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The market for managed services is expected to grow more than 14 percent to $53.7 billion within the next five years, according to research from MarketsandMarkets. This figure most likely comes as no surprise to those following the information technology space. Managed service providers have steadily gained traction in recent years, as companies embrace more sophisticated backend solutions that require near-constant external support. Microsoft Azure certainly falls into the category. The sheer number of features that accompany the cloud computing platform make it a challenge for internal IT teams.

MSPs ease the burden by providing specialized services and other ancillary offerings, giving businesses the power to embrace the cloud without stirring up trouble in the IT department. How exactly do these organizations go about doing that? Here are a few key examples:

Time to spare
The first and most obvious benefit that comes with outsourcing Azure is the time savings. Like most large-scale infrastructure, the Microsoft Cloud requires consistent upkeep. Most IT staff members already deal with time crunches, rushing to respond to support tickets while juggling larger technology initiatives. MSPs save them from even more work, performing essential maintenance and platform management duties that would otherwise fall to these already overburdened employees, according to BizTech Magazine.

On top of that, organizations that make the switch from on-premises servers to the cloud see double the time-savings, as IT teams can relinquish their network oversight responsibilities and spend their time on transformative internal initiatives that might move the organization forward.

Managed service providers help businesses grapple with cutting-edge solutions like Microsoft Azure.Managed service providers help businesses grapple with cutting-edge solutions like Microsoft Azure.

The right skills
While cloud platforms are fairly ubiquitous today, many IT teams do not know the ins and outs of the technology. With this in mind, some adopters go so far as to hire new personnel to fill the gap. However, this is often easier said than done. In fact, more than one-third of businesses worldwide are struggling to find IT personnel with the required cloud competencies, according to research from Microsoft. Additional training is a viable alternative but this puts a dent in the budget. On top of that, many internal IT teams simply do not have the time to burnish their cloud credentials in a meaningful way.

MSPs are the only answer here. These firms staff expert Azure deployment, maintenance and security specialists who devote considerable time to exploring the platform and discovering new ways to generate return-on-investment for customers.

Optimal backup and security
Traditionally, internal IT teams have taken the lead on data security and disaster recovery matters, locking down on-premises systems and managing backup data repositories meant to maintain business continuity, even when disaster strikes. This is simply not possible with cloud solutions such as Azure. Around-the-clock monitoring is a must for organizations with cloud-based backend systems, as hackers of all stripes constantly search for ways to enter company networks and wreak havoc or steal sensitive material. Cyber-criminals executed more than 42,000 attacks last year, over 1,900 of which resulted in data loss, according to research from Verizon Wireless. This number will only rise as hacking technology becomes more effective and easier to deploy.

On the backup front, most organizations are simply not prepared to maintain continuity in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. In fact, an estimated 75 percent of American businesses do not have proper disaster recovery procedures in place, the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council found.

MSPs assist Azure adopters on both of these fronts. Dedicated security personnel monitor for system penetrations and use embedded data defense assets such as Azure Active Directory and Security Center to craft tailored protections. These firms also maintain extensive backups and leverage platform features like Azure Backup to create incremental offsite data caches that are available should inclement weather or some other force halt power to primary servers.

Organizations looking to adopt Microsoft Azure or some other state-of-the-art networking infrastructure would be wise to collaborate with a proven MSP with essential services that cannot be replicated in-house. Is your business ready to adopt Microsoft Azure and in need of a battle-tested deployment and maintenance partner? Contact B2B Technologies today. We offer a robust Azure managed services bundle that encompasses everything from infrastructure development to security management and support. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we can configure an Azure instance that can facilitate growth within your organization. Connect with B2B Technologies to learn more.