What is Managed IT Services?
Managed IT service is the process of offloading certain Information Technology procedures to a specific services provider that is known in the technical jargons as MSP or a Managed Services Provider. A Managed Services Provider (MSP) or Management Service Provider is a business entity that manages, maintains, and provides recommendations on existing and planned IT infrastructure of another company that hires them for their technical expertise. The MSP gets to work on the company’s behalf. Their responsibilities include managing, monitoring, and solving problems afflicting a particular IT function or system of a business or company.
Among the services offered by MSPs include technical support, data security, data backup, patch management, alerts and recovery for a variety of IT assets such as desktops, servers, notebooks, peripherals, network appliances, software applications, and storage systems. Employing an MSP to a business will give its administrators the freedom to focus on handling core IT functions of the industry that they are specialized with, eliminating the worries about the interruptions that IT issues may cause.
Engaging a company with a managed IT service often starts with a monitoring service, wherein the MSP alerts the business of a problem with which the business has to resolve on its own. This process also includes conducting an assessment of the current status of a company’s IT structure. In this way, the MSP determines the scope or extent of assistance needed that can help a company decide what level of managed IT service it needs.
Why Small and Medium Sized Business Should Deal with Managed IT Services?
To compete effectively in this ever-changing and competitive business landscape, businesses big or small needs to be equipped with advanced technology and manpower to operate as efficiently as possible. However, small and medium sized businesses’ need for IT resources is often overlooked or even disregarded. The idea of everyday routine and obligation of maintaining an IT infrastructure to keep the business up and about usually overwhelm small and medium business proprietors.
Truth is, any kind of business should not be left behind when it comes to critical IT aspects like software patches, file backups, and data security. It is unfortunate that a business that falls behind has to face IT outages that may result to other problems that can possibly impact the productivity and revenue of the company. Picture a crashed email server, busted financial network, or a malfunctioning customer service system. These things can happen inevitably, and if a company is ill-prepared for this eventuality, it poses a serious threat on its operations and will certainly impact the whole company for an unknown period of time.
Hiring a managed IT services will help your IT staff concentrate on projects that needs to be prioritized. They ardently monitor and maintain a business’s system which is very helpful to avoid further technical problems. If malfunctions and errors occur, a business can always rely on its MSP to troubleshoot and fix immediately.
In the old structure of outsourcing situations, a company will need to resign outright authority of everything about its IT assets. Managed IT services, on the other hand, lets companies decide what MSP should cover and what things the firm has determined to supervise. More importantly, MSPs also give companies the liberty to watch over the process of how their services treat and manage the system.
How Managed IT Services Make Sense for Small and Medium Sized Businesses
A number of SMB companies are increasing in every industry and they all face the same challenge of utilizing an IT network. To keep up with the dynamic movement on the world of business, small and medium sized enterprises should exert double efforts to sustain their system’s stability. Concurrently, owners should also be very watchful of how they use their budget especially with IT investments and operational costs. With this dilemma, the SMBs best bet is taking advantage of managed IT services.
Below are just some of the benefits that SMBs can work out by outsourcing their IT operations:
Scaled Down IT Cost
This probably is the most fascinating reason why SMBs should consider outsourcing their IT operations and management to MSPs. Managing technologies personally can be very costly for business proprietors thus some of them turns to MSP for help. Businesses that incorporate managed IT services in the organization are able to convert fixed expenditure to variable costs. Positively, the enterprise can make use of its capital in other phases of the business, making it more visible and appealing within its industry.
Getting More with Less
The use of latest technology in a business can be an invincible task for small-to-mid-sized enterprises. Usually, integrating a new technology to a business will take weeks of arrangements for it to be implemented. Most probably, the business will be required to hire IT staffs that possess proper certification to facilitate training. By hiring a competent and reliable MSP, SMBs do not have to appoint too many IT professionals that will undergo coaching. This can be beneficial for SMBs to remain effective while lowering down the expenses associated with integrating latest technology to its system.
Raised Bars for Security and Compliance
Making purchases has become more digitally oriented these days. For this reason, SMBs are urged to raise the bar when it comes to compliance and security to earn costumer’s precious trust and loyalty that is one of the best ways to further boost earnings. Receiving payments in various forms (credit cards, PayPal etc.) safely is a very challenging task for SMBs. It is a very costly area of a business particularly in the technological aspect; one good example is the installation of DMZ which prevents external access to critical data in the company’s internal network. Installing of this kind of technical infrastructure is needed to comply with PCI Data Security Standards or PCI DSS, an organization that assure proper legitimate handling of cardholder info. By employing managed IT services, SMBs can lessen the risks correlated with protecting customer data while tightening up the budget on IT expenditures.
Round-the-clock Tech Support
SMBs who decide to manage in-house IT infrastructure often find it hard to source efficient IT expert that can help them deliver technical support to customers on a 24/7 basis. Engaging with managed IT services will help SMBs to get in touch with a team of IT specialists that is promptly available at any time. This team can entertain and resolve any technical issues anytime of the day, even on weekends and holidays.
Before employing MSP, SMBs should first conduct some in-house evaluation. Streaming down the costs that may be affected of the possible changes and is necessary in generating cost comparison; system administration, patching, upgrades, installations, system downtime, asset management, training and salaries. Can this integration minimize costs, or is going to be the other way around? If this question is answered positively, then SMBs can go ahead and find a credible managed service provider that is best equipped to handle their IT infrastructure and operations.
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