Many small and medium-sized business owners are asking ‘What are managed IT services’ and how can they help their business. Are you one of them?
In today’s rapidly evolving digital age, even small missteps in information technology (IT) can result in major setbacks for your business. Many businesses would rather just focus on what they do best, running their business. However, IT has just become such an important part of so many businesses, that it becomes a core competency for many of them.
Fortunately, there is a solution to the expense and challenge of running your own IT, managed IT services.
In this blog post, we will define managed IT services, identify the benefits, and define the core services offered. At the conclusion of this blog post, you should have enough of an understanding to know if it is something you want to explore further for your business.
What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT Services, at its core, is an external IT team dedicated to supporting your business. They handle everything from maintaining your IT infrastructure to proactively addressing issues before they escalate. Traditional IT services are typically reactive, whereas managed IT services are proactive.
What are the benefits of Managed IT Services?
There are several benefits to using managed IT services. Think of Managed IT Services as your shield against unforeseen tech glitches and threats. Besides offering a cost-efficient solution by eliminating the need for an in-house IT team, some benefits of managed IT services, include:
- Specialized expertise for your unique needs.
- Scalability, with the ability to grow alongside your business.
- Continuous monitoring, with the ability to proactively detect and resolve issues as they occur, ensuring minimal downtime.
- Fortified security measures that protect your small business against cyber threats.
What Core Services are Offered in Managed IT?
There are several distinct IT-related services that make up Managed IT services. They include:
Network management encompasses everything from monitoring your network to managing bandwidth and VPN services. In other words, managing your network to ensure optimal performance.
Data Backup & Recovery:
Data backup and recovery entails ensuring that your data is never lost. This is accomplished through
cloud storage solutions, disaster recovery plans, and regular backups. Data backup and recovery safeguards your data against potential losses.
Security management is the process of protecting an organization’s data and assets against potential threats. It includes the use of such tools as firewalls, intrusion detections, anti-virus protection, and employee security training.
Software & Hardware Management:
Software and hardware management includes software patch management, software licensing, updates, and hardware inventory – everything’s taken care of. A software patch is software the addresses a vulnerability in a software application.
Cloud Services Management:
Cloud services management includes integrations with cloud providers, cost optimization, and cloud migration support. It includes the management of all IT functions that are performed on the “Cloud.”
What is the cloud?
You have likely heard the term. The cloud is a distributed collection of servers that host hardware, software, and infrastructure that is accessed over the Internet.
Help Desk & Support:
Help desk and support consists of any service provided to ensure that your IT system continues operating, as expected. These activities include remote troubleshooting, on-site assistance, and 24/7 support that ensures you’re never left in the lurch.
How Can a Small Business Implement Managed IT Services?
To start implementing managed IT services, the first step is to assess your current IT infrastructure. This is also called a gap analysis.
Once you’ve identified the gaps, choose the right Managed Services Provider (MSP) that best fits your needs. The next step is transitioning your IT to a new managed services provider (MSP). This step involves a lot of collaboration between your MSP and any existing IT staff.
The final step is to remember to regularly review and update your service agreements to reflect your evolving business needs.
How is the Cost Structure of Managed IT Services Determined?
MSPs are offered with several different pricing models. Pricing models include a fixed monthly or annual fee. Other models include a pay-as-you-go model, or services on a retainer. Some vendors offer a customizable service package that is tailored to fit your unique business requirements.
What are the Potential Risks & Challenges with Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services also have potential risks and challenges. Some of these risks include relying too much on an external team, making your business overly dependent upon your MSP.
While most MSPs are transparent, always be wary of potential hidden costs. Additionally, data privacy is crucial, so make sure you have a clear Service Level Agreement (SLAs) to mitigate potential misunderstandings.
What are the Future Trends in Managed IT Services?
Businesses of all sizes are becoming increasingly dependent upon IT. Additionally, it is increasing in significance in all industries across the economic spectrum. As a result, the future is bright for managed IT services.
New technologies and applications are emerging that further makes IT a bright spot in the future. Some of these emerging technologies include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Cybersecurity gains and tailor-made solutions for remote work and virtualization, amongst other things.
Information technology is becoming more important for businesses of all sizes. Managed IT services have emerged as a way for businesses to focus on what they do best and turn over their IT to the experts.
In this blog post, we have defined managed IT services, identified the benefits, and listed the services it entails. Hopefully, we have given you enough information to start to evaluate whether it is right for your business.
If you looking to make improvements to your small business, or grow it to the next level, we can help. We provide merchant cash advances, equipment financing, and working capital financing to small and medium-sized businesses in all industries. Contact us or call (800) 795-3919 to speak with a small business specialist today.