growth and success.

To build an effective IT team, consider hiring skilled professionals, such as a Chief Information Officer (CIO) or senior IT executive, especially when engaging with Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Many MSPs typically employ entry-level IT staff, necessitating the inclusion of higher-level executives to manage and lead the team effectively.

As your IT department takes shape, contemplate bringing on experienced IT executives to oversee specific technology aspects. For instance, if your organization heavily relies on technology for a substantial revenue stream, hiring a dedicated professional to manage that revenue stream becomes imperative. Utilizing Managed IT Services for small businesses can further streamline operations, providing tailored solutions and support to meet the unique needs of your organization.

 

Conclusion

Managed IT services are here to stay. But remember that while they are cost-effective and can help your business, they are not a silver bullet. In other words, they’re a great choice to supplement your in-house IT team if you have one.

The best course of action is to understand your business thoroughly. How invested you are in your money’s capabilities, demands, and functions will determine how much you can get out of it. Whether it’s a single IT professional or a team of managed service providers, what counts is that your needs are appropriately handled.

While most MSPs focus on outsourcing technical tasks, Protected Harbor is different. It provides managed security services (MSS) to businesses, offering proactive monitoring of physical and cyber assets. Protected Harbor is the right choice if you are looking for a managed service provider that can grow with your company as it scales.

We are the top-rated manage service providers in Rockland county, NY. We work with businesses at all stages, from startups to enterprises. If you need ongoing assistance with managing your IT infrastructure or if you want to outsource a specific task like software development, we can help. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop for all your technology needs.

Contact us today for a more hands-off approach to your IT and security needs. Get a free IT Audit here.

The Importance of IT Service Provider: Truth to Power

The Importance of IT Service Provider: Truth to Power

Today’s business landscape is highly competitive, and a company must adopt a strategy to give them an edge over its competitors. Technology has become a primary source of differentiation for companies in all sectors.

You’ve probably heard about the importance of the service-provider relationship. After all, it’s a topic that discussion boards, blogs, and articles have been tackling for years. But how much of this information is theory vs. practice? If you had to implement these strategies tomorrow, would you know what action steps to take?

Welcome to another video in the series Uptime with Richard Luna discussing the importance of service-provider relations and transparency. What’s the truth to power between the promised services and the actual delivery by the IT service providers and MSPs?

 

The Importance of a Service-Provider Relationship

When people in the business world talk about service-provider relationships, they refer to the partnerships businesses build with their partners. These could include vendors, suppliers, distributors, IT service providers, managed service providers, or system integrators. A service-provider relationship is designed to help both parties thrive and succeed.

When you partner with a company to provide essential technology services, like hosting, IT infrastructure, security, or managed services, you’re entering into a partnership that will benefit both of you in different ways. For example, let’s say you run a chain of car dealerships that need an IT infrastructure to process credit card payments and keep your staff connected. If you work with a managed services provider (MSP) to help you with these tasks, you’re entering into a partnership that will benefit you in different ways.

Truth in Transparency: Know What You’re Buying

IT service providers are critical to any business’s success, but they are not all created equally. Many service providers offer various technology-related services, each with unique value propositions, business models, and strengths and weaknesses. That’s why it’s important to partner with an IT service provider that is a good fit for your company.

Partnering with a service provider that is a good fit for your company can help you avoid common pitfalls that can disrupt your business and negatively impact your bottom line, such as paying too much for services you don’t need or are overpriced, or not receiving the level of support and maintenance your company needs to thrive.

Before signing up with an IT service provider, ensure you understand exactly what you’re buying to ensure the relationship is a good fit for your business. You don’t want to sign up with a service provider that is overpriced or doesn’t offer a solution that lines up with your business needs.

 

The Importance of a Good SLA

The service-level agreement (SLA) is critical to any managed services agreement. The SLA outlines the service provider’s obligations, such as the level of customer support, the amount of downtime, and the uptime of critical systems. It also includes the customer’s obligations.

It is essential to make sure the SLA is in your favor. If you are a customer working with an MSP, the SLA is your opportunity to hold the service provider accountable for their promises by clearly laying out what you expect from them. It is also an opportunity for you to establish a baseline for performance.

If you are an MSP, the SLA is your opportunity to outline the commitments you make to your customers. It is also an opportunity for you to set a baseline for performance. For example, if your SLA states that you will have a technician respond to an issue within four hours, that is the expectation you need to live up to every single time.

 

Takeaways

It is a strategic technology partner offering more than just a product or service. It is a partner that provides expertise, guidance, and support to help you grow your business through IT services.

Protected Harbor is not your typical MSP. It’s a managed service provider with a twist. The company specializes in cloud-based software solutions, including data backup, recovery, ransomware, and other cybersecurity services. Our team of MSP experts works with you every step of the way.

We conduct a thorough assessment of your business and technology landscape. We then customize a solution that meets your exact needs. Contact one of our experts today for a free IT Audit and discover why we are different.

The Pitfalls of a Modern MSP

The Pitfalls of a Modern MSP

Modern managed services providers (MSPs) are not your typical IT solution provider. These organizations are agile, personable, and tech-savvy. Their services are built to meet business needs in the modern age of technology, but there’s more than what meets the eye. However, because they’re so advanced compared to other IT solution providers, they often have issues that typical MSPs don’t face. For example, the pitfalls of a modern MSP can be tricky to navigate. Any organization has its ups and downs, but these common pitfalls can hinder its growth if left unresolved. Watch the latest video in our series Uptime with Richard Luna to discover the pitfalls of a modern MSP and how you can avoid them.

Yes, modern MSPs can present pitfalls, and it is essential to be aware of these potential issues before choosing an MSP for your organization. Modern Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can present pitfalls like overreliance on technology, hidden costs, vendor lock-in, and data security risks. We will discuss this in detail in the video.

 

Reselling Services

IT service providers of all kinds often choose to resell third-party services. However, reselling services can lead to issues in the future. These services can be challenging to forecast, and the risks can outweigh the benefits. For example, if you buy cloud services, you may not know the SLA of each provider, the availability of each type of service, or the performance of each provider. Because of this, you may not be able to guarantee a high level of service to your clients if they experience issues with their hosted applications or cloud storage.

 

Limited Experience

In the realm of managed IT services for small businesses, modern Managed Service Providers (MSPs) often tout a broad spectrum of offerings. However, amidst this versatility lies a common pitfall: limited experience. While these MSPs may excel as generalists, akin to versatile infantry, their breadth often comes at the cost of depth in specialization.

Generalists find it challenging to compete for new business in an industry where specialization leads to higher-quality services and more satisfied clients. By focusing on a specific set of products or services, MSPs can differentiate themselves from other generalists and offer clients more value, leading to increased customer satisfaction and a more competitive edge.

For managed IT service providers seeking to carve a niche in the market, a shift towards specialization is paramount. By refining their focus and expertise, MSPs can deliver unparalleled value to clients, ultimately establishing themselves as leaders in the field of managed IT solutions.

 

The Pitfalls of a Modern MSP middleLack of a Proactive Culture

Many modern MSPs are built around providing reactive support. They wait for clients to call with an issue before they start working on a solution. This is fine to an extent, but it creates an environment where problems are prioritized above proactive efforts to prevent issues from ever occurring. Similarly, some MSPs may ignore clients who don’t have a point. This leads to a lack of communication and a lack of relationship building. A proactive culture enables MSPs to build stronger relationships with clients and engage with them in ways that don’t solely focus on problems. Communication creates a more personable relationship between the MSP and its clients and allows the organization to provide better value to its customers by offering more than just reactive support.

 

Summing up

Modern MSPs like Protected Harbor are driven by data, which allows them to identify trends and take advantage of them. With the right tools, our team can gather meaningful information from client interactions and make data-driven decisions that will benefit your company. Continue to watch our video for knowledge and insights on MSPs and how to choose the right one for your business.

Protected Harbor is the top managed service provider in hudson valley new york. Get a free IT Audit today, consult one of our experts and discover why we aren’t just your typical MSP.

Red Flags: It’s time to switch your IT Managed Service Provider

Redflags its time to switch your it managed service provider

 

Red Flags: It’s time to switch your IT Managed Service Provider

Technical hiccups happen regardless of your business’s size, niche, or geography. And outsourcing your IT infrastructure services to an MSP provides you with a dedicated team that can handle all such issues. This team is always on alert to address any problems, getting you back up and running as soon as possible. You hire MSPs to fix your problems and reduce your downtime.

But fixing issues and keeping it running are slightly different things, though. If you find your MSP fixing the same issue numerous times, you’re probably with the wrong MSP. Actual MSPs must be less product-focused and more focused on solving client problems. In addition to billable hours, your MSP should track the uptime of your systems.

Sometimes with specialized services, like those an MSP provides, it can be hard to assess how well they perform their job. But the bottom line is that outsourcing your IT to a managed service provider (MSP) is supposed to make your life easier. If it doesn’t, something has gone wrong. There are subtle signs that your MSP is no longer the right fit for you. A few questions to introspect are:

How often has your MSP not even known there are issues until you tell them? Do you consider your MSP as an on-demand IT service provider?

The answer to this question is about strategic fitment. Do you consider your MSP a transactional partner or partner to work with you? It’s not enough that your MSP is fixing IT issues that arise. They should proactively assess hardware and software needs and security practices bi-annually or quarterly. And this can even be outside their written contract (scope of work). Proactive maintenance makes all the difference when it comes to IT management.

A good MSP should regularly monitor your IT infrastructure and identify issues before they become bigger problems, and they should have the expertise to provide proactive support and guidance. If you feel like you’re having to tell your MSP about issues and they’re not taking a proactive approach, you may want to consider finding a different provider that can better meet your needs.

Do your MSP over-promise and under-deliver?

It is important to carefully evaluate the capabilities and reputation of any MSP before entering into a partnership. This can include checking references, researching customer reviews, and reviewing their offerings and guarantees.

Some MSPs may over-promise and under-deliver, while others may provide high-quality services and support. It is important to thoroughly research and choose an MSP that aligns with your organization’s needs and priorities and to establish clear expectations and performance metrics to ensure that the MSP delivers on its promises.

MSP industry has cut-throat competition. And to survive, many MSPs rely on the effectiveness of their salespeople. However, the challenge with this method is that sales calls or pitches often commit big promises upfront to secure your business.

In reality, the service provider might not have the capacity or competency to deliver such services. Reviewing your IT service agreement lets you pick areas where your MSP hasn’t delivered up to its promises.

 

MSP Red Flags smallDoes your MSP have the vision to plan and execute for the future? How good is your MSP in project management skills?

The sole purpose of your MSP is to provide reliable IT services. And that can’t be achieved with a myopic view of day-to-day operational issues. Your MSP must champion taking cues from regular issues, devise long-term plans that put you in the driving seat and execute with a transparent governance model.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your current IT-managed service provider, it may be time to consider switching to a new provider. One red flag to look out for is if your current provider struggles with cloud migration or the free flow of information.

Another red flag is if your provider cannot accurately write a scope of work document or create a service level agreement. If your provider is not delivering on project objectives or not meeting the agreed-upon project plan, this may also be a sign that it is time to switch.

Additionally, if your provider is not knowledgeable about cloud infrastructure or data center management, this could be a red flag.

Do they track response time? How well do they handle complaints? Does your MSP manage stakeholder communications effectively?

One of the best indicators to answer this question is MTTR (Mean Time To Repair/Resolve/Recovery/Response), MTTF (Mean Time To Failure), MTTA (Mean Time To Acknowledge), and MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure).[1] These can be good baseline or benchmark that starts more challenging conversations regarding the process, RCA methodologies, response protocols, and more.

Another issue to watch out for is if your provider is unfamiliar with the project goals and deliverables or cannot create a project plan that aligns with these goals. If the provider’s team members are not working collaboratively or the provider’s business model does not align with your organization’s needs, these can also be red flags.

Ultimately, it may be time to switch if your provider is not delivering the expected service level. When making the switch, be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions of the new provider’s service agreement and work closely with them to ensure that the project is delivered successfully.

How well does your MSP align with your organization’s culture? Do they own your issues? Do they consider your users as their ‘own’ users? Do they track CSAT?

Can you ring your MSP at 2 AM and be assured that someone will be working on the ground to resolve a critical business issue. Does your MSP empathize with you in a significant outage and work tirelessly to bring back the system? Does your MSP think about the solution first or bring the contractual scope of work in every discussion? How well does your MSP resonate with your user community, values, and vision?

If answers to the above questions are No, is your service provider an MSP then? Yes, an MSP is responsible for a specific and agreed set of technologies for an agreed-upon subscription cost. But, if your MSP only does time and materials on a break-fix basis, they aren’t an MSP.

It would help if you didn’t forget that an MSP is a Managed Service Provider. The effectiveness of managed services lies in their simplicity. They augment your competency rather than you shifting your operational complexities. Actual MSPs think beyond their scope, which benefits your entire landscape.

Final Words

If you’re not receiving the level of service you expected or if you feel your provider is not actively working to solve your issues during a contract period. This can happen, and you have the right to switch when it does.

When it comes to choosing a manage service provider in rockland county NY to handle your company’s tech needs, trust is key. Partner with Protected Harbor, when our members think of us, they don’t just think of us as an MSP. We are more than that.

We will walk you through the process of selecting the best solution for your company’s specific needs. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to our years of experience and you can manage all of your company’s IT tasks, request support, and configure your team’s profile settings.

If you need help managing your business, Protected Harbor is the go-to MSP in Hudson Valley New York. Together we will identify areas of improvement, outline a road map for change, and put a process in place to track your progress. Contact us for a free IT Audit.

How do leading MSPs differentiate themselves from the rest

how do leading MSPS differentiate themselves from the rest

 

How do leading MSPs differentiate themselves from the rest?

MSP’s operating model is a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive support.  This means one KPI for an MSP must be to ensure your IT doesn’t fail while ensuring optimal performance.

It all starts with a growth-oriented business model. The most successful MSPs focus on delivering genuine value to their customers, continually improving their offerings, and scaling their businesses. To grow their businesses, MSPs can focus on increasing the amount of business they do with existing customers, acquiring new customers, or increasing the average value of each customer. So, beyond keeping your IT lights on, MSPs that stand out provide good business value for their job. Here are a few differentiators of modern MSPs.

Advanced security offerings

Cyber-attacks are mainstream, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses. Threats are more frequent, targeted, and a lot more complex. According to a Accenture — Cost of Cybercrime Study report, around 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, and only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. A quality MSP company should ensure you are safe from online threats rather than waiting for the disaster. Instead of dealing with cyber attackers or ransom calls as they come, a good MSP can target vulnerabilities in advance and shut them down before it becomes a problem. Yes, some attacks can penetrate even the best of systems. However, robust threat prevention will de-risk the threat of an unexpected event. Your MSP must offer a comprehensive plan that can prevent even sophisticated threats.

Cloud services and automation

Modern MSPs are switching to cloud-native solutions and automation levers to improve the quality of their services. Cloud solutions provide scalability and on-demand disaster recovery to their clients. Automation brings efficiency with lower dependency on humans, thus reducing manual errors or discrepancies.

Innovation

Best IT service companies focus on innovation, which can benefit their customers. These companies know the importance of tracking the latest industry trends. With their help, you can utilize digital technologies to get ahead of competitors. Best MSPs are not stuck with their approach and technology and update their offerings based on trends, geography, and industry. For example, new forms of cybercrime develop every year. A company that focuses on innovation will know how to safeguard you from further attacks.

Value creation

Leading MSPs consult and advise on the best technologies or tools. They help build a customized program based on your business goals and strategic vision, manage the program’s implementation, and run daily operation and maintenance of those critical functions. MSPs must keep up to speed with the latest developments and develop new services to keep delivering value to their customers.

how do leading msps differentiate themselves middleCustomer Experience (CX)

CX has already been the buzzword for the last half a decade. The concept was initially driven by big consulting firms and is now necessary for IT customers. As modern users prefer being at the center of things, they expect self-service via knowledge forums, chatbots, and service catalogs, i.e., omnichannel communication. A helpdesk managed service provider supports these areas to improve your NPS and CSAT. Your in-house team can focus on the strategic aspects of improving tech adoption.

Adaptability and Resilience

The disruption caused by the pandemic demonstrated that adaptability and resilience — from both MSPs and their customers — are essential to survive. As companies adopt a hybrid working culture, MSPs must shift their operating model to suit the situation. E.g., MSPs need to equip their employees and clients with the right tools to support remote working remotely.

 

Conclusion

Top MSPs know how to stay ahead of the curve, keep their customers engaged, and offer value-added services that make their customers’ lives easier. As technology advances and changes the way businesses are done, MSPs must keep up with the latest trends. To stay ahead of the curve and deliver top-notched service to their clients, MSPs must stay informed about the latest technological advancements and customer demands.

Protected Harbor’s team of IT experts is dedicated to providing its clients with dependable IT solutions that meet their unique business needs. With its remote monitoring and management capabilities, our solution enables clients to access their IT team whenever needed — no matter where they are. As a hudson valley new york manage service provider we specialize in small- to mid-sized businesses and offer scalable and flexible services to fit client needs. We also offer 24/7 on-site or remote monitoring, data recovery, and an SLA. We offer a free consultation to help you determine the best solution for your business. Contact us today!

What To Look For In An MSP? Mention Some Qualities

What to look for in an MSP mention some qualities

 

What To Look For In An MSP? Mention Some Qualities

What To Look For In An MSPThe managed service provider business has risen rapidly in recent years, but what do you look for in an MSP partner?

The market has nearly doubled in value in the last five years, rising from $107 billion in 2014 to $193 billion today. By 2023, the market is estimated to reach $296 billion.

To address their IT demands, businesses increasingly turn to managed services partnerships.

This massive global expansion is an enormous surge in demand for outsourced IT services.

  • 75% of SMBs outsource at least a portion of their IT to a managed service provider (MSP).

SMBs, in particular, are finding managed services to be an appealing option to the more traditional in-house IT departments to which they have become accustomed.

Simple economics is the reason behind this. Simply put, hiring an MSP partner is substantially less expensive than hiring a whole internal IT workforce.

Here are some qualities to look for in a managed service provider.

  • Take a shared approach to managed services
  • Provide a flexible service model
  • Offer advanced services
  • Offer round-the-clock support
  • Support multiple time zones
  • Solid strategic relationship with your cloud provider
  • Leverage remote monitoring for proactive maintenance
  • Robust backup and disaster recovery plan
  • A dedicated, reliable, and single point of contact for your business
  • Work with your legal team to address compliance issues

How do I choose a managed service provider?

What should you look for in a Managed IT Services provider? This is a severe technology investment. Many fly-by-night companies offer managed IT that don’t have the track record, experience, or capacity to adequately serve your organization’s needs. To ensure you make a wise choice, review each vendor you consider with the following criteria.

Flexible, Scalable Plans:

What type of plan does the service provider offer? If they are complicated and have a lot of fine print, chances are you’ll be getting charged for a lot of stuff you don’t need, or else you’ll find yourself in crisis only to learn that certain services aren’t included in your service plan.

Look for a simple, easy-to-understand billing agreement with transparency around what is and isn’t included. If you’re unclear about anything in the contract, seek expert advice before signing. Avoid companies that want to lock you into a multi-year agreement but are reluctant to convey their responsibilities. Are they playing a leading role in continuous improvement and staying up to date with changing technology and data compliance regulations, are they playing a leading role?

Robust Customer Support:

It would help if you usually had it right away when you needed customer support. You don’t have time to wait until business hours begin in a different part of the world or try and explain a complex problem to a chatbot that can only deliver answers from a preprogrammed FAQ. Ask what kind of support is promised, when and how it will be given, and what your options are in an emergency.

What-To-Look-For-In-An-MSP 2Service Level Agreements:

Uptime is critical to your company. You aren’t making money if your organization isn’t accessible to your customer base. A service level agreement (SLA) will promise a certain level of uptime, typically well over 99%, and a response time during outages within a specific time frame. Suppose the Managed Services provider fails to meet these obligations. In that case, they will typically be subject to a penalty (often a free service period to compensate for their breach of service.)

Technical assistance and installation on-site

Engineers are trained subject-matter specialists who respond as a backup when a company needs maintenance or repairs.

They are in charge of designing and installing IT projects on-site and performing periodic check-up trips to ensure everything is functioning smoothly.

Remote monitoring and troubleshooting

Support groups capable of proactively monitoring the network functions of the company.

If a client has a problem requiring quick attention, a help desk should be available, or an engineer should be ready to solve the problem remotely without the client’s involvement.

This help should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Extensive support for cloud-based operations

Revenue from public cloud services was $182 billion in 2019; this year, it will reach $250 billion.

Cloud services quickly become the focal point for many small and midsize businesses as executives gain trust and recognize the benefits.

They are more secure than ever and offer various options for storing firm data and licensing software.

Your MSP partner should be able to demonstrate substantial cloud service provider partnerships.

Final Words

It may seem counterintuitive, but having your personnel manage every part of your IT infrastructure can hinder them from concentrating on duties that directly impact your bottom line. Hiring an MSP to supplement your IT team will allow your personnel to focus on enhancing your company’s efficiency, productivity, and creativity. Furthermore, the correct MSP will be there for you in the long run, allowing your company to grow to new heights.

Protected Harbor is not your typical MSP. We assist you in maximizing the benefits of current and emerging IT solutions so your business thrives. If you want to learn more about how outsourcing your IT can enhance your business’s productivity, contact us today for a FREE technology assessment, or read our FREE eBook.

Guide to Managed Service Providers

Guide to managed service providers

 

Guide to Managed Service Providers

 

Guide to Managed Service ProvidersWhat is a Managed Service Provider?

A Managed Service Provider maintains and manages your IT systems, including virus protection and control, day-to-day hardware and software administration, disaster recovery, operational efficiency, and end-user support.

MSP can provide the necessary technology to take your company to the next level. They assist your organization in transitioning to the digital age with optimum stability and control, allowing you to scale your business without incurring increased IT costs.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are responsible for providing their clients a wide range of IT services and support. The specific responsibilities of an MSP can vary depending on the needs of the client, but here are some of the primary responsibilities that an MSP may undertake:

  • Handling the management of IT infrastructure
  • Adding cybersecurity measures to IT
  • Providing technical support to staff
  • Managing user account access
  • Offering risk and compliance management
  • Handling contract management
  • Providing payroll services

How do MSPs work?

Managed service providers (MSPs) function as crucial partners in achieving organizational goals, offering tailored managed IT services for small businesses. As a leading managed IT services company, an MSP assesses a company’s current technical landscape, identifies areas for improvement, and seizes opportunities for enhancement.

Under a Service Level Agreement, an MSP delivers comprehensive IT-managed services, including help desk support, monitoring, security training, ongoing maintenance, and reporting. This agreement sets clear parameters for performance targets, response times, security assurances, and cost-effectiveness, ensuring a balanced approach to meeting the organization’s needs within its budget. With managed IT solutions from a trusted managed IT service provider, businesses can streamline operations, enhance security, and optimize their IT infrastructure for sustainable growth.

What does a managed service provider do?

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) work by providing a range of IT services to businesses, typically on a subscription or contractual basis. MSPs take care of the day-to-day IT needs of their clients, allowing them to focus on their core business operations.

A managed service provider augments your IT department to maintain, service, and support everything internet-related for your business, from configuring new devices to maintaining connectivity and supporting your infrastructure. On a high level, MSPs:

  • Offer 24/7 remote system monitoring
  • Provide End User Computing Support (desktop PCs, laptops, mobile devices)
  • Support your IT infrastructure, including servers (physical and virtual)
  • Monitor, update and maintain IT systems security
  • Fix network or internet problems
  • Accountable for data security, backups, and data recovery
  • Office 365 setup, hosting, and management
  • Mitigate risks related to data security, and cyberattacks
  • Report a monthly summary of your issues, preventive/restorative steps taken, and advice for future planning.
  • Create a Disaster Recovery Plan as part of your Business Continuity Strategy.

An MSP guarantees that you and your employees can access the internet, communicate with each other, manage data transfers, and maintain one or more websites. An MSP keeps your IT up-to-date, essential to the processes of marketing your products or services, driving sales and support for your customers, and completing all of the back-end administrative tasks related to inventory, data analysis, and more. Partnering with the right MSP means more security, service, productivity, and love from your user community.

Guide to Managed Service Providers 2Why Should you hire an MSP?

Traditionally, MSPs gained acceptance as companies tried cutting IT support and maintenance costs. Managing IT for a decent size business will need varying skill sets, in-house technical staff costs, hiring costs, tools/training costs, and other benefits for any permanent employees like insurance. An MSP, on the other hand, is cost-effective and efficient.

Plus, their cost is predictable. High-quality Managed IT Service Providers charge a flat monthly rate for proactive monitoring and maintenance of your workstations, servers, and IT infrastructure. Moreover, a proper IT-managed service provider aims to minimize IT downtime by preventing issues before they happen.

An IT service provider can also help you determine where you’re wasting money in “Nice-To-Haves or outdated systems” For example, perhaps you’re using an outdated Wi-Fi router, and maybe increasing your network’s bandwidth won’t provide you the expected result. Remember, working with an IT service provider will equip you with the latest trends and tech expertise. You can make well-informed decisions and find ways to cut costs and boost your team’s productivity

Some common signs you should hire a managed service provider.

  • IT cost is skyrocketing
  • Extra support for remote employees
  • Limited IT staff
  • Need help migrating
  • Facing excessive downtime
  • Want to grow strategically
  • Lack of system monitoring
  • Lack of compliance

Finally, with managed services, you’ll never have to worry about falling behind regarding your regulatory or legislative compliance. MSPs keep you updated with compliance laws, regulations, and procedures and thus avoid potential fines.

How much do managed service providers charge?

Prices for managed IT services can vary from company to company, and many factors can influence how much you’ll be invoiced. For example, the more users you have, the more devices (like desktops, laptops, tablets, printers, etc.) and licenses you must manage. Your MSP can define the cost model per user by knowing what you want to be addressed. Here are the most common cost models.

  1. Fixed Price or Flat Rate
  2. Per-User
  3. Per Device
  4. Metal Grading or Tiered
  5. Customized

Understanding that the best offering from an MSP will include a service that provides a high level of business availability paired with strategic thinking and advice is vital. And this will be at a cost that is considered less than the cost of downtime and consulting packages.

Even better, if your MSP charges you a fixed price, irrespective of downtime episodes or maintenance calls. Many MSPs charge or include X hours per month; if the client goes beyond, they pay extra. Actual MSPs always charge a flat rate.

Final Thoughts

A Managed IT Service delivers outsourced support, maintenance, and monitoring of your critical infrastructure and end-users. They augment you with the right expertise, including proactive device management to minimize future issues and reactive support when needed most. MSP supports your staff wherever using your technology, whether a more significant server or minor user issue. Also, MSPs can facilitate shifts and thrive in the post-COVID world by embracing innovation, flexibility, and agility.

And, like all relationships, you need to review your engagement to critically guarantee value for your money. Modern businesses leverage technology to stay competitive. So, your MSP must remain at the top of its game to keep your technology reliable. And we often hear from businesses working with their current provider for years but are too nervous about finding an alternative partner.

Changing providers comes with a perception of a complicated process that involves days of IT downtime and business disruption. Surprisingly or not, switching your MSP can be a cakewalk when you find the right partner.

If you are unsure of your MSP, we will audit and discover your potential areas of improvement.

We start every engagement with a discovery process to identify your business goals, risk areas, and technological priorities. We then create a strategic plan mapped to your business goals and provide ongoing monitoring and measurement to track the success of our solution.

Protected Harbor’s team of engineers, consultants, and certified technicians work with you to implement the best-fit technology to meet your organizational goals. You benefit from working with one trusted partner who understands your unique organizational goals.

Protected Harbor manages your IT infrastructure from soup to nuts. We’ve covered everything from email to teleconferencing, website hosting, cloud storage, and computer repair. We stay on top of your technological demands daily, keeping the lights on and providing strategic guidance to higher-ups.

If you’re looking for hudson valley new york manage service provider, or in rockland county, then you are at the right place. Protected Harbor offers customized IT solutions to businesses looking to scale their technology, and we’re on a mission to give you the best customer service possible. To do that, we are constantly innovating to make sure you have the best experience with our products.

As one of our customers, you can expect excellent service, quick response times, and an eager team to help. We are not your average MSP. We are engineers, software developers, analysts, designers, and lifelong learners. We offer a tailored approach to managed services that meet each client’s unique needs. Contact us today for a free IT Audit.

A complete guide to managed cyber security services

a complete guide to managed cybersecurity services

A Complete Guide to Managed Cybersecurity Services

The cyber-world is changing faster than ever, and it leaves organizations, individuals, and small businesses vulnerable to cybercrimes. They need to adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity plan to protect themselves against risks and threats. Implementing and testing controls, and regularly maintaining and monitoring the security management programs using reliable and trustworthy managed cybersecurity services can help mitigate risks and potential cyber-attacks.

Has your business ever dealt with malware, virus infection, or cyberattacks? Cyber attacks’ damage to companies ranges from unauthorized access through a relatively simple attack to a large-scale breach of critical data that can result in prolonged downtime. It damages your company’s reputation and the confidence of your investors and customers. Do not let a cyber incident destroy your organization. Managed services from a cybersecurity company can help you optimize your organization’s security posture.

Managed cybersecurity services are a crucial component of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. This article will discuss managed cybersecurity services, why it is essential for organizations, and how an excellent cybersecurity company benefits you. So, let’s get started.

What are Managed Cybersecurity Services?

Third-party providers give managed cybersecurity services to administer an organization’s security processes. These small business cyber security services implement, monitor, maintain and enhance an enterprise’s cybersecurity posture. Managed cybersecurity service providers (MSSP) provide security services ranging from setting up infrastructure via security management or incident response. Some services providers specialize in specific areas, while others give complete outsourcing of an organization’s information security program.

As security threats and cyber incidents are becoming increasingly common, many businesses are partnering with managed cybersecurity service providers in addition to their existing small business cybersecurity programs. They provide expert monitoring and management, protecting data and hardware from potential cyber-attacks. MSSP manages and implements security programs for organizations. These include

  • Managed firewalls
  • Intrusion detectioncyber security
  • Blocking viruses and spam
  • Implementing upgrades or system changes
  • Setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Security and compliance audits
  • Security assessment and reporting
  • System monitoring
  • Penetration testing
  • Security analytics

Moreover, a good cybersecurity company helps you monitor the security devices and systems in a workspace. Most MSSPs provide a wide range of cybersecurity small business services, such as

  • Log monitoring and management
  • Device management
  • Vulnerability management
  • Consultancy services

Managed cybersecurity service providers generally offer a whole suite of managed IT services. They typically provide cyber security to help organizations with their basic security needs.

cyber attackWhy are Managed Cybersecurity Services Necessary?

Organizations need to consider the importance of managed security services to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. MSSPs can be a valuable resource for companies that want to maximize their security but do not have the resources to manage an in-house cybersecurity team. These services provide strategies and designs to give a robust security posture.

MSSPs shield organizations against cyber threats and strengthen their cyber defense. They use a multilayered defense strategy to protect your organization from different angles. It means they do not only safeguard you from external threats, such as network intrusions or malware, but also security from the security breaches caused by employees accidentally or deliberately.

Opting for managed cybersecurity services provide

  • Information security assessment_ Examine the maturity of your company’s information security programs, identify their weaknesses and gaps, and provide opportunities for improvement. Choose a good cybersecurity company and identify the risks to your business.
  • Data governance_ These services help you handle a large volume of data and enhance your cybersecurity posture through efficient data management.
  • Advanced security solutions_ These include anti-malware software, managed firewalls, web filtering, intrusion detection, multi-factor authentication, access management, and patch management.
  • Dedicated security analysts_ MSSPs provide specialists who detect critical flaws in your IT infrastructure and recommend security measures to mitigate the risk of a security breach.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM)_ tracks security-related incidents in your IT environment, such as suspicious downloads or failed logins. It then examines the incident and creates comprehensive security reports.
  • Incident investigation and response_ If a security breach occurs, security experts immediately remediate the threat, assess the damage, and find the attack’s origin.
  • Threat hunting_ Security experts proactively identify and isolate evasive threats for existing security solutions.
  • Risk and compliance_ They align your GRC operations to business performance drivers using frameworks such as PCI/DSS, GDPR, NIST, NYDFS, ISO, and others with IT security service programs.
  • Penetration testing and phishing_ Effective security comes with a clear understanding of your IT infrastructure’s critical flaws and vulnerabilities. Phishing assessment and penetration testing protect your organization against security threats.
  • Security awareness training_ Educate your organization’s employees about your security posture’s strengths and weaknesses, and empower them against hackers. Good managed cybersecurity service providers ensure your employees stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Why is it Important to Choose an Excellent Cybersecurity Company?

A robust cybersecurity system is crucial for any organization in today’s digital landscape. Excellent cybersecurity for small business companies can help protect sensitive information and assets from potential cyber threats, prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks, maintain privacy and comply with regulations, minimize business downtime and financial losses, and enhance the organization’s overall security posture, reducing the risk of cyber incidents. In short, it helps to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information and systems.

There is a wide range of managed cybersecurity service providers today. Identifying your organization’s security needs and engaging a good cybersecurity company to address them is essential. Before partnering with a provider dealing with cybersecurity for small business, security and IT teams need to plan carefully around which operations need to be outsourced. Once you have mapped out your requirements, it is necessary to research the best service providers and shortlist a few of them. Meet them and check customer feedback before hiring them. Because a good cybersecurity company is one that

  • Optimize controls
  • Improve governance
  • Reduce the TCO of the risk
  • Optimize security posture
  • Strengthen security processes
  • Reduce legal risks
  • Increase profitability
  • Provides scalability

Why Choose Protected Harbor for Managed Cybersecurity Services?

Protected Harbor provides managed cybersecurity services and cyber resilience regardless of the size of your organization. Our cybersecurity services provide organizations with the most effective tools, solutions, services, processes, policies, and practices to protect their intellectual properties, security posture, and financial assets. We provide cybersecurity assessments that help you understand your security posture, detect vulnerabilities in them, and set the baseline for improvement.

Moreover, our managed services include multi-factor authentication, endpoint protection, next-generation firewall, device encryption, and email security. We provide a robust solution to defend against cyber-attacks and let you drastically reduce implementation efforts, cost, and maintenance requirements. With our team of highly skilled experts, we allow our clients to build cyber resilience, innovate safely, and grow with confidence. Contact us today for an IT audit.

What Can Be Done to Fix Quality Assurance?

why quality assurance sucks and what to do about it

 

Why Quality Assurance Sucks And What To Do About It?

THIS IS WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN:   Why Quality Assurance Sucks – Traditional quality assurance only covers the application layer of a business’s software stack. Your IT company cannot verify whether an application, specific functions, or the entire system will respond reliably under extreme loads or unusual circumstances. A failure at any software stack or application layer can disrupt your customer and cost you money.  If your IT company uses traditional QA testing methods, they will never catch problem conditions before they happen. At Protected Harbor, we simulate events on mirror stacks that we know have the potential to cause problems, like network latency. Our engineers proactively attack these issues by affecting how clients’ systems respond to failures in a safe and controlled environment.

Quality assurance (QA) means avoiding issues in delivering solutions or services to clients by preventing mistakes or flaws in manufactured items.

It is a significant part of setting up a network system. Its importance grows with the network-related project complexity. QA workers need to organize and plan system maintenance to avoid interruptions.

Performing network security checks for data protection and the network’s backup plan is crucial to maintaining a good quality network. Moreover, other job responsibilities should also be considered and executed efficiently, such as managing the installation, testing, and troubleshooting voice and data network systems. Negligence of these primary responsibilities can be trouble for the customers.

 

1. The Indefinite Vision Of Quality

The core of an operational QA program is total commitment. The problems related to quality assurance programs mainly arise from not having a distinct target or aim to achieve.

Everyone is aware of the importance of QA, but is your QA team inspired to maintain a creative perspective and ready to go out of the way to achieve their goal? If not, then let’s delve in deep and look out if they are treated as essential members of the team? We don’t think so.

Mostly QA team is hired from a pool of fresh-faced teenagers eager to get into the business in whatever way they can. Quality Assurance standards very rarely go beyond the performance benchmark.

 

2. Lack Of QA Guidelines

Insufficient guidelines are significant problems that arise while discussingWhy Quality Assurance Sucks.”

Most of the time, many different QA engineers are trusted with the responsibility of QA for a single network project. Since each engineer uses a different testing style, maintaining the testing framework becomes messy. No proper rule or guideline is provided to the employees for executing the

 

3. Lack Of Resources And Time

Indeed working with poor network performance is a challenge for network engineers. With the absence of appropriate equipment at endpoints and midpoints along the way, it’s out of the question to provide the high-speed communication needed by today’s applications.

Moreover, the QA responsibility has only been given to the QA workers, as it is believed that each department has its responsibilities. The management is not interested in demanding quality work from the whole staff. All in all, they have not felt responsible for fixing errors or flaws that challenge quality. Due to the sufficient amount of tasks and insufficient amount of time, working becomes distressing for QA workers.

 

4. Lack Of Technology

Technology allows firms to improve remarkably and enhances their skillsets greatly. Numerous technical tools can assist QA companies, but they are resistant to use. Moreover, negligence of the problems has also been noticed in this domain.

Although several companies spot issues and deficiencies, they are not ready to invest in quality equipment. The company needs to promptly repair and replace the equipment to flourish and be successful. It could break the rhythm of QA if it is not ensured that the same set of tools produces consistent results.

quality assurance

5. Reward Structure And Lack Of Motivation

Everybody who hires the network engineers objects to the QA performance. But nobody considers the reason behind it. If the maximum incentive given to a QA worker is to become a leader and then move to another department, how much can a QA care about their job? Not much, right? Moreover, several employees are hired on contract at low wages, then get let go when a project is complete.

 

How Can Quality Assurance Be Made More Effective?

  • QA workers should be instructed not to cut corners and sacrifice their company’s long-term interests for short-term gains.
  • Giving proper development guidelines will help increase the maintainability of testing automation chambers. Early implementation of these guidelines can prevent headaches while managing IT services.
  • Moreover, creating specific hiring standards will help hire the right employees and know their expectations.
  • QA programs should maintain consistent quality, such as evaluating the evaluators regularly and documenting all the QA definitions; this can help in Application Outage Avoidance (AOA).
  • Finally and most importantly, QA engineers should be respected and rewarded for the quality of their work rather than the number of bugs they identify.

 

Final Thoughts

Quality assurance is an essential part of the network system. But this system faces several important issues that arise and form hindrances in progress.

Acknowledging these issues as soon as possible can ensure the QA jobs’ reliability and enhance the Data Protection facility. Also, make sure that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same objective of producing error-free software.

Protected Harbor is a US-based IT firm that provides a full range of services for corporate technology issues, including malware, spyware, virus protection, cloud-based access, support, repair, and other IT help. We provide technological stability and durability to businesses, allowing computers, data centers, and apps to work smoothly.

At Protected Harbor, you’ll benefit from a solid quality assurance program. Our QA software is intended to make quality assurance as simple, accessible, and inclusive as possible in every workplace. We simulate events on mirror stacks that we know can cause problems, like network latency. Our engineers proactively attack these issues by acting on how clients’ systems respond to failures in a safe and controlled environment.

Other MSPs approach vs. Protected Harbor Customer-centric approach

Other MSPs approach vs Protected Harbor

 

Other MSPs approach vs. Protected Harbor Customer-centric approach

The arrival of the internet opened new doors and pushed the IT industry in new directions. With the growing consumer base of the internet and accompanying challenges, a need for solution makers became indispensable. Several IT solution providers, including value-added resellers (VAR) and managed service providers (MSP), came into play. They offered their services and solutions to the industry, such as infrastructure management and cloud servers. A solution provider is simply a vendor who answers all your IT needs with their products. These MSPs competed not only to capture the industry by taking small and mid-scale enterprises as their clients but to deliver cost-effective solutions to every need of the customers. Click here to know more about the IT solution providers, VAR and MSP.

What do they have in common?

After expanding cloud computing in the IT sector, they have broadened IT solution possibilities further. The solution providers now offer Infrastructure as a service (IAAS), software as a service (SaaS), desktop as a service (DaaS), and other on-demand offerings. The solution provider either builds and manages its cloud services or recommends (resells) the services of a public cloud provider like Amazon web services or Microsoft azure.

An IT solution provider, Value-added reseller, or Managed service provide what all of them have in common: they are simply software reselling, services, and pre-bundled packages in the name of a solution. For example, if your system is affected by viruses, they will provide you with the antivirus of any XYZ company. After installing it on your computer, if the product key is not working or you suffer from a data loss, the solution provider is not responsible. The same applies to most MSPs as they resell the cloud and infrastructure management services from a public cloud provider. If you face a technical issue, the provider plays the middle man forwarding your concerns to the original service provider while you are rendered helpless. These are not managed security services by any means as they lack the infrastructure to solve or eliminate any potential threats by themselves and rely on the end managed services network.

These solution providers and MSPs are just selling pre-bundled package solutions designed to attract most consumers and solve their percentage problems. The point to note is that no two clients are the same. Small-scale and mid-scale enterprises have their own set of requirements and issues. They switch to managed services companies as they are the most efficient options in the market compared to setting up your own data center infrastructure management (DCIM). Conclusively, the IT managed service companies follow the product-centric approach to design a product and sell it to as many people as possible rather than the customer-centric approach to design a specific product for one particular client.

Protected Harbor’s customer-centric approach. How is it different?

We follow a seamless 360-degree approach while catering to the clients, and the process is integral to our brand’s culture. Protected Harbor’s market differentiator is highly customer-centric, keeping the customer at the center and formulating a strategy focusing on delivering the best experience by providing tailor-made solutions for every individual customer.
Being among the top managed security service providers, we keep customers at the center of our business philosophy and foster a positive experience at every stage of the customer’s journey.

Protected Harbor has its own hosted, in-house servers and networking equipment to eliminate costs, redundancies, and security risks. The hardware investment made by Protected Harbor is a critical factor in providing a positive experience to the customer. This increases control over safety and security with the flexibility to design and deliver services as per demand. We take pride and accountability for the security of the clients’ data with exceptional infrastructure management. The issues are solved in-house rather than waiting for the third-party, public service provider to do so.

The technology improvement plan is another benchmark strategy followed by Protected Harbor. We listen to customers’ needs, assess what needs to be done, and design the system accordingly. It’s an ongoing development strategy that suggests the best possible steps to enhance the experience and elate the customers. Customer satisfaction is the core of our business, and we challenge ourselves to exceed the expectations.

 

The Differences Between Managed Services and Professional Services

When comparing other MSPs to Protected Harbor’s customer-centric approach, understanding the differences between Managed Services and Professional Services is key.

  • Managed Services: Managed Services involve proactive, ongoing management of an organization’s IT infrastructure by an external provider, such as Protected Harbor. This approach focuses on preventative maintenance, monitoring, and support to ensure optimal performance and security. Clients benefit from continuous monitoring, updates, and comprehensive support, including remote IT support services and help desk support, to minimize downtime. Additionally, Managed Services include data backup and disaster recovery services for data resilience and continuity in disruptions.
  • Professional Services: Professional Services are project-based engagements, such as IT consulting and system design. While they offer valuable expertise and solutions for specific projects, they lack ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Clients may engage Professional Services for specialized projects but still require additional support, like help desk support or remote IT support services, for day-to-day operations.
  • Protected Harbor’s Approach: Protected Harbor combines both approaches with a customer-centric focus. We prioritize personalized solutions, providing comprehensive Managed Services including remote IT support services, data backup and recovery, and help desk support. Our commitment ensures clients receive the attention and assistance needed to achieve their IT goals effectively.

In summary, while Managed Services focus on ongoing management and support, Professional Services are project-based. Protected Harbor integrates both, setting us apart and empowering clients to succeed.

 

The choice is yours!

Since it’s no longer a secret as to how we do it and deliver industry-leading quality services, with the complete focus on customer satisfaction, we exceed the limits and expectations with our feature-rich cloud services, data center management, all-around IT support, and security 99.99% uptime with application outage avoidance (AOA). To move forward with a software reselling MSP or a dedicated customer-centric, IT-managed service provider. The choice is relatively simple.