Companies turn to IT specialists to help them improve their organization’s security, exposure, communication, and overall efficiency. However, some find it difficult to decide whether they need an IT consultant or a managed IT services provider (MSP). Do they have the same function? Can a business only have one and not the other?
This is why it is important to know the subtle differences between them to see which one best fits your company’s needs.
The primary role of an experienced and knowledgeable information technology consultant is to offer advice, suggest guidelines, and create a road map for sourcing, utilizing, and managing your business’s IT assets and resources.
These road maps are customized to the needs of every business and are designed to help expand, innovate, and reach company objectives and targets.
Managed services provider (MSP)
An MSP is an outsourced third-party company that provides remote and customized 24/7/365 monitoring and maintenance of your IT infrastructure.
MSPs employ tech experts who resolve IT issues, manage equipment, and keep your company up to date with all the advances in technology.
In a nutshell, MSPs can put into action the strategic IT plans that the IT consultant has provided your business. But this is also where the distinct roles of an IT consultant and MSP blur and overlap.
Some companies expect IT consultants to do both roles of planning and recommending solutions and then help them implement these solutions. On the other hand, most MSPs also offer IT consulting via virtual chief information officers (vCIOs) who also provide expert advice and recommendations that fit your company’s needs and budget.
To help lessen the confusion, here are some differences between IT consultants and MSPs that keep them distinct from one another.
An IT consultant almost always charges by the hour as compensation for the services they will render your company, putting a costly strain on your budget. MSPs, on the other hand, offer cost-effective plans along with top-quality services to fit your budget.
MSPs essentially work for your business round-the-clock and in real time to ensure that your IT infrastructure is secure anytime of the day. IT consultants have physical limitations and only focus on the daily operations of the company.
IT consultants may not be as bold as MSPs in suggesting more innovative ideas for businesses. They work with what they know from experience, while MSPs more readily adopt advances in technology.
MSPs can be scaled to the needs of the business so that you only pay for what your business really needs. On the other hand, IT consultants can come and go. Without continuity, the timeline of your business suffers because new consultants will always need time to learn about your business, examine what previous consultants have done, and come up with effective solutions.
IT consultants are more reactive. They respond to an unanticipated event after it has happened and then draft solutions for avoiding this from happening again. On the other hand, MSPs like JAD Technologies take a proactive approach by identifying potential problems and eliminating them before they become full-blown issues.
So, does a business need both these services?
Yes. Small- to medium-sized companies especially benefit from both IT consultants and MSPs. IT consultants can help them get on the right track with their IT infrastructure. They can tap into the specialized working skills of the consultant and years of experience to craft the best IT strategy for the company.
When the business is ready to expand further, they can then partner with an MSP that can provide them with a more comprehensive IT support, monitoring, and maintenance. Enterprises can also keep an IT consultant and just outsource their other IT needs as they see fit.
Whichever you choose, both IT consultants and MSPs have one goal in mind — to help businesses achieve optimum productivity and efficiency with technology.
Partner with an MSP that your company can trust. JAD Technologies offers organizations in Norwalk, Westport, and Darien expert and full-service IT support. Get the best service for your company today. Give us a call now.