Managed IT services can reduce the strain on your in-house IT staff, permitting your team to focus on matters pertaining to strategic growth rather than day-to-day operations. With less time spent on mundane tasks like daily service and support, they can focus on leveraging the best software solutions for your firm and ways to improve your IT infrastructure to boost productivity across departments.
What are managed IT services?
Managed IT services include any information technology service and support handled by an outside firm through cloud-based software. These information technology solutions often provide round-the-clock monitoring of your systems, along with proactive support, and timely troubleshooting and repair services—often before your in-house team may realize there's an issue.
Some examples of managed IT support include remote monitoring and management of your network, managed video conferencing solutions and other collaboration tools, server maintenance, cloud-based storage, virtual machine management and cybersecurity measures.
The benefits of managed IT services include cost-savings, round-the-clock IT services and support and reduced strain on your in-house IT staff to become experts in the myriad applications your organization uses on a daily basis. Having one firm manage all such services can reduce costs and increase your peace of mind that your systems will work when you need them.
Benefits of managed IT services
Let's explore the myriad benefits of IT support services provided remotely for small- to mid-sized business owners.
- Holistic approach streamlines operations. With monitoring, management, data storage and security (to name just a few) under one roof, there is no finger-pointing or blame when something goes wrong. Your managed IT solutions and support team will fix the problem.
- Centralized applications and servers improve security and stability. With managed services, your data and apps are hosted remotely, usually in a virtual server environment. These facilities usually follow international standards for security and control. Even if a natural disaster, fire or flood strikes your office, your data will be secure in a remote facility. Managed service providers have standards established to help you maintain business continuity if something goes wrong in your office or off-site.
- Round-the-clock service provides peace of mind. Imagine this scenario. It's after midnight and you're putting the final touches on a crucial presentation when the server goes down. Your in-house IT staff has been home for hours. But your managed service provider (MSP) is on the job. In fact, with managed IT support services, there's a high likelihood the network wouldn't fail, because the MSP would notice there was a problem before you did.
- Trained managed IT service professionals can fill roles your in-house staff can't. Today's IT infrastructure and software applications often require unique, specialized skill sets. Implementing new software requires learning new skills that are only needed once. You can spend time and money training your in-house team each time you roll out a new program, or you can let your MSP take charge of the situation.
- In-house IT staff can focus on innovation. With the nuts and bolts of day-to-day operations running on autopilot thanks to your managed IT service provider, your IT team can focus on your company's core competencies and the innovative ideas that will keep it at the top of your industry.
- Managed IT support firms can help ensure compliance. From consumer privacy to the security of financial data, compliance rules and standards help protect individual rights. Especially for business owners in the e-commerce, retail, healthcare, education, financial services and legal industries, compliance plays a crucial role in avoiding fines and growing your customer base. Managed IT services can shift the burden of compliance. Trained experts can ensure your technology systems adhere to national and international rules and regulations.
- Stable costs reduce cash flow burdens. Managed IT services have low start-up costs and steady monthly payments, making it easier for you to budget for your IT expenses.
- Centralized management simplifies remote or flexible working arrangements. Not only does the centralized management of your IT services reduce overall infrastructure costs, it ensures all employees have the same technology experience. Whether employees work in your office, a satellite office, from home or via another location, they can log in and experience the same speed and security as if they were on-site.
- Scalability helps conserve resources and control costs. It's easy to scale up your managed IT services as your business needs grow. With pay-as-you-go service plans, you can even decide to scale up managed IT solutions during your busiest season and scale down again when needed.
- Future-proof services keep you on the cutting edge of your industry. Your managed IT service provider is continuously learning, training and upgrading systems to ensure leading technology systems. You gain the benefit of their expertise and investments to stay at the cutting edge of technology without having to pay for upgrades or training.
Why choose managed IT services?
If you're wondering why so many businesses choose managed IT services, consider how important the benefits of IT support services listed above are to you. It may also help to weigh the pros and cons:
- Cost savings
- Time savings/consistency
- Cutting-edge technology at your fingertips/innovation
- Increased IT staff productivity and efficiency
- Your important technology systems are in the hands of an outside firm
- Your organization is not yet large enough to require managed services or you haven't automated enough business processes to offset the costs of such services
- To ultimately decide if managed IT services are right for you, think about your technology needs now and in the immediate future. Will the monthly costs of managed services deliver a return on your investment? Only you know for sure, depending on the nature of your company and your evolving technology needs.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice.