What is a managed service provider (MSP)?

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Managed service providers (MSP) are businesses that offer multiple, managed, information technology (IT) services to other businesses. MSPs today largely deliver their services remotely, over a network, although they may maintain other revenue streams that require onsite support.

Historically managed IT service providers serve small to medium-sized businesses, but now the landscape is shifting to include those who work with mid-market companies and enterprises. This means that the services MSPs offer depend on the customers they serve. For example, SMBs can engage managed service providers for basic IT needs (e.g. email solutions, data storage, hardware repair, software updates) and/or specialized offerings, like data protection. For growing or larger businesses, MSPs may be hired to augment in-house expertise – from vetting niche solutions and implementing them to reevaluating in-house IT needs and capacity as a company scales.

Of course, MSPs can specialize too – offering only niche services, like cyber security.

Managed service providers

What is a managed service provider (MSP) business model?

A good way to understand the managed services concept is by comparing it to break/fix services:

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