An IT managed service provider (MSP) is an outsourced third-party that takes on the complete responsibility of managing the IT infrastructure of your school. This involves providing organisations with a range of services including hardware maintenance, network monitoring, procurement and on-going support tailoring to their specific needs and requirements.

How Can an MSP Help Improve My Business?

As with cleaning and catering contracts, outsourcing your IT to a well-established Managed Service Provider (MSP) can save your organisation time, energy and money – allowing you to focus on your school’s core purpose.

Some of the many benefits that outsourcing to an IT MSP can bring to your school:

Expertise – A good-quality MSP is an organisation of IT experts who have up-to-date knowledge through regular training, meaning the highest standard of technical support is available to schools and Trusts of all sizes.

Cost EffectiveOutsourcing to an MSP means you do not have to hire your own IT staff, saving associated PAYE costs.  A remote service desk, with or without an onsite support team, provides access to senior technical expertise which may, otherwise, be beyond the budget of some education settings. Many MSPs have long-standing relationships with hardware manufacturers and can secure best value when purchasing new equipment.

Resilience Good MSPs will provide your organisation with the latest cyber security systems and training so, should the worst happen, you can detect a security breach. Working with your management team to agree standards, protocols and procedures, your MSP should provide both backup & disaster-recovery solutions to help ensure that breaches or disruptions are temporary and can be resolved efficiently.

Partnership for the future – For many schools and Trusts, developing a digital strategy can be overwhelming, however, outsourcing to an MSP gives you a partner who will work with you to seamlessly integrate IT systems to support and grow your business.  Together you will develop a coordinated IT hardware and software procurement policy, a set of security standards and procedures, identify training needs and create a long-term plan for success.

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What should you look for in an MSP?

If your organisation chooses the wrong MSP, you could be left with unhappy staff and governors, reputational damage in your local community, and lost productivity for both teaching and administrative teams. When choosing an MSP you’re investing in the stability of your organisation and should ensure that they provide the following:

  • Flexible support – remote and onsite support when required.
  • Monitoring & management of core systems – issues can be dealt with before they occur.
  • SLAs – an agreement on the responses you need and the type of cover you require, trusting the MSP to put resources in place to meet these.
  • A service that focusses on the needs of your school and which can adapt as your needs change.
  • Support and guidance on strategy.
  • A helpdesk system to log and track requests/incidents and provide management reporting against SLAs.

For more information on what you should look for in a good MSP, look at the services we offer on our website.

Your next steps

  • Review your current IT support. Are they meeting the needs of your business?
  • Schedule an independent review of your existing IT infrastructure.  Are your cyber security measures adequate for the current threats and are backups in place and ready to use?

How can Platform 365 support you?

Platform 365 can offer a review of your IT needs.  Contact our Schools Development Manager for a conversation about your school or Trust.