So, what IS managed services?
Simply put, managed IT services allow a business to outsource certain operations to a service provider. The Managed Service Provider or MSP assumes responsibility for an agreed upon set of services. Managed services can drive positive organizational change through cost savings, access to best-in-class professionals & methodologies, strategic level planning and ultimately, better decision making.
IT is one of the most commonly outsourced operations due to the array of complex challenges that fall under the IT umbrella. Having an experienced and diverse team of in-house IT experts on staff that is qualified to handle a range of scenarios is not practical for most small-and-midsized businesses (SMBs).
How do I know if managed services are right for my company?
Whatever business you are in, you likely have IT challenges. If you are considering outsourcing your IT operations, you may find that one or more of these situations sound familiar.
In-house IT is no longer a practical option. Maybe you’ve managed with a one-person IT department until now. You recognize that it’s too much work for one person but your company isn’t large enough to hire an entire IT department, even though that’s exactly what you need.
You wouldn’t be comfortable entrusting your IT operations to inexperienced team members. To run an efficient and secure IT department you need a diverse team with a variety of skill sets. IT pros are in high demand these days and that means they don’t come cheap – especially if they have the depth of experience and qualifications you require.
Through IT managed services you have access to a team of experts with experience in every area of IT management without the overhead costs associated with internal employees.
On the fence about hiring internally? Check out The Top 10 Challenges of Hiring an Internal IT Staff.
You’re spending too much on IT. Is fire-fighting mode the standard for your internal team? Or even for your outsourced team? Only dealing with problems as they happen won’t lead to a more efficient operation and leaves your organization vulnerable to bigger problems down the line. Repair costs at any time of the day or night get VERY expensive, very quickly.
If your company is experiencing too much downtime or if you find yourself saying “We don’t need a repair guy or company, we need for problems to not happen in the first place!”, then you need a proactive IT approach.
Instead of waiting for the next thing to happen a proactive-minded managed service provider will diagnose WHAT went wrong and WHY it went wrong to keep it from happening again. They’ll get to know your systems & processes and identify problem areas as well as opportunities.
Have you thought about how much you could reduce support or repair costs if the problems were tackled BEFORE they ever impacted your business? That’s the job of the proactive IT MSP.
Your technology isn’t keeping pace with the growth of your organization. As your company grows, your technology should be an asset, not a burden. Maybe your IT guy is fantastic, but he has his hands' full juggling day-to-day issues. As your company grows, so will the demands on your systems and technology. An IT pro with a strategic mindset and the right expertise should be assessing your future needs and how to leverage technology.
This links back to proactive IT. A proactive managed service provider works as a strategic partner, ensuring that you have the systems you need in place to enhance future functionality, maximize productivity and continue to reduce risk and costs.
You are concerned about security. Business owners know that safeguarding their IT systems is critical. In today’s environment, IT security alone can be a full-time job and many SMBs are beginning to think that security is not something that they have the expertise to handle internally.
According to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Another report shows that only 14% of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks, vulnerabilities, and attacks as highly effective.
While it may not be in your IT staffing budget to hire an internal security expert, a proactive IT managed service provider can deliver peace of mind via a deeper level of comprehensive security strategy & expertise to help your organization stay several steps ahead of evolving risks.
You and your team can’t be expected to be experts in every area of IT. If you believe that IT managed services might be a fit for your company, make sure you find a proactive partner that is committed to keeping you up and running and working with you to make recommendations that are right for your organization!