What Is Managed Services and How Does It Apply To YOU
The realm of IT has evolved rapidly over the years. It’s a crucial component of any organization — a necessary piece to remain competitive in today’s contentious market.
But, for one reason or the other, not all businesses have the resources to build out their team of experts. This is especially true of small-to-mid-sized companies. To stay competitive and accommodate the technical needs of their organization, many companies look into managed IT services as a solution.
Managed IT services, or outsourced IT, is a third-party service that provides infrastructure, IT, and other technical support to organizations. You might also hear this type of company referred to as an MSP, short for managed service provider.
Services MSPs offer can vary widely, covering everything from cybersecurity needs, VoIP solutions, backup recovery, and more. Organizations typically seek out outsourced IT support when they lack the capital to hire and manage their own in-house IT team. Or when they prefer the expertise and benefits that outsourcing can provide.
MSP's use a broad range of IT expertise to resolve issues efficiently. Unlike break/fix providers, MSPs can employ the latest processes and software to proactively monitor endpoints, keeping systems up-to-date and preventing issues before they arise.
Managed IT services are also available 24/7/365, allowing end users to take nights and weekends off while the MSPs do the heavy lifting on tasks and processes done after hours.
MSP services are typically offered at a flat recurring rate in tiered levels, offering a greater level of automation and a higher degree of management at higher levels based on the specified service level agreement.
However, managed IT services do not necessarily make the enterprise IT professional obsolete; for the end user, an IT professional can act as an endpoint liaison that manages the relationship, provides feedback and analyzes the reports provided by the MSP. Because the majority of routine work is being completed by the MSP, the IT professional is capable of greater efficiency and has the flexibility to tackle larger, more complex projects they would otherwise not have the time or capacity to take on.
BENIFITS OF A MSP
Through outsourcing managed IT services, SMBs are able to reap the benefits of receiving IT support at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to creating a comparable team in-house. Additionally, MSPs can also offer a wealth of experience from actively managing multiple client accounts that in-house teams would not collectively have.
Additionally, by using an MSP organizations are able to forecast their monthly, quarterly, and yearly expenditure on IT, and are freed from having to focus on this area of operational readiness. This allows SMBs to focus on growing their business without worrying about day-to-day IT issues or requirements.
Another benefit to managed IT services is a greater opportunity for security expertise and successfully enacted security policies. MSPs work with standards such as PCI compliance day in, day out, and should be able to steer your organization within the parameters and regulations it needs to adhere to. For some organizations, especially in finance, healthcare, educations, and other industries, this type of regulatory compliance is mandatory for the IT portion of their business, and requires the expertise and experience that a managed service provider can offer. MSPs can mitigate risk in this way while assuring that the experts in charge of your IT operations are always up to date on the latest information, technologies and processes that will keep your infrastructure working efficiently and successfully into the future.
The long-term costs of an MSP are more often cheaper than having an in-house IT department. A full-time IT employee or IT department with technology capabilities equivalent to an MSP would likely be more expensive than outsourcing to an MSP. In addition, an in-house IT company will be limited by vacation days, sick leave, etc.
When it comes to the simple cost of an IT Managed Service Provider, they should charge a flat monthly fee that includes all services. This number is typically based off of endpoints and the number of computers. Your MSP will also provide Out of Scope Services and any additional costs that would incur if outside of the contracted project scope.