What IT Functions Can Be Delivered Through Managed Services?
Do you know how much the whole world spent on IT in 2019? A few hundred billions? How about $4 trillion? If 2020 were any normal year the numbers would have been even bigger.
Nowadays IT is considered an indispensable part of any business. It will be irresponsible to even operate a business without thinking about IT.
But we get it. IT as a whole can be quite intimidating. The blinking lights, the tech jargon, even the new devices all seem like something pretty hard to understand. That’s why we believe the best solution for the majority of businesses out there is to hire somebody to take care of all their IT needs.
With a good IT partner, a business can focus on what they do best and let the techy people handle the ones and zeroes. One such partnership can come in the form of Managed IT Services.
In a nutshell, Managed IT Services is the practice of hiring a 3rd-party to handle all your IT concerns for your business. Everything from VoIP to cybersecurity can be handled by a Managed Services Provider. Question is, are Managed IT Services for you? Why should you get it? What exact functions should you be expecting to be covered?
Let’s find out. But first, let’s try to find out if you need managed IT services first.
Why Should I Get Managed IT Services?
Whenever we talk to businesses about managed IT services, the first question they ask us is if such a service is necessary. To be honest, it is quite hard to answer directly so we usually prepare a set of questions that can help clients figure out if they need to have their IT services managed.
- Do you have an in-house IT team?
- How often have you suffered IT related problems within the past few months?
- How reliant is your business on your network and devices?
- If any of them breaks down, how much time can you afford until somebody fixes it?
- Would you choose a preventive or reactive approach to IT concerns?
- How much of a change will it be if your business can focus on making sales, improving your product/service, and cultivating clientele instead of worrying about your IT?
A lot of businesses don’t know when they need to have managed IT services. However, we believe that the moment you think IT concerns are becoming a big focus point in your business then that’s when you need managed IT services.
At this point, businesses might still not be 100% convinced. After all, they are not facing any IT issues yet so who needs a team to fix it, right?
Well, this is the part where we can talk about the different functions or services that are included when you get an MSP to handle your IT concerns for you. Let’s try to list them all.
What Functions Should I Expect to be Included in Managed IT Services?
When you get managed IT services, it’s like having your very own in-house IT department without having to worry about manpower, equipment, or expertise. Here are a couple of services/functions that you should expect when you hire a managed services provider.
Proactive Support and Monitoring
One of the main selling points of a managed IT service is the 24/7 monitoring and support they can provide their businesses. Unlike a regular IT team, an MSP can watch over your network to either prevent a problem or solve an existing one at any time of the day. Getting a 24-hour IT team in-house will put a dent in your operational budget. Managed services can provide the same and more for just a fraction of the cost. A good team will also put into place a number of safeguards to prevent future problems. All of these can be done remotely so you won’t have to allocate additional resources within your premises for the MSPs to do their job.
MSPs understand that problems and accidents with different devices happen all the time. That is why it’s quite normal for them to provide round-the-clock help desks for any IT related concern. With a help desk ready to provide you with solutions, you can reduce downtime and in turn increase worker productivity.
Data is one of the most important commodities nowadays and in 2020 alone, cybercriminals caused $20 billion worth of damage in various ransomware attacks targeting user data. That is why securing your business and customer data is a top priority for all MSPs. A data breach or security leak can spell disaster for any business – financially and PR-wise. Hackers are known to prefer smaller businesses as they usually have weaker defenses.
Compliance can be a headache to a lot of businesses especially for those that handle sensitive information. Compliance regulations exist to ensure you are capable of handling data. Failure to comply usually translates to legal problems and loss of customer confidence. A lot of these regulations are related to online security practices. A lot of compliance regulations focus on protection against hacking and other cyber attacks but some involve the storage and handling of data. Compliance regulations change from one industry to another so you need to make sure the MSP you are working knows the specifics or has experience in your industry.
Backup and Recovery
No matter how good your MSP is, there will be a time when something unexpected happens and you suffer from data loss. This can be due to a force majeure, a power outage, or a virus infiltrating your system. When this happens, the effects can be disastrous to your business. Just imagine losing your client files, creatives, important business documents, or production SOPs. Oftentimes, the data lost is worth more than the IT issue at hand.
When you work with a good MSP, they do regular backups of your data and offer recovery services in the most dire cases. What they usually do is they create a copy of your existing data to an off-site location so it won’t get jeopardized whatever happens to your physical location.
IT Planning and Forecasting
IT service providers should always be forward-thinking. As such, they should not only focus on solving the concerns a client has NOW but also possible issues they may have in the future. This includes looking at the client’s future and creating an IT plan that will suit the growth of the business. After all, as the business grows so does their IT needs. A good MSP should be able to forecast and plan a strategy for the client. Not all MSPs can offer this but if you find one that can then you make sure you keep them.
It will be hard for any business nowadays to survive this IT-run world without a good partner who can help them navigate. Managed IT services can help businesses by letting them focus on what they do best and not having to worry about IT-related stuff.
Atlantic IT offers tried and tested managed IT services for large and emerging companies in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. We provide excellent IT support to all our clients thansks to our team of expert managed IT service engineers and IT specialists. If your business has an IT need, don’t hesitate to give Atlantic IT a call.