Every company, large or small, needs to have a functional IT department working optimally to stay ahead of the competition. The rapidly evolving tech and the shift from legacy systems to hybrid cloud infrastructure have forced several organizations to outsource their IT capabilities.
But what are Managed services, and what do Managed IT service providers offer?
Simply put – when an organization or business decides to outsource its IT functions to a third-party company, what it's basically doing is seeking managed IT services. The outsourced operations vary depending on the business goals and needs. For example, it could be as simple as maintaining/repairing IT equipment, all the way up to managing the entire IT infrastructure.
The goal of using managed IT service providers is to help your company's IT team handle complex IT management functions. This way, your IT team can focus on other in-house tasks.
What is Managed Service Provider (MSP)
MSPs or Managed IT service providers own and physically or remotely offer or manage technology services. They help other companies such as private or public institutions and businesses to use/access these services at a fee, mostly through a subscription.
Evolution of Managed IT Services
A couple of years ago, enterprise computing followed a break/ fix IT model, where information technology services were supervised by IT experts, responding only when the systems stopped working.
Nowadays, managed service offerings follow a proactive approach to information technology services. Here, managed IT service providers conduct system monitoring, upgrade, maintenance and resolutions on a routine basis to ensure issues are prevented before they occur.
High-tech capabilities such as automation, cloud computing, and the Internet of things are used for diagnosis, evaluation, and analysis to provide remote IT management services. The results are better consolidation of resources and more efficient processes.
The scope of services has also expanded from the basic break and fix to advanced IT functionalities such as infrastructure as a service.
Other offerings include data storage, backup, disaster recovery, and cloud service management, such as Microsoft Office365 set up and customization.
Advantages of Managed IT Services for Small and Medium Businesses
Outsourcing your IT functions to Managed IT service providers come with lots of benefits, especially for small and medium businesses. The most obvious benefit is the opportunity to receive expert IT support at a reduced cost compared to creating a comparable IT team in-house.
Also, comparing in-house vs. dedicated teams, the latter offers a wealth of experience. Managed IT service providers deal with multiple client accounts from various industry verticals, making them more knowledgeable and niche-savvy than in-house IT teams.
Another benefit of working with managed IT service providers is the ability to forecast all your company's IT expenditure, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly. This allows you to focus on your critical business goals while serving your clients and customers better.
Additionally, partnering with managed IT service providers allows you to work with security experts who will help you navigate the complex IT regulatory landscape. For example, organizations in the healthcare, finance, or education sectors must adhere to the strict compliance issues surrounding personal information safety, user credentials, credit card details, etc.
3 Things to Consider Before Picking an MSP
Before choosing to work with any of the managed IT service providers in the market, you should consider three key factors. These are:
- The Size of Your Business
Most businesses are already using IT services, whether hardware or software solutions such as anti-virus or data backup. Managed IT service providers will consolidate all these services, helping you reduce downtime and even fix critical issues before they happen.
If you run a large business, chances are, you will need fully managed IT services. The other available options include the software-as-a-serve model, where your IT functions are consolidated in the cloud. With these two options, your managed IT service providers are proactively monitoring your IT systems, meaning better oversight and higher reliability.
- MSP Offerings
Managed IT service providers use the master services agreement (MSA) to state the terms and conditions under which they will work with the client. Another vital documentation is the service-level agreement (SLA), which defines the MSP services and how the services' performance will be measured.
To avoid inconveniences in the future, it's important to pay attention to what these agreements entail. Pricing is another factor worth considering. Depending on the services offered, the billing will vary.
For example, remote monitoring and management services will be billed depending on the client's signed agreement and the MSP. For instance, you could be charged on a per-device basis or a monthly/quarterly flat fee.
- Internal capacity
The decision to hire managed IT service providers should also be based on your IT team's internal capacity.
If managing all the IT functions in-house is eating into your team's productivity, then you should consider outsourcing the most-demanding functions.
IT plays a critical role in your organization, and you should carefully consider the decision to outsource some of the functions. At networX IT, we specialize in small and medium-sized business' IT needs that are customized to suit your unique business needs.
As one of the managed IT service providers in Philadelphia, we prioritize customer satisfaction. We will evaluate your organization's entire infrastructure before suggesting custom IT services and solutions. Our team also offers 24/7 monitoring to ensure issues are resolved in time to avoid unnecessary downtimes.