Managed IT Services: What They Are, Why You Need Them, and How Your Business Benefits
Your business requires a number of IT services in order to keep running effectively every day. Some of those tasks, you may take care of in-house: customer support, for example. Others may prefer to outsource. One of the most effective ways to take care of your businesses IT needs, whether you have an in-house team that covers some of those important details or not, is using a managed service provider. Many business owners, however, may not recognize exactly what managed IT services are and what they can accomplish for their businesses.
What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are designed to help take care of your IT needs--regardless of what they may be. You will connect with a service provider to select the services your business needs: troubleshooting, ensuring that your network runs as efficiently as possible, and keeping up with your systems so that you don't run into trouble along the way. If you have an in-house team, you can choose a managed IT service provider that covers the tasks your team can't or augments your existing team's skills. If you don't have an in-house team, a managed IT service provider can take care of many of your tech needs. Services may include:
Cybersecurity. Increasingly, in today's online landscape, it's important for businesses to have a solid wall of security that will ensure that their data, their business, and their clients are protected. Leaving cybersecurity on the shoulders of your internal IT team may not be enough to keep your business functioning smoothly or prevent potential problems. Many IT professionals do not specialize in cybersecurity, which can leave them struggling to keep up with the latest changes in the industry and keep your business safe.
Staff augmentation. You may need IT support on-site for a number of hours across the course of a business week--especially when you have extra things going on. Whether you need help training team members, rolling out a new upgrade to your system, or simply figuring out how to troubleshoot problems, a managed IT service provider can help.
Server support and management. You want your servers to run smoothly and all of your data to remain accessible. With a managed IT, service provider, you can often get more effective support that will keep your business up and running more often, rather than dealing with expensive downtime that can prevent you from taking care of your customers the way they deserve.
Systems engineering. Sometimes, you need a little extra help with a complex problem--and that's where your managed IT service provider comes in. This provider can work with you to fix the big problems with your systems, keeping them running more smoothly.
The Advantages of Managed IT Services
Will managed IT services offer your business exactly what you need? Many small business owners question the effectiveness of a managed service provider, preferring an hourly approach or an in-house team to handle most of their needs. Managed IT services, however, can offer a number of clear advantages.
A managed service provider is less expensive than an in-house team. You won't have to worry about providing vacation time, setting up space in the office, or many of the other expenses that go along with hiring an in-house team, either. Often, using a managed service provider is also less expensive than paying an hourly rate for another provider, especially if you're working on a big upgrade or noticing more problems than usual.
Managed services are easy to scale. Your business's needs are constantly growing and changing. Sometimes, you may need your IT service provider to offer more, and often quickly, if your business grows in a hurry. Other times, you may need to scale back as your business's needs change or you slide into a quieter season. With a managed IT service provider, you'll get exactly the services you need, exactly when you need them--and scaling those services to fit your business is as simple as talking with your provider.
You will get specialized team members who can handle everything your business needs. An in-house IT team doesn't always have the right skill set to handle all of your needs, especially when it comes to specialties like systems engineering and network security. With a managed service provider, on the other hand, you'll get access to a team with a wide range of specialties and capabilities, all of which will be brought to bear on your system.
You will always have the support you need. When you use an in-house team, your full functionality may depend on who is available. If you have a team member on vacation or too many team members out sick at the same time, you may not have the tools you need to take care of your IT needs. With a managed service provider, on the other hand, all that will be taken care of for you, behind the scenes, so you don't have to worry about your business's functionality.
You will get the experience and advice of team members with a wide range of past experience. Managed IT services aren't just about checking a compliance box or ensuring that your technology works smoothly. Your provider can also provide advice about keeping your business running more smoothly, whether you're unsure about what software will integrate best with your existing systems, how much storage space you really need on your server, or whether that migration to the cloud is really the best solution for your business. With that advice, you can make better technology decisions for your business and avoid costly mistakes that could slow you down, cause more downtime, or prevent you from providing the best support for your customers.
Choosing a managed IT service provider can offer a number of advantages to any size business, whether big or small. Are you ready to start working with a managed IT service provider who will help your business reach its full potential? Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer.