IT is a critical part of most businesses, especially as remote work becomes more permanent. The IT team handles software implementation, technical support, device maintenance and acquisition, and cybersecurity. For many small businesses, not having enough IT staff to handle these responsibilities, or having a team of IT generalists who lack specialized knowledge, can be a disadvantage.
A managed services provider (MSP) can fill in the gaps for these businesses and ensure they have all of the IT resources they need. To make your search for the right MSP easier, we’ve put together this list of the best managed IT services providers of 2021.
What is an MSP?
A managed services provider (MSP) is a third-party company that helps organizations fill in gaps in their staff. In this article, we’ll be looking at MSPs that offer IT services, but you can also hire an MSP for accounting, HR, vendor and supply chain management, and more.
These companies can help small businesses cover their mission-critical functions at a lower cost than hiring full-time employees until they’re ready to hire more in-house staff. A managed services provider can provide on-site or remote support depending on your organization’s needs. Some MSPs will only focus on one vendor or type of software (e.g., ERP), while others offer a more generalized service.
Also read: Considerations for Hiring a Managed Services Provider
Benefits of hiring a Managed IT Service Provider
Managed IT services providers are generally less expensive than hiring an in-house IT staff, which is great for small businesses that may not have the capital to pay for that right away. Additionally, MSPs generally charge a flat monthly fee, making it easier for companies to budget for their expenses. Along with personnel costs, businesses who hire an MSP can save on the tools and technology needed to perform the functions the MSP is handling for them.
Managed IT services providers also generally have access to the best IT and cybersecurity tools, software, and resources available to carry out their role. These resources are generally more expensive than what small businesses would be able to afford if they were buying them for themselves, but they provide a high level of insight to improve decision making for the business.
Best IT Managed Service Companies
If you’re looking for a top-notch managed IT service provider, check out the companies on this list. Some of them specialize in certain areas while others are more generalized.
BairesDev is a managed IT service provider specializing in software development. They offer dedicated teams, staff augmentation, and development outsourcing to help you complete your software development project according to your needs. Their dedicated teams offer a traditional MSP experience, giving you a team of software developers that work with your in-house staff to create the software your company needs.
If you already have an IT team but just need some extra help or development experience, their staff augmentation provides personnel for temporary or hard-to-fill positions. You can also completely outsource your development project to them, preventing you from dedicating precious manpower to a difficult project. Each of their staff members has at least ten years of experience in their field and is bilingual.
BEST FOR: Small businesses needing help with software development projects. BairesDev can either take over the project completely or augment your staff to help you get it done in a timely manner.
- Large range of staff roles available, including developers, quality assurance, and DevOps
- Helps businesses grow and scale
- Simple, efficient workflows
- Work with a variety of vendors and software, meaning there is less specialization
- Seems to be little overlap in developers’ skills, which could cause delays
SugarShot is a Los Angeles-based IT managed services provider offering a variety of services including managed IT support, IT audits and compliance, cybersecurity and incident response, and staff augmentation. The company can help you set your IT department up for success if you prefer having an in-house team, or they can give you the staff and expertise you need to complete your projects with the quality and speed you need.
SugarShot can offer your business a temporary partnership for short-term projects, or you can keep a more long-term agreement with them. When you first get started with them, SugarShot conducts an audit of your IT infrastructure, highlighting any gaps or needs your company is facing. Then, they provide a detailed risk assessment to help you make the best decisions for your business. While they are a newer company, they have highly positive client reviews.
BEST FOR: Small businesses looking to optimize their IT department. SugarShot will help you identify any areas your business is lacking and determine what you need to meet your goals.
- Proactive about potential issues
- Provide detailed communications
- They don’t take a cookie-cutter approach
- They are a fairly new startup, so they do have some growing to do
- Some clients felt their initial assessments could have been more thorough
Computer Solutions East
Computer Solutions East offers IT managed services for general IT needs, as well as cloud adoption and optimization. They specialize in Microsoft implementations, but you can also use them for other vendors. Their IT services include device maintenance and management, application migration, backup and recovery, and security. They also offer an emergency response line in case you have issues after-hours.
Computer Solutions East allows you to customize your package and include as many or as few of their services as you need. For their cloud offerings, you can choose migration services, CloudOps, and even development resources to help you ensure your applications will work correctly once you’ve moved them to the cloud.
BEST FOR: Businesses looking to implement Microsoft Cloud products like Microsoft 365 or Azure. Computer Solutions East is a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and can help you get the most out of your Microsoft products.
- Easy and detailed communication
- Responsive, even after-hours and on holidays
- Help streamline business operations
- They are Microsoft specialists, meaning they might not be the right choice for businesses using other vendors
- Some customers have had issues with purchasing licenses on their site
TechMD offers managed IT services, managed cybersecurity, cloud solutions, and IT consulting to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Through their cloud services, more SMBs can make an easier transition to a cloud environment, allowing their employees to work remotely and improving their talent pool. They offer customized cloud infrastructure and will work with you to determine exactly what your business needs.
Their managed IT services help your business budget for the long-term and plan out your IT team and tech stack as you grow. They also provide user education and training to ensure that everyone on your team knows how to use any new software or devices. Additionally, TechMD provides 24/7 monitoring for both security and functionality to keep all systems up and running smoothly.
BEST FOR: Small and medium-sized businesses looking to plan for their future tech needs. TechMD analyzes your business and helps you find ways to grow and scale effectively.
- They make proactive suggestions and recommendations
- Very responsive
- Hands-on management
- Some clients have experienced issues with file migration
- There aren’t a ton of technicians for Mac computers
Bit by Bit
Bit by Bit is an IT managed services provider offering cybersecurity, app development, and cloud services. They also help their clients address business continuity, allowing them to continue running even during a disaster, including a data backup strategy and employee training. Bit by Bit has been in business for over thirty years, giving them solid relationships with many large software vendors, including Cisco and Fortinet.
With their IT managed services, Bit by Bit helps businesses of any size remove some of the hassle from IT while keeping their machines running and reducing downtime. Their 24/7 help-desk is kept in-house, ensuring that you’ll have an engineer you can trust on the other line. Bit by Bit will also consult with your CIO to give them the tools they need to effectively scale your tech stack to match your business’s needs.
BEST FOR: Businesses of any size looking to improve business continuity and efficiency through their IT infrastructure. Bit by Bit helps you keep your business running smoothly, even when disaster strikes.
- Proactive monitoring and system updates
- Flexible and responsive
- Clearly knowledgeable about their field
- No chat system for instant communication while troubleshooting
- Some clients had issues with scheduling and deadlines
M6iT offers managed IT support and services, including deployment for Apple, Windows, and Linux, as well as cybersecurity and cloud solutions. They offer 24/7 monitoring of your devices and weekly preventative maintenance to ensure they continue to run smoothly. They also backup documents on each device daily to keep your employees from losing work they’ve poured time and energy into, and they backup documents on the server twice per day.
M6iT provides on-site or remote support depending on the needs of your business. They also offer antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spam protection that includes reporting on these issues to give you a better idea of where your vulnerabilities lie. Their security services include real-time monitoring, risk assessments, and remediation plans to help you deal with threats quickly and efficiently.
BEST FOR: Small businesses that need help maintaining their devices and data to optimize the business. M6iT proactively monitors and maintains your devices to keep them running as they should.
- Fast response time
- Seamless and efficient migrations
- Competitive pricing
- The bills can be slightly confusing
- They might be a bit understaffed for the number of clients they have
TruAdvantage provides IT managed services and support for small and medium-sized businesses, including cloud, security, and business continuity services. They offer live support both over the phone and through instant messaging to give your team real-time help when they’re having issues. Their IT managed services package includes preventative solutions for both routine maintenance issues and cybersecurity.
TruAdvantage offers onsite support for clients in the Bay Area, but they also have remote options to help a variety of businesses. Their quarterly reviews and action plans help you stay on top of your goals and progress. They also help businesses in highly regulated industries meet their compliance requirements.
BEST FOR: SMBs looking for real-time IT support without the cost of an in-house team. TruAdvantage provides 24/7 phone and chat support for instant help when you need it.
- Service and customer-oriented
- Professional and courteous support
- Makes it easier to standardize processes
- High number of notifications from the ticketing system
- Some clients reported a couple of missed deadlines