The easiest way to define managed services is this: managed services gives a third party service provider complete responsibility for any aspect of your company, and is often related to IT support. In this technology-focused age with COVID-19 still lingering and remote work a new reality, businesses can flourish or fail based on the quality of their IT infrastructure. Entire companies are run electronically nowadays (there’s even remote monitoring, which involves installing software and managing all activities on the systems/network from a remote location), and there are few that wouldn’t suffer immense and even long term losses if their IT network encountered a major issue.
Why managed IT services? With managed IT services, small and medium sized business owners can offload the burden of handling technology and computer problems in-house to external IT experts. This allows owners to concentrate on what really matters to them – running the business.
Managed IT services are offered by companies known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). They work hand-in-hand with your company to support your IT systems and streamline your workflows into optimal efficiency and productivity. MSPs offer numerous services according to your business’s needs and requirements.
Here are some of the main types of managed services:
- Managed IT
- IT services, provided by a Network Operations Center, that proactively monitors, manages and supports your technology infrastructure and serves as your employees help desk.
- Managed cloud services or “cloud computing”
- Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence – over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
- Managed security systems
- Online security and safety, including VCSO services, malware protection, application compatibility, advanced threat, SOCaaS, etc.
- Managed communication services
- Integrates data, voice and video services into one IP network.
- Managed print services
- Allows your company’s document output to be managed and optimized.
Why Choose Managed IT Services?
Outsourcing the running of your day-to-day IT management responsibilities to an MSP can be a great strategic method for improving operations and reducing your IT costs overall. Our reliance on technology today increases managed services’ importance.
Why hire managed services providers? IT outsourcing to an MSP is a good deal for many organizations, especially small to mid-sized businesses that don’t necessarily have the IT skills or the budget to recruit the skill sets required. This arrangement allows the business to offload IT operations for a fixed fee. The MSP then assumes ongoing responsibility for a defined set of services, such as security support around the clock, an emergency line for immediate support in case of off-hours IT emergencies or proactive monitoring of your IT systems.
For larger organizations with an existing IT department, the managed services provider can help augment the internal IT staff by relieving them of the more day-to-day and remedial issues. This allows your internal team more time to focus on how technology can progress a business’ strategic priorities instead of just “putting out fires”.
Additionally, when you work with an MSP, you benefit from an entire team of IT experts to handle your complex IT environment and issues that may arise. This team can also conduct IT asset discovery and audit services, antivirus scans and virus removals. Many small to mid-sized businesses simply cannot afford, staff or continually train a robust team of IT experts, and frankly don’t need to, which is why they choose to outsource some of all IT functions.
And finally, a major component of outsourced IT services is the monthly reporting provided indicating the state of your network, as well as updates that have been made and other important system checks. Information and data is key to making good business decisions. Error messaging, problem remediation, service ticket history, user activity and system health reporting are all important pieces of information your business needs to know.
Why You Need Managed IT Services
Companies of all sizes place a priority on operational efficiency, but not all businesses are equipped to maintain this efficiency. Small businesses may have limited IT resources, meaning they can quickly fall behind in updates and network management, placing the company’s system at risk of an outage or breach. For many, the solution is a managed IT service.
Managed services have been on the rise in the business world: some estimate that 90 percent of Fortune 1000 companies use MSPs to provide at least part of their IT infrastructures or services.
Technology has come a long way since the days of break/fix IT, and the reality is that most internal IT services aren’t equipped to keep up with the pace of innovation. As a result, many organizations find their IT to be reactive rather than proactive, and their systems struggle to keep up with the demands of a growing business in a digital world.
Now add security and compliance as major concerns for all businesses. Operating systems, smartphones, tablets, laptops and other types of technology store and transmit important data. This makes security critical. Falling victim to a security breach or hacker is a common fear. A breach can cost companies a loss in reputation, money and can be time consuming to mitigate disaster recovery. Managed service providers help protect businesses from a security breach event and take quick action if one does occur. As for compliance, all businesses must be compliant with regulations specific to their industry, especially the financial, legal and health industries. A managed service provider can supplement additional policies, protocols and procedures to ensure compliance.
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How Managed Services Help You Get a Better Return on Investment
Why invest in managed IT services? One benefit that’s difficult to quantify is that MSPs help you save time. Letting your MSP take care of the details of your technology like licensing, warranties, software updates, response times, is cost effective as it saves you time and money.
Another benefit and a return on investment (ROI) involves not having to hire, manage, train and hope to retain an internal IT staff. In return you get a team of IT experts instead of one or two IT staff.
When calculating time and cost, it’s also important to figure out how much downtime you experienced before and after engaging your MSP. Also, how many of your people were affected and how long each instance lasted. This will give you some hard ROI dollars for your managed IT investment.
Cybercrime is also an important consideration when figuring cost and time saved. From monetary loss, damage to your company’s reputation, data loss, and equipment damage, the cost of cybercrime on businesses can be in the millions of dollars. Aside from providing you with the latest tools and practices to prevent cyber attacks, a reliable MSP will also train your team with cybersecurity practices to protect your data and technology.
With a reliable MSP, your company will save time on work stoppages and your returns will be an increase in revenue and savings. It allows you to point the focus of your team toward generating profits with your core business instead of maintaining your technology.
Learn Why Managed Services Make Sense With a Proven Partner
For most companies, IT is the engine that drives the business. This is why companies use managed services. Encompassing applications, processes, methodologies, access to the latest updates and unique skill sets, a competent IT department is critical. When problems arise, your managed IT services provider takes over to investigate and resolve the problem.
It’s not necessary for a company to invest significant capital into building and maintaining an in-house IT team. Instead, you can outsource to a team of experts who can take care of this for you. By partnering with a managed services provider you’ll be able to find custom solutions to help address your complex technological needs.
You might not be on call 24/7, but your computer network is, and your customers might be. Your IT provider needs to be accessible at all times. Your point of contact should be available to help with future technology planning and go over technology services. They have the expertise, and can offer advice with yearly planning and can help with both technology and cost-efficiency.
An effective managed services partner is one who knows how to ensure that your data stays safe and secure. Check that they have the correct security processes in place for your information and that they’re set for automatic and consistent backups to a remote server for safety.
Your managed services partner isn’t a part of your core business, but it will be invested so that your success will be theirs as well.
Why use managed services? If for no other reason, an exceptional provider that offers cybersecurity services will help protect your networks from cyber attacks and hackers. Make sure that they take the right precautions and that their, and your, plan involves regular security testing and monitoring for attacks.
And here’s another reason why managed services are better: Most companies that are growing and are busy, tend to only fix technical issues when things go wrong. That leads to outages, downtime and even a breach or two. Investing in managed services assures your company is proactive in your updates and improvements, to avoid future problems.
Making the choice to invest in managed services can be difficult. Companies today should expect more than reactive support. They should demand true competency and expertise. Your IT partners will guide you towards new advancements in cloud, security, collaboration and other technologies. The best MSPs offer proactive monitoring of your daily operations, while freeing up your team to advance the business.