It’s tough being a small-to-medium business these days. Competition is fierce and costs are going up while prices are coming down. Technology continues to evolve rapidly but cash-strapped SMBs are often forced to make do with what they have for an IT infrastructure and business applications, putting patches on legacy systems and only fixing what breaks.
According to a recent SMB survey conducted by IT industry trade association CompTIA, a scant 17 percent of SMBs are actually satisfied with their current state of technology while 47 percent claim to be, at best, slightly to moderately satisfied or, worse, not happy at all with their technology infrastructure.
Because many SMBs simply lack the in-house resources to properly maintain their IT environments they often turn to managed services providers (MSPs) for help. But here’s the problem: MSPs and IT technology consultants typically manage only the fundamental IT infrastructure – the operating system, hardware and network. What they don’t touch is the crucial other half of the IT puzzle – the business applications and operational systems and processes that actually run the company.
There’s a good reason traditional MSPs won’t touch this stuff. Modern manufacturers depend heavily on complex core applications such as ERP, CRM, and SCM; sophisticated resource management strategies and methodologies such as these require the integration and utilization of a broad range of skill sets, experience, and resources that are beyond the scope and abilities of conventional MSPs. Advanced IT environments require managed services that go beyond just the OS and network hardware to applications and business and operational processes that drive productivity.
Integrated managed services providers: the next generation of MSPs
What’s emerging today is the next generation of managed services – integrated managed services providers (iMSPs) with the skill sets and depth of resources to provide not only system and OS operational support, but comprehensive business and application consulting to optimize and manage the entire IT environment. From the server plug in the wall to the desktop application screens, from the operations/management suite to the manufacturing ﬂoor, iMSPs can provide the comprehensive strategic and tactical support required by today’s manufacturers.
To learn more about integrated managed services and how your company or organization can benefit from partnering with an iMSP, download our latest white paper, The Next Generation MSP: How SMBs can benefit from integrated managed services.