Achieving success as an IT Support Provider or Managed Service Provider doesn’t need to be difficult. When you build your business on the proper foundation. IT Support is needed by just about every small business that uses computer systems. Outsourced support is a very attractive solution for small business owners, and is therefore in high-demand. And providing this support has become incredibly affordable for the IT Consultant.

Realize that most of the readers of this document probably focus more on supporting the small business market rather than the residential market, but the same exact principals hold true. Whether you operate on a break/fix model, a flat-fee managed service provider, or a hybrid of the two, you still need to evaluate what your financial requirements are and what you need from your client base to meet those financial requirements. Flat-fee managed services provider can provide you with clients that are more productive and better satisfied with your services, while giving you a more reliable.

Financial institutions increasingly rely on a wide variety of service providers to support an array of technology-related functions. Outsourcing information technology to management service providers may provide banks with a variety of benefits including access to expert technology skills, lower costs, and increased productivity. However, these arrangements also may alter the risk profile of the institution. Specifically, risk management processes involving outsourced activities are often distributed among several companies and may necessitate a coordinated contract oversight approach by bank management.

Each financial institution will want to consider the most appropriate risk management service provider strategy when contracting for technology services. Assigning a lead contractor and utilizing inter-provider service level agreements are two techniques that, if deployed correctly, can assist the institution in managing risks related to complex technology outsourcing arrangements. A multiple management service provider relationship typically involves an environment where two or more service providers collaborate to deliver an end-toend solution to the financial institution.

Each one of the service providers has their own core competence and focus area. Together, these providers strive to deliver an integrated service and solutions package to the bank. The nature of the contractual relationship between the service providers and the bank often varies from institution to institution. In many cases, institutions use a lead provider who, in turn, subcontracts with other service providers. Direct “stand-alone” contracts between the bank and each of its service providers represent another common approach.

As smaller companies are increasingly becoming more dependent on IT systems, it has become very crucial to find cost effective ways to manage technology. Growth-oriented companies need a well-organized IT infrastructure so that they can focus on the business instead of trying to solve IT failures. However, having a complete IT department is not a vible solution for most small businesses, and very few small companies can afford to deploy even one permanent IT employee. Fortunately, there is an emerging and quickly growing service known as “Managed IT Services Provider” that is proving to be quite helpful in managing small business technology. Managed IT services provider are provided by an outside firm or IT consulting company. These days, a growing number of IT vendors, resellers, and telecom carriers are providing managed IT service providers based on remote, proactive monitoring of company networks on an ongoing basis with minimal involvement of the small business owners. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) employ consultants who specialize in small business networks, computer support, and security. Generally, managed IT services are delivered from a remote location via the Internet, but on-site proactive and emergency services are also provided when necessary. Services range from basic monitoring to fully managed services. Overall support for day-to-day operations and on-demand support for any other major need is also provided by these IT consulting groups. Managed services are usually provided on flat monthly fee or per device basis.

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