Do I Need a Managed Service Provider if I Use SaaS?

Oftentimes, SaaS and Managed Services are presented as an either/or scenario. I can understand that kind of thinking since SaaS is an outsourced solution for software deployment and maintenance. To many business owners, this outsourced software doesn’t need any additional management. But businesses typically use a mix of proprietary software and SaaS, often with custom and legacy systems thrown in for good measure.

I propose that we think about SaaS as a component of Managed Services, instead.

Managed Service Provider and SaaS

When you work with an MSP for your IT, you receive management of your entire tech package from end to end. This involves technical expertise, consistent service, and vendor management – including the vendor delivering your SaaS solutions.

What is SaaS?

Software as a Service is a significant part of our daily online lives. If you personally use Facebook, Twitter, or Google, you’re using a free version of SaaS. Subscription models of SaaS include business applications such as messaging, payroll, antivirus, and office productivity suites like Microsoft’s Office 365.

SaaS can be very cost-effective because it doesn’t require the purchase of software or individual licenses. Updates are triggered at the source, which provides every user with the same version of the software. Users can install and access the software on any device. And the subscription model means that server space is better utilized for proprietary software and data specific to the business.

How does SaaS fit into Managed Services?

SaaS fits seamlessly into a managed services environment, since your MSP is responsible for the management of all aspects of your technology.

With SaaS administrated by your MSP, your business can expect:

  • Single point of contact for all SaaS subscriptions
  • Lower cost of ownership
  • License and maintenance fee instead of pay-per-user
  • 24/7 system and application monitoring
  • Upgrades and patch management
  • Help desk services
  • Better use of server space
  • Central control of user access
  • Established feature set for all users

For businesses that use Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) might feel a little like overkill. After all, SaaS provides seamless, uniform, and up-to-date versions of software for everyone in a business. But many businesses use a mix of SaaS and proprietary software, and your MSP can help to assure it all works together.