Managed service providers perform an arsenal of outsourced tasks, including cloud deployment and migration, advanced data analytics, and IoT and network installation. Managed services can take place on premises or in the provider’s data center. When companies don’t want to design or manage their own IT infrastructure, managed service providers handle administrative IT tasks for them.
Managed service providers, or MSPs, can manage one component of IT or all of them. Typically, customers pay a set amount for services, rather than paying extra when an issue arises; this is why MSPs can be less expensive than in-house IT. MSPs are also a good choice for companies that want to outsource administrative IT work and free up time for their IT personnel to work on bigger projects and innovation.
Choosing a Managed Service Provider
A good managed service provider should work very closely with clients to develop a solution that helps them grow and also works best for their business. Rather than doing everything in a silo, reliable MSPs talk with clients, planning infrastructure work, cloud migrations, or software deployments together. Good MSPs form a legitimate working partnership with customers.
Ideally, managed service providers work toward innovation. Companies will want different levels of innovation — perhaps one business just wants an MSP to keep an eye on their old storage servers — but overall, if customers want their company to grow over a sustained period of time, it’s wise to find an MSP that wants to help them transform their networks, cloud environments, or cybersecurity. An excellent MSP updates technology and meets industry standards without getting bogged down by old ideas and legacy systems.
Good managed service providers are available and easy to reach. Though all software providers should have good customer service and support, it’s especially crucial that MSPs are easy to contact, responsive, and helpful, because they’re running some or all of your IT infrastructure. Partnership between clients and MSPs is essential.
Make sure that your company’s and MSP’s goals are aligned. This might never be an issue, but if your chief technology officer and the MSP have differing goals for a data center, you may want to consider a provider whose services fit your business more closely.
Choose an MSP that’s compliant with all relevant regulations. This could include data protection regulations and cybersecurity guidelines but isn’t restricted to them.
Other important qualities in a provider include 24/7 network monitoring availability in case of downtime, disaster recovery and backup capabilities, and rock-solid security.
Top Managed Service Providers
For businesses that want heavily data-driven services
Accenture specializes in managing data analytics and cloud migration processes. Through Accenture, customers can implement software like SAP HANA and launch cloud platforms. They can also utilize automation and agile operating models in their hybrid cloud deployment.
Accenture provides managed IoT and edge device services, recognizing that IoT platforms involve many components — applications, data, devices, and engines (such as cloud environments). Accenture innovates business use of connected vehicles, IoT, and augmented reality. It also improves industrial technology by using platforms like machine learning and AI.
- Improve networks so that they can meet current business needs and expectations
- Include cloud, wireless devices, IoT, and software-defined networking
- Help companies install edge devices and networks.
- Help communications service providers facilitate 5G-based network transformation through Intelligent Network Operations.
- Help clients launch software-defined solutions with Dynamic Network Services.
For organizations that want a strongly innovative MSP to digitally transform their operations
Capgemini provides opportunities for clients to test processes, including new innovations. Capgemini helps those clients grow their technology and implement infrastructure and software platforms. It’s particularly strong in managing technology for application development and research. Capgemini makes hybrid cloud a priority in its business offerings; it has a four-step plan to move companies from the advisory and analysis stage to migration and execution of a cloud environment.
Capgemini’s services include:
- Intelligent automation and application data management solutions
- Software quality testing, such as DevOps QA and agile methodology
- Industry 4.0, AI, 5G, and edge technologies through its Intelligent Industry option
- Intelligent Industry for factories and other manufacturing locations where edge, intelligence, and wireless communications between workers are important.
- Strong partnership with VMware; it staffs professionals trained in VMware technology and can help clients use the software in data centers and helps businesses move toward software-defined data center transformation.
- A cloud platform that’s combined with VMware’s hybrid cloud; this environment runs on AWS.
For businesses that want a strong partner for implementing cloud or digitally transforming
New Jersey-based provider Cognizant offers data-based strategy engineering, infrastructure, cloud, AI, IoT, and application services. Cognizant partners with businesses to help them implement cloud environments and transform their digital infrastructure.
Cognizant’s many business partners include Oracle, AWS, Cisco, Cloudera, Google Cloud, Nutanix, Salesforce, and VMware. It’s particularly strong in helping businesses implement cloud solutions, receiving especially high praise from clients who moved to Oracle HCM Cloud through Cognizant.
The company also has multiple enterprise IT infrastructure services, including hybrid cloud services for designing and migrating cloud environments. Digital workplace services allow clients to plan for work transformation, remote work and collaboration, and analytics and automation, using the platform WorkNEXT.
Cognizant’s AI services offer:
- Data modernization — advanced, modern data analytics and a cloud-based, compliant data architecture
- Intelligent decisioning — a niche term for making data-driven business decisions and deciding more quickly
- Consulting — strongly data-focused partnership between Cognizant and its clients.
For organizations that need a provider strong in finance and supply chain management
Deloitte, founded in 1845 and based in the UK, offers many managed services under its enterprise tech and performance umbrella, including cyber and strategic risk advisory, Oracle, SAP, ERP, and technology strategy and transformation. Enterprise tech and performance deals with finance, supply chain, and IT operations. It also includes multiple SAP software solutions. Customers can use SAP to migrate from legacy tech to advanced enterprise platforms or financially transform through S/4 HANA, SAP’s ERP solution..
Deloitte’s technology strategy and transformation service helps companies design a long-term roadmap for data and infrastructure change. Agility advisory teams deploy systems and engineering for clients. Deloitte also offers Oracle and Salesforce services and an IoT solution, deploying it in business operations where it’s most effective or helpful.
The IoT solution allows clients to:
- Track all inventory items
- Manage necessary updates through sensors
- Use big data analytics to improve sensor data use
- Employ mixed reality for remote workers.
Its application managed services help businesses with:
- systems integration
- information management.
Tata Consultancy Services
For businesses that need a unique selection or large variety of services
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), based in India, offers a range of services for a wide variety of industries. Among Tata’s services are cloud, blockchain, and cybersecurity. Tata partners with AWS, Google, and Microsoft, the three major cloud providers, for its public cloud offerings.
Tata compares the cloud to ERP solutions, calling it “the new ERP”, and helps businesses to create a roadmap for moving to the cloud. Blockchain services include solutions for designing blockchain developments and testing models, working on blockchain innovations for your business, and implementing a blockchain platform, including risk mitigation.
Tata’s cybersecurity services include:
- Security for Microsoft cloud environments
- Identity and access management for multicloud
- Consent management and data subject rights, which automates compliance with data privacy regulations
- DevSecOps services for business applications and systems.
For small to medium businesses that need strong security
Based in San Francisco, TruAdvantage serves Bay-area businesses with 24/7 help-desk style support and multiple services. Its IT support services offer computer system and network monitoring and management, remotely managed from TruAdvantage’s data center. Its backup and disaster recovery services apply appropriate data retention enforcement, for onsite and offsite server and desktop data.
TruAdvantage is an IT support partner for legal firms, helping them comply with data privacy and protection regulations with security that allows them to meet legal standards. Legal firm services include disaster recovery and business continuity for client files and data. The company has a strong security focus, offering antivirus and patching to customers.
The backup and recovery services offer:
- Full replicas of servers and desktops
- Server and desktop restoration
- 15-minute backup intervals for critical data
- Pay-as-you-go payment plans.
For businesses focused on cloud or needing a cloud migration
Founded in 1945, long-standing, India-based managed service provider Wipro focuses on cloud and infrastructure solutions. The company also manages multicloud environments and helps businesses develop and deploy cloud-first methodologies and migrate data to the cloud. It also offers digital transformation.
Wipro’s AI platform, HOLMES, called “cognitive automation” by the provider, can work with managed services: it’s augmented intelligence intended to help C-suite customers improve their business products and services.
- Application services for application development and digital transformation
- Data analytics services with AI, data engineering, and machine learning
- Digital operations and platform services for next-generation tech and business intelligence
- Consulting services that help businesses best utilize advanced technology in their operations and systems.