No matter how big or small your business is, you will need IT to manage operations in the 21st century. But small to medium-sized businesses don’t have the necessary time and resources to maintain an in-house IT team and keep their data safe. And that’s where IT managed services come in to help.
What are IT Managed Services?
IT Managed Services is where an outsourced IT service provider partners with your business to ensure your IT works effectively for you and your business. This takes on many forms, such as supporting users when something unexpectedly stops working and expert thought advice on how your IT can assist you in achieving your business outcomes. And OSIT has a wide range of services designed to meet your needs no matter what they are.
What’s included in IT Managed Services?
IT Managed Services depends on what needs to be done for your business. It can range from general to specific requirements like (onsite/remote) monitoring and maintenance, system installations, licencing support, and specified IT projects.
Traditionally, IT Managed Service Providers use a break/fix model wherein they monitor your systems and undertake the appropriate solutions once a problem is detected. But now, IT MSPs are more proactive with their system maintenance and management. For one, they patch vulnerabilities before they turn to complications and find IT loopholes with penetration testing.
Managed IT Services can also include cloud-based services like Microsoft 365, Google Workspaces, cloud backups and applications, and more. They should help you set up the appropriate software and infrastructures that will be beneficial in running your business. If done right, you’ll have better online functionality throughout your business, from storage and file management to data analytics.
Cyber security should be a standard in your IT Managed Service, whether you availed a traditional or proactive cloud service. But ultimately, you’ll need reliable and efficient IT experts ready to keep you safe against cyber risks, especially if you’re operating on a hybrid or full cloud infrastructure.
IT Managed Services vs Outsourcing
You may be one of the many folks that think that managed services and outsourcing are the same thing. But lo and behold, they are vastly different in terms of various aspects, which we will uncover today.
Outsourcing for one provides services for business and takes responsibility for narrow processes like data entry, helpdesk, and documentation. Essentially, you hand over certain responsibilities to an external company that offers those specific services, so you won’t have to run it in-house (especially if it requires manpower or specialisations).
Managed services focus on providing holistic technology services. They offer a variety of IT services that target technology-related problems to businesses. Managed IT service providers like OSIT has teams of dedicated IT experts that provide exceptional support, user experience, and enhancements to your IT system to help your business go above and beyond.
What are the benefits of IT Managed Services?
- The service is proactive and aimed at reducing your costs by preventing issues before they occur.
- Takes a big-picture approach to IT. It makes you question how IT helps your business succeed and what can it do better
- Allows you to concentrate on your business, and you get the information needed to make decisions
- Access to specialist skills from our IT service teams which looks after hundreds of clients using different technologies
- Access to expertise about technological change and the implications for you and your business
- Access to resources, data and information that may not be out of reach otherwise
- Leverage our economy of scale - because we deal with thousands of users, we are efficient and effective
What are the costs of Managed IT Services?
IT managed services are costly. More so if they’re a reputable company.
Expect additional upfront and higher monthly costs that you may not see coming. For example, you might need more IT support than expected, especially if you need to redo your infrastructure. But ultimately, your total cost will depend on these factors:
- Data Story
- Licenses, Services, & Upgrades
T know more about the cost of Managed IT Support, read this.
What to look out for before hiring an IT Managed Services Provider
If you have an IT problem, you want it fixed right away. And who could do it better than an IT managed services provider that can provide an effective and fast response whenever there’s an IT-related emergency?
Managed IT Service Providers with a (proven) fast response time can keep your business afloat in terms of efficiency. If with the right provider, you and your team can be more proactive with your tasks, produce fewer errors, and improve your processes for the better.
When you’re in talks with an MSP, ask about their service-level agreement (SLA) before you commit to their services. You know what they say: It’s better to be safe than sorry.
At Office Solutions IT, we help you hit the ground running, from onboarding to ongoing support. Just reach out to us, and we’ll get you up and running in no time.
IT evolves so fast that it can sometimes give us whiplash.
That last bit might not be true, but that’s how we feel sometimes.
What’s “amazing” today might be “meh” in a few years, and what’s “standard” today might be obsolete in the future. Remember Windows Vista? Yeah, that state-of-the-art operating system we thought was cutting-edge back in 2007 is pretty much obsolete in 2022.
You’ll want to be with an MSP that will handle your IT challenges from top to bottom and ensure that your system is future-proof, so downtimes will be less likely to happen. But if it does, you want to make sure that your provider is very capable of handling issues, maintaining your system, and improving your operations.
Find an IT Managed Service Provider that is interested in your success more so than theirs. Beware of MSPs that keep on upselling services but not keeping their end of the bargain.
Handling critical and confidential business data requires tight security measures to ensure business continuity in case of a cyberattack. For one, you must be cyber insured (along with a cyber security strategy) with the appropriate coverage that covers crucial damages and liabilities caused by a breach. Because not only would you want to protect your assets, but you’d also want to protect your customers and employees from the aftermath.
To know more about cyber insurance and risk management, read this.
Excellent clientele reviews
It’s only natural that you want to work with a trusted IT Managed Services Provider that can show a miles-long track record of happy customers. And that’s understandable, considering you will be investing time and resources in a company that should help your business move forward with IT.
So before committing to an MSP, see what people have to say about them online. Look at their client (and their employee) reviews on review sites like Google and CloudTango to get a grasp of how they perform for their clients and work as a team.
Happy customers will rave about a good service online. So never hesitate to look up your prospect MSP online.
On top of good reviews, innovative solutions, availability, and security, you also want to ensure that your IT is being taken care of by qualified individuals.
For example, OSIT engineers are consistently trained, up to date with vendor-specific certifications, and undertake various specialist courses and certifications so they can provide effective IT support and point you in the right direction.
Summed up wisdom on IT MSPs
Small and large businesses rely heavily on IT to succeed in the 21st century. And if you need frequent IT support, experience a lot of technical issues, and want to improve your overall IT system and security, an IT Managed Service Provider will come and save the day.
If you are thinking of investing in a trusted MSP with a proven track record, skills, and incredibly handsome support team, feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll handle your IT like a pro.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been completely updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.