What are Managed IT Services and How Your Business Can Benefit
Over the last decade, managed services have grown exponentially—particularly within the information technology (IT) industry. In fact, the managed services market is expected to grow from $180.5 billion in 2018 to a whopping $282 billion by 2023!
A major driver of growth in the managed services market is the increasing reliance modern organizations have on IT assets when it comes to increasing security, boosting productivity, and leveraging cloud-based tools. How can managed IT services make this process easier on your business?
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services involve outsourcing IT tasks and operations to a third-party provider, who is then responsible for around-the-clock monitoring, management, repair, and technical support. This “outsourced IT” model is valuable because it frees up time and resources for your internal team to focus on meeting other goals.
What Are Managed Service Providers?
A managed service provider, or MSP, is a company that owns and remotely manages a particular technology or service. Its customers are then able to use that technology or service by paying via a subscription-based model.
What Exactly Do MSPs Offer?
Managed service providers can offer a variety of services including, but not limited to:
- Technical support
- Incident and problem management
- Network administration
- Patch management
- Network performance monitoring and management
- Consultative services
- Enterprise lifecycle management
- Enterprise adoption management
- Enterprise security audits
- Cybersecurity services
- Unified Communications as a Service
- Disaster preparedness
- Disaster recovery
- Cloud-based infrastructure
- Cloud computing
- Data backup
- VoIP telephony
- Network Operation Center (NOC) monitoring
- Mobile device management
- Application performance management
What Are the Benefits of Managed IT Services?
In our modern business landscape, it isn’t just large companies and industry giants who rely on technology anymore. Business of all industries, locations, and sizes need access to reliable, secure, cutting-edge technology in order to remain competitive.
But there’s a problem here: while reliance on IT is growing, available resources aren’t—especially for small businesses, or SMBs. Dubbed the “tech talent gap,” there’s a shortage of information technology professionals in the current job market. This means many small businesses simply can’t find the IT staff they’re looking for—and even if they can, it can be difficult to fit them into budget seeing as the annual salary for a skilled IT professional can easily exceed six figures.
So, to prevent companies from being overwhelmed due to constraints on available IT staff and budget allocation, a new solution came to be: managed IT services! Some of the major benefits of turning to an MSP to handle your managed IT services include:
Reduced IT Costs
Managed IT services can help your business save money over time. How? MSPs provide their services at a fixed monthly rate based on your actual usage needs. This increases scalability since you can request as much service as you need without having to pay extra for additional infrastructure or hardware you aren’t using.
This also makes it easier to predict accurate monthly and annual IT budgets and prepare for them. Additionally, with the reduction of internal IT infrastructure, maintenance expenses, and labor costs, an MSP can provide substantial cost savings in both the short and long run.
With a reliable MSP on your side, you can reallocate the resources you would have had to spend handling IT internally to other business initiatives. This means you can focus more on high-return business tasks, such as improving customer service or developing new products.
MSPs help centralize your network applications and servers into a single data center. This centralization means constant visibility, faster speed, and increased accessibility—no matter where your employees are working from. This also facilitates secure mobile and web access points for your staff working on the go. With remote work on this rise, this can be especially beneficial to modern companies that leverage “work from wherever” policies.
Access to the Latest Tools and Tech
One of the biggest perks of working with an MSP is that they will be using the latest and greatest tools and technologies to benefit your business—without you having to take the time, money, and risk to research, implement, and use them yourself. Your IT systems will be the most current, meaning you'll have access to cutting-edge, industry-leading technology at a more affordable rate than if you were to purchase it on your own.
Minimized Downtime for Maximized Productivity
MSPs help you minimize the risk of having to deal with system failures and shutdowns that can frustrate your employees and customers. Plus, when you can eliminate most technology-related frustrations, your employees can actually focus on their work. This means a higher quality and quantity of work that will result in more revenue and happier customers.
Increased Data Security and Compliance
You may think that outsourced IT decreases your level of data security—but in reality, the opposite is true. MSPs must follow stringent safety and data management regulations. Plus, they’re built to provide robust backup and disaster recovery systems, making them much more capable of protecting your data than a small in-house IT team with fewer resources.
Additionally, managed service providers will ensure that your company’s IT network and applications are continuously updated to the most secure and effective versions. You can also gain peace of mind that any industry-specific security and other compliance requirements are being met through your MSP.
How to Choose the Right Managed Service Provider for Your Business
Not all MSPs are created equal! With different brands, technologies, sizes, and performance requirements, there are options out there to meet all kinds of business needs. Ultimately, choosing an MSP will come down to the types of services you want, the scope of your needs, and your budget.
First, let’s look at the three general types of MSPs:
- Traditional Managed Services. Traditional managed service providers operate on a reactive service model when a problem or incident occurs, and can easily help with break/fix support, including network interruptions or failures.
- Advanced Managed Services. Beyond traditional managed services that are simply reactive when a problem or incident actually does occur, advanced managed service providers offer proactive services, too. This allows you to identify potential problems before they occur and course correct in order to keep your network from going down in the first place.
- NextGen Managed Services. Rather than selling a predefined set of services, NextGen MSPs will construct personalized packages of services to meet the needs of each individual client.
When choosing an MSP, you should look for:
- A long-term partner. Your MSP should feel like an extension of your own business. By having an extended relationship with your managed service provider, they will become increasingly familiar with your business and your system over time—meaning they can better serve you and meet your unique needs.
- Experience in your field. Each industry has different customer bases, compliance requirements, technology trends, etc. So, you may want to consider an MSP that has knowledge and experience dealing with the requirements for IT support in your specific industry.
- The right qualifications and service options. The ideal MSP for your needs must understand the tools, hardware, and software you use to conduct business on a daily basis, and have the right certifications, experience, and expertise to service these products.
- Contract terms that fit your needs. Different MSPs can have different contract options, such as billing month-to-month or annually. You need to make sure your potential managed services partner will fit into your budget, so be sure to ask plenty of questions relating to their payment policies before signing on with them.
Experience a New Kind of Managed IT Services with AVAIL!
AVAIL isn’t like other MSPs out there who simply sell a product then leave you to figure out how to use it on our own… we aim to be a long-term partner who continues to provide support and guidance long after the implementation phase.
Our team is made up of cloud experts who truly care about seeing your business succeed. We’ll take the time to understand your most important applications and optimize them across the internet, then provide onsite support, 24/7 access to customer service, and quarterly performance reviews to make sure you’re always on track to achieve your goals.
Ready to challenge the status quo of managed IT services and transform your business? We’re ready to help. Contact us today!