In 2021, businesses of all sizes, across all industries face a myriad of challenges – the pandemic, cyber attacks, remote access vulnerabilities, back-to-the-office considerations, increasing competition, engaging qualified employees, maxed-out bandwidth, reaching new customers, regional or national expansion, and a whole lot more.
But where do businesses go when they’ve reached their limit and still need to right size, expand, or align their IT systems, applications, and operations to address the demands of the business? A great place to start this conversation is with managed IT services and MSPs.
What Exactly Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services can be tweaked in whatever way necessary to assist your IT teams or your business as a whole. For the most part, they include any outsourced service that manages, maintains, supports, or monitors your IT processes, networks, devices, data, security, access, and performance for the betterment of your organization.
Managed services are perfect for businesses looking to capture more value out of IT systems and investments, evolve or upgrade their legacy IT systems and applications, and remove technical debt. They are also ideal for businesses looking for a cost effective way to scale their overworked IT staff and overall IT operations. This can include taking over just a portion of or the entire IT operations for a company, thus enabling overloaded IT departments to focus on more critical and strategic priorities.
Below are a few examples of managed services that are available:
- Helpdesk support services
- Network testing and monitoring
- Network security, scanning, and vulnerability remediation
- Security threat monitoring, detection, and response
- Compliance assessment, remediation, and document management
- Connectivity and bandwidth
- Data backup and storage
- Hardware and software installation and upgrades
- Software patching
- Web and application hosting
- Tech support
Do Managed IT Services Include Design and Implementation or Just Management?
The short answer is yes – for both scenarios. Many managed IT providers have the experience and knowledge needed to design and implement IT systems and networks. It really just depends on the current needs of the company considering bringing an MSP into the fold.
Some organizations are seeking expert engineering and architecture resources to both design their IT strategies and take ownership over implementing the new applications or systems once planning has been completed. In this scenario, the MSP would be handling the majority of the planning, design, and implementation, in addition to providing ongoing maintenance and support of the new IT system or environment.
Some organizations might handle the technology implementation themselves if they have the internal expertise and resources available. Other organizations prefer to turn over just the day-to-day monitoring, maintenance, and management of the systems.
Reasons Why Organizations Choose Managed Services
There are many reasons why a business might choose to outsource. Perhaps they don’t have the bandwidth or available resources necessary to manage the IT systems and operations on their own. Due to the shortage of IT talent in the industry, many organizations struggle to recruit and retain qualified IT personnel and thus, turn to outsourcing.
Or maybe they just need some extra help during peak busy seasons to get them over the hump. Whatever their rationale, managed services are steadily gaining in popularity and are well on their way to being mainstream considerations.
What Benefits Do MSPs Provide?
There are many financial and operational benefits that can be realized by partnering with an MSP, but here are some of the most popular benefits that clients report:
- Exceptional response times – Proactive MSPs normally can provide critical support in less than 24 hours.
- Service level agreement pricing – Trustworthy MSPs offer flexible pricing models that are tailored to address your unique service level and business requirements.
- Advanced security solutions – Superior MSPs can recommend and implement robust security solutions and help you to detect and respond to threats, attacks, and scams.
- Backup and recovery options – If system, network, or application downtimes ever occur, highly responsive MSPs can keep your data and customer information safe and can help you restore your business and systems to an operational state.
- Range of services – Innovative MSPs offer many different types of engineering services and can provide access to subject matter experts when your business needs it the most.
- Instantaneous accessibility – Professional MSPs can offer safe, always-on access to systems, applications, and your data – no matter your location (in-office or remote).