What are Managed IT Services?
Posted 04 Dec at 7:59 pm in Productivity
[8 min read]
No matter the industry, businesses need IT to ensure everything runs smoothly. Computers, phone lines, databases and internet, passwords, and even technical support are foundational aspects of countless small-medium businesses (SMBs) and large corporations alike.
Issues arise when businesses have technical needs that out-match their in-house talent. On top of talent, it can be challenging for SMBs to keep updated on the latest technology business trends, especially in an ever-changing market.
For many small businesses, juggling everyday responsibilities and IT services is unmanageable. This is where managed IT services for small businesses can help.
What are managed IT services and Managed Service Providers?
A managed service is any task or set of tasks assigned to a third party. In the case of managed IT services, assigning IT duties to available professionals is a great way to ensure businesses get expert assistance, reduce costs and increase profit, lessen workloads on team members, and increase service quality.
MSPs can specialize in equipment monitoring and controlling, systems management, remote assistance, task flow management, local and remote server management, networking maintenance, and much more.
Traditionally, MSPs monitor systems within a business until they break, need service, or a client wants to update something. However, modern MSPs opt to take upon more active roles within their clients’ businesses.
MSPs may install patches to products, implement predictive algorithms to identify critical areas in need of maintenance, and even contribute to IT project management plans. The services MSPs advertise depend on companies looking for IT support in current markets.
What’s the difference between managed services and outsourcing?
As a first impression, ‘managed IT services’ might sound very similar to outsourcing. However, there are several differences.
Firstly, managed services are more specific than outsourced work. When organizations outsource IT services, for example, all necessary resources and needs are handed off to the contracting company.
MSPs integrate with a company instead of acting independently. Pair this with longer contractual propositions and increased transparency; there are many reasons why managed services are highly regarded, unlike outsourcing.
Another important contrast between outsourcing and its evolved counterpart is managed services allow businesses to ensure that the proper tools, techniques, and talent are applied to their problems. Outsourcing can be a coin-flip, especially with budget outsourcing firms.
Last but not least, working with managed service providers allow businesses to form stronger vendor-vendee relationships.
One of the main appeals of MSPs versus outsourcing firms is the greater emphasis on involvement and relationships
Why managed IT services?
The benefits of utilizing managed IT services are bountiful, especially for startups and small-medium businesses. Here are just a few:
MSPs can fill skill gaps and provide the right talent in the right place
In small and medium businesses, it’s common for the core team members only to be experienced in a few fields. Not everyone has a background in IT, networking, cybersecurity, or software development.
Allowing managed IT, service providers to supply businesses with the technology, knowledge, and expertise they need is often the secret to increasing a team’s productivity and reducing the stress of running a business off critical team members.
In small businesses and startups, the importance of hiring the right talent cannot be undervalued. Every dollar invested, hour worked, and team member hired plays a critical role in a company’s success.
Using Managed IT services can save organizations money
Entrepreneurs know how expensive managing and maintaining new, innovative IT services can be. It can feel like the expenses are endless, from hiring and paying the appropriate workers to pay for IT technologies themselves.
MSPs can take much of that financial load off of clients. When transitioning to MSPs, they can make expenses more predictable, reduce operating costs, and leaders can redirect more attention to other aspects of the business.
MSPs also bring increased reliability and robustness to IT services
When resources are few and far apart, having a website or server crash is a nightmare. Businesses also need to ensure efficient, clear communication with their staff to validate every aspect of their IT services is accounted for and functioning.
Keeping servers running, websites up-to-date, and employee machines managed are just a few of the responsibilities of an MSP. These terms are laid out in service level agreements (SLAs) to clarify expectations.
While an SMB team juggles responsibilities, MSPs are committed to taking IT services off countless plates. Preventing and managing crisis situations are an MSP’s bread and butter.
Working with MSPs can greatly reduce the workload on small business teams, allowing them to redirect their efforts
What kinds of managed IT services are available?
There are countless managed IT services and thousands of MSPs providing them. These IT services range from extremely specific to unreasonably broad.
If SMBs want anything from a helpdesk support technician to a highly-specialized bottleneck analysis team, MSPs can provide it. However, there are a few favorites amongst today’s businesses.
Equipment maintenance, in-house or external systems management, networking monitoring and maintenance, software development, machine learning, and artificial intelligence deployments are just a handful.
Cloud-based services like Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) help businesses scale operations to meet increased demand and are a trendy managed set of services.
Cloud computing, cloud-based servers, AI, and machine learning are just a few of today’s IT services on demand. Imagine what the future of managed services will look like.
How much should managed IT services cost?
Managed service providers most commonly provide services in the form of subscription packages, with each tier offering customers more available resources, increased automation, or more thorough maintenance tactics. How a business decides to pay and implement IT services will impact what they seek in an MSP and what IT services they want to manage.
What happens if a business outgrows its MSP?
Once services become too vital to business operations, SMBs scale up or a business becomes increasingly profitable, they may manage IT services in-house. Increased horizontal integration, reducing points of failure, added accountability, and complete control of IT deployments are some reasons businesses may want to switch.
The benefits of managed IT services are limitless when deployed correctly. However, it is wise for businesses to analyze the opportunity cost of working with an MSP, realize their needs, and conduct market research to identify if an MSP is right for them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]