“Managed IT Services” sounds like a fancy technology buzzword for outsourcing.
However, there’s a lot more to it and industry experts are confident in its continued growth. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, here is some food for thought.
In fact, research from trusted analyst Gartner predicts that the fast-evolving world of technology will cause more companies to seek managed IT services just to keep up with the rapid changes in the digital business arena.
“Managed IT Services” refers to the process of allowing a third-party to manage your IT infrastructure. The Managed Services Provider (MSP) agrees to handle specific services, including 24-hour monitoring, problem resolution, data backup and recovery, cyber security, alerts, updates, patch management, as well as the maintenance of servers, storage systems and all network applications. MSPs typically offer a variety of service packages, from minimal monitoring to full-service on-site support, to meet the exact needs of their clients.
The terms outsourcing or consulting usually conjure up images of big budgets and wasted resources, especially for small businesses that are accustomed to operating as efficiently as possible with minimal staff. Using an MSP, however, is the opposite of those negative connotations. Technology continues to grow even more complex and companies that don’t keep up are at a disadvantage. From the customer experience to employee productivity, technology plays a vital role in the efficiency of a company. IT is an area that is often underrepresented in a small business. Owners and their employees find it difficult to keep up with even routine IT functions. As a result, security becomes a greater risk and outages or lost data become more likely. Imagine the productivity and revenue losses that would result if a financial application or e-mail server were to suddenly crash or become infected by mal-ware.
Think of your MSP as your personal IT expert, someone that takes care of the IT infrastructure so you can focus on running your business. No more troubleshooting when problems arise. No more worrying about the security of sensitive information. You can allow them to do as little or as much as possible. Some companies prefer to just use a MSP for monitoring, to proactively identify problems before they become a serious hindrance to productivity. Others allow the MSP to completely take over every aspect of their IT infrastructure. Initially, a MSP will perform an assessment and make recommendations based on your specific business model and processes. You can choose the service package that best fits your needs.
If you aren’t sure about the level of service you need, consider these questions.
- What are your technology requirements?
- What new technologies would you utilize if you had the opportunity?
- What is your current level of support?
- Is it meeting your needs?
- What areas are troublesome, hard to manage?
- How much will a technology outage affect your productivity?
Unlike consulting, using a MSP leaves the power in your hands. You maintain control of IT decisions. You can better budget IT needs because using managed IT services allows for more predictability. Loss in productivity, costly fixes and cyber attack repairs are much less likely with your MSP by your side.
Stanfield IT specializes in managed IT services and cloud-based solutions, with a specific focus on small business. We help small businesses get the most out of applications from the biggest names in the business, including Microsoft, CISCO, Google and HP.
Let our experts help you focus more on running a successful business and less on whether or not your IT infrastructure is intact. Contact us to learn more.