What Does “Managed IT Services” Really Mean?
Do you understand the point of Managed IT Services, and what makes them different from other forms of IT support? More importantly, do you know what specific advantages they offer?
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “What are Managed IT Services?”
It’s a good question. It’s a common term that’s used a lot but isn’t strictly intuitive to those outside the IT industry.
Let’s be clear: Managed Services are a set of best practices, processes, and tools that, when combined with technical knowledge and proper facilitation, delivers an ideal IT-based result for businesses. Managed IT Services take care of everything IT-related for your organization, proactively preventing problems instead of fixing them after the fact.
Why Do Businesses Choose Managed IT Services?
For many businesses, the cost of hiring even a single internal IT person is too expensive. They need a salary, training, benefits, vacation – it’s a lot to budget for. That’s why outsourced IT services have largely become the norm, with service levels varying depending on the Managed IT Services company in question.
The type of outsourced IT support you’re likely most familiar with can be referred to as “hourly IT support”. This type of support fixes IT problems after they occur, and charges by the hour.
Managed IT Services are generally considered to be a more effective model. In practice, instead of waiting for something to go wrong and stepping in to correct it, an IT company that provides Managed IT Services takes on all the responsibilities of a traditional in-house IT department. This means working to prevent issues from happening in the first place.
Most Managed IT Services companies like this charge a flat monthly fee rather than an hourly rate, and offer a long list of services, including:
- IT Consulting
- Cloud services
- Cybersecurity Services
- Email/Spam protection
- Business phone systems
- Backup & disaster recovery services
- IT Audits
- Virtual CIO services
What’s included, and at what price, will depend on the Managed IT Services company in question. The point is that, if something does go wrong, you’re not hit with a hefty repair bill based on hourly support – Managed IT Services are proactive.
4 Reasons To Consider Managed IT Services
- Free Up Cash Flow: Traditionally, IT expenses get categorized as capital expenses or CapEx. With managed services, you can move away from a CapEx model to operational expenses or OpEx model, as you are paying month by month and seeing the return right away. Your costs for these services are considered monthly operating expenses like the electric or water bill.
- Access Expertise: Keeping an IT environment running smoothly does require constant attention and the availability of highly-skilled staff. By taking advantage of managed services, you can eliminate the burden of finding and retaining talent with all of the necessary skills.
- Decrease Downtime: Businesses now heavily depend on their technology. That increased reliance on mission-critical applications and 24/7 access to data, make high availability a top priority for IT. Managed IT Services companies will help ensure that uptime, security, power, and redundancy requirements are met.
- Reduce IT Expenses: CIOs are not only tasked with the management of IT, but also with supporting business growth by reducing costs. Organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources. The right Managed IT Services company can be a vital component to ease the burden and free up IT staff to focus on in-house projects.
Are Managed IT Services Right For You?
Which type of service is right for you depends on what you need out of your technology in terms of uptime and efficiency, what your technology budget looks like, and how technology issues could potentially impact things like security and compliance.
Servers, routers, computers, etc. actually last longer and perform better when they receive regular maintenance. If you wait till something breaks, then you’re basically shortening the life of your equipment. And this type of equipment is often pretty expensive. In the long run, with fully managed support you will save money and experience fewer technology headaches.
Before you think about going through the stress of trying to find a computer technician or even a computer engineer to support your network and technology infrastructure, speak with a local Managed IT Services company. Ask some questions about the services they offer, what their prices are and other concerns you may have.
When you find the Managed IT Services company – a reliable partner who will work with you – you’ll see the benefits firsthand.