This was a fantastic achievement for us as a business. But it also raised a question that we wanted to answer for our clients exactly ‘What are managed IT Services?’
Managed IT services refer to outsourcing your IT infrastructure and management to a third-party company specialising in technical support, remote monitoring and much more.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at managed IT services, how the managed services model differs from other IT support models and the advantages of using managed services.
What Is Involved in Managed IT Services?
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides comprehensive IT services to businesses regardless of the organisation’s size. MSPs are usually responsible for the entire IT infrastructure of their clients, including network, servers, desktop, and mobile devices. As opposed to simply offering services as and when a problem arises. MSP’s work on a subscription model. This fixed monthly charge helps small and medium sized businesses to fix their support costs.
Let’s take a look at some common services offered by these types of businesses:
Help desk support: A managed IT service provider will provide remote support to your employees. Employees with an IT problem simply call or email the help desk and an engineer accesses the end user systems, fixes the problem and gets the individual working again. The Help Desk works to an SLA or Service Level Agreement. This means that problems are addressed within an agreed timescale.
This can be invaluable if you have staff unfamiliar with using your company’s IT systems or if you experience technical difficulties that need to be resolved quickly.
Network Monitoring: A managed services provider can help your business manage and administer your company’s network, including setting up new users, managing permissions, and troubleshooting any issues that may arise.
Cyber Security Solutions: Cyber Security is a massive threat to smaller companies as well as large corporations. Your MSP ensures your IT environment is proactively monitored for threats. They’ll help you put in place multiple layers of security and assist with risk management.
Data backup and disaster recovery: One of the essential services a managed IT service provider offers is data backup and recovery. Having a reliable backup of your company’s data can be crucial in a disaster. A managed IT service provider can help you create and maintain a backup plan that suits your company’s needs.
Remote Monitoring and Maintenance: The MSP will take care of behind-the-scenes monitoring and maintenance that will keep the systems running. Things such as patch management and updating subscription services are taken care of.
With these proactive support services many problems are fixed before they become an issue and cause service interruptions or issues for any of your business functions.
Are There Any Alternatives To Managed Support?
Managed service providers are renowned for being IT experts, but what alternatives exist? Let’s take a look at a few:
Whilst hiring an in house team means that they’re dedicated to your company, and you have more control, it can be costly. Not only do you need to pay salaries starting at £42,000 for an IT manager, but you also need to invest in training and development and additional tools. On top of this, you’ll need additional helpdesk engineers and holiday cover. This is only practical for large corporations to make this cost-effective.
Handle IT Services Yourselves:
Often in small businesses, there is an employee that ‘knows computers’. This employee can often get burdened with the position of unofficial IT support. Because this isn’t their speciality, this can often lead to decreased productivity and repeated technical issues. Whilst they may be able to get something working again with a quick reboot, it won’t stop the issue from happening again until the root cause is found.
Pay-as-you-go IT Services:
The next step in technical support is the break/fix model; this involves contacting an IT support company in the event of a technical issue. Whilst this may seem effective in the short term, the provider has no incentive to find a solution to the problem as they’re getting paid for each fix. These services are often carried out by smaller IT companies, requiring less staff overall.
This brings us to Managed Service Providers.
The Advantages Of Managed IT Services:
The Managed Service Provider (MSP) model first appeared in America in the ’90s. Initially aimed at large organisations, the model was quickly adapted when it became clear it would benefit the smaller business. The term is now known worldwide.
We’ve described earlier how a Managed Service Provider works, but if you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at our article ‘What Is Fully Managed IT Support?’
You may be wondering how can managed services benefit my business? Or what’s in it for me? Here are just a few of the advantages:
Managed service providers typically reduce a business’s workload immediately. If a business has been struggling to look after its IT for some time, then by working with managed services providers, this workload is reduced significantly.
IT Management is a job role in itself. Once your MSP assumes responsibility for this you’ll find time is freed up. You can use this time to grow the business safe in the knowledge that you have experts keeping a watchful eye on your IT infrastructure.
Because the managed services provider is responsible for remote monitoring of IT systems, problems are identified before they occur. This ensures the business’s software is down for less time and runs more efficiently. Additionally, some IT providers are also cloud services providers, meaning that all the data is stored securely, so in the rare event of downtime, all data is protected.
Your monthly cost for support is fixed, so you can budget more efficiently by using managed services. In addition, you’ll get an IT roadmap, essentially a detailed strategy explaining when your equipment needs replacing. This is how a managed service provider can help you budget more effectively, as well as being someone to suggest different ways that technology can help you achieve your business goals.
New technologies seem to come along on an almost daily basis! It is very hard for the owner of a business to keep up. Whether it’s cloud computing, AI, machine learning or the internet of things it’s hard to know how these things can help increase productivity, improve operations and address issues in your business.
Working with an MSP means you have experts on tap. They’ll work with you to understand your business objectives and suggest cost effective solutions to help you reach them
Do Managed Service Providers Sound Right for You?
If you’d like to talk to us about how we can transform your IT with managed services, you can call us on 0115 8220200.
If you’d rather we call you, then please complete our Contact Form.
Managed IT Services FAQs:
We’ve done our best to try and answer some of the most common questions about managed IT services below:
Why Do I Need A Managed Service Provider?
As mentioned in this blog, managed services allow you to gain access to the latest software and best practices while paying a fixed price for on-call IT repairs. This will reduce costs against a model where you pay per repair or hire an internal IT team.
What Is Included In A Managed Service?
A managed service provider (MSP) delivers IT Support service. This covers looking after your end users, your business network, applications, infrastructure and cyber security.
What Are The Most Common Managed Services?
Some of the most common types of managed services include infrastructure management, On-site Services, Cloud Services, Security Services and Technology Support.
Why Do Companies Use Managed Services?
Companies use Managed Services as they allow them to access the very best solutions at a minimal cost.