What’s an MSP? Do You Need One?

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)? How is it related to IT support and management. Portland and Beaverton Oregon's best MSP, Fixed Fee IT runs through if your company needs one in this helpful article.

There are a few key elements that distinguish MSPs from other IT companies, including:
  • Technical support for your employees
  • Management of your IT systems and infrastructure, not exclusively “ala carte” services
  • Act as an IT partner instead of an IT vendor to ensure your meet compliance standards
  • Heightened focus on cybersecurity
  • Offer strategic planning for your technological needs

The specific services different MSPs offer can vary significantly. However, there are common denominators you can expect from an IT team that manages most of your technology needs. Find out what they are below, or skip to our infographic.

Help Desk

A qualified MSP will have a dedicated help desk for all your immediate and ongoing requests. Locked out of your computer? Is your email not working? Help desk team members will be available to assist you with minimal wait times.


Your IT infrastructure can vary in size and complexity, but generally includes computers, mobile phones, servers, and networks. With an MSP, all of these systems are managed and regularly updated to ensure everything is working properly. If your business is growing and needs to upgrade to a different setup, an MSP can also recommend the best options for you.


Many industries, such as legal, finance, and accounting, have unique requirements due to the vast amount of stored personal information. A trustworthy MSP will have experience in your specific industry and will understand the proper way to help protect your company data. There are dedicated experts on the team who will work alongside you to ensure all compliance requirements are met.

Certain MSPs even conduct internal audits, like the AICPA’s SOC 2® audit, to prove their dedication to following rigorous processes, standards, and compliance measures. Find out more about the SOC 2® Type 2 audit.


One of the most evident distinguishing traits between an MSP and a smaller IT shop is cybersecurity. MSPs have team members that focus on staying up to date on the latest security standards, procedures, and practices for your company, as well as identifying potential security risks. Some areas where MSPs offer next-level security support include:

  • Regular cyber-security training for your employees
  • The latest in security practices, like MFA, password management, and more
  • Regularly updating your systems and devices

Another key difference you will experience with an MSP is team members who are focused on your company’s IT strategy. Instead of simply resolving tech issues as they occur, MSPs offer strategic planning to proactively tackle elements before an issue arises. Trusted MSPs focus on the future success of your company with regular meetings and recommendations specific to your industry. You will have an entire team at your fingertips to help ensure your company’s unique needs are met

Have questions about making the switch to a Managed Service Provider? Contact our team of experts for advice and more tips.

Looking to learn more? Check out our video on 4 Assumptions You Need to Stop Making about your MSP!

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