Two words come to mind when describing Managed IT: Proactive and efficient. Suppose your company has experienced mysterious hiccups in your IT system that involves your staff resorting to desperate attempts, like rebooting their computers to get around problems so they can get their work done. That’s hardly an efficient use of their time. Have you ever calculated the time spent making up for that loss? By resolving these issues before they become problematic, Managed IT can increase your daily operations’ efficiency.
Proactive maintenance means you don’t put off a system update until it causes a shutdown of your entire IT network. Contracting with a Managed IT provider that gets to know your business’s operations and goals and has everyday experience working with companies like yours ensures the security and viability of your network. They also can suggest the technology that keeps you up and running as a proactive measure to keep workflows moving forward.
Taking a reactive approach to your IT environment can impede larger companies’ daily processes with in-house IT staff just as much as they affect small startups that attempt to manage their IT network with one tech-savvy person who scrambles to come up with reactive patchwork fixes. Companies large and small can benefit from a proactive Managed IT solution so that their staff can focus on value-adding work.
What is the Difference Between In-House IT and Managed IT?
You may have an in-house person who provides day-to-day support, maintains your infrastructure and server, and takes care of periodic software updates. Depending on how many employees you have, you may even have an IT team that manages your network. These teams can be expensive when you factor in salary, benefits, taxes, and overtime pay, on top of the hardware costs your business incurs. No matter how familiar they may be with your system, some events will deter them. If your system is old, there’s a higher chance that your employees will need help with their IT tools, and fixes can be time-consuming. This makes it more likely that your servers may have issues as well. As a result of all the scurrying around your IT people have to do to put out these fires, some may burn out and seek jobs elsewhere. Since IT professionals are always in demand, they’ll quickly find another job, while you find yourself competing with all the other companies in search of highly qualified IT people. But there is another way – Managed IT.
Companies that outsource the management of their IT networks and infrastructure by partnering with a Managed IT provider are assigned a representative from the provider. The first thing this person will do is spend time familiarizing themselves with the company’s infrastructure, software, daily operations, business goals, and progress indicators and perform an assessment of the health of your IT environment. Depending on the agreement reached between the provider and the business, this person or team virtually becomes a part of the company by applying their extensive knowledge of computer science and current advances in technology to take care of cybersecurity, apply software updates, and provide IT support.
But contracting with a Managed IT service provider does not mean you have to jettison your In-house IT staff and hand over all their responsibilities to your vendor. Many companies choose to meld the two and let their symbiotic relationship benefit the company. What tasks the Managed IT employees carry out and which are left to the in-house IT employees depend on your in-house support team’s skills and specialties and will be clearly stated in terms of the contract between your company and your managed service provider (MSP).
How Will Your Business Benefit From Managed IT?
No matter how many of the IT duties you choose to outsource to an MSP, you will benefit in multiple ways. Whether it’s cost savings, efficiency, increased competitiveness, non-compliance risk reduction, or increased cybersecurity, Managed IT can help with all of your IT needs.
Here are a few ways that Managed IT services will benefit your business:
- Cost savings result from having access to the latest technology for a fixed monthly cost rather than depleting your budget by purchasing it outright or investing time and money in training your in-house IT staff.
- You also will save money by avoiding lengthy and costly shutdowns that result from a hack attack, suspicious system crash, or software glitch. Such interruptions cost you money both in income salaries wasted while your staff sits idle. Since your MSP will provide technology experts with experience in such issues, they can help you proactively avoid downtime or quickly get things up and running again.
- You’ll be more competitive, as you’ll be able to keep up with large corporations that can afford multi-person in-house IT staff and expensive infrastructures. Managed IT will provide you with the same expertise, if not better, since they are continually upgrading their knowledge and have experience dealing with similar problems.
- You’ll also reduce the risk of not complying with government regulations and standards. No matter whether your business is involved in finance or healthcare or rakes credit card payments, Managed IT will provide you with a person thoroughly familiar with strict and ever-changing compliance rules and reporting duties.
- While there’s no way to guarantee imperviousness to the attacks of sophisticated agents of malicious cyber ambushes, Managed IT can provide you with individuals who are quick to combat them, as it is their job to keep up with the latest threats. In many cases, your Managed IT team will have counterattacked such for other clients already and can resolve these issues quickly or before your system is at risk.
What Should You Look For in an MSP?
Availability should be at the top of your list of requirements in a Managed IT partner. You need an MSP who is available 24/7, 365 days a year. When you reach out to your Managed IT service provider, you want to get your Managed IT service provider– not a call center. It’s essential to be able to talk to someone familiar with your business, its equipment, and who can give you tailored advice and a guaranteed response time. As for the rest of your list of qualities, you want to look for a service that provides:
- Disaster relief planning if you are ever hit by vandals, a natural disaster event, or a significant power outage.
- Help with planning your annual IT budget.
- Daily data backups and cloud storage.
- Third-party vendor connections so you don’t have to spend time chasing down vendors.
And of course, you’ll want the MSP to provide you with the triumvirate of preparedness – security testing, monitoring, and proactive maintenance. These three responsibilities will do as much as realistically possible to make sure your IT is safe regarding data loss, cybercrimes, and malicious attacks. Your IT provider should also remain current on all software updates, upgrades, and patches.
After reading this, we hope that you come away with an appreciation for a better understanding of outsourcing the management of your IT environment and what it can do for your business in terms of day-to-day operations, proactive preparedness, data security, and financial savings. But if there are any questions we’ve left unanswered, or if you want to learn more about us as a Managed IT provider, contact KDI Office Technology today!