The answer is that it all depends on what types of services you need or want. Though this might seem like an evasive answer, the truth is that every company is different. You might run a small law firm in New York City. Or a health clinic in Boston. You might run a large manufacturing firm in upstate New York. For each of these, the right package of managed IT services will be different because each company has different needs.
What Does Your Company Need to Succeed?
If you’re just starting out, then you might need a hardware as a service contract where the MSP provides all or most of your IT infrastructure. They will also monitor and maintain the equipment for you. You can hire one IT tech person to fix common everyday errors like the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). Or you could even outsource that to your provider.
Today’s managed IT providers are flexible. They want to create a customized plan that will give you what you want and still stay within your budget. If you think about it, this is a great way to do business. You, the client, will stay happy because you’re getting the services you need plus they fit nicely in your budget. The provider is happy because they’ve got a great customer who will tell other business owners. That’s a win-win for everyone and it’s a sustainable business model.
Are There Basic Delivery Models?
Regardless of the level of managed services you decide upon, there are several basic ways that IT managed services get delivered.
Some IT managed service providers have their own data center for remote monitoring of your IT infrastructure. Some use cloud hosting providers like Microsoft or Amazon. If you’ve chosen a bare bones plan where the provider only steps in if you have computer/server problems you can’t fix, this is called a Break/Fix plan. Each delivery method has its pros and cons.
Why Even Hire Outside IT Support?
Technology gives business owners the ability to get the most out of their IT resources and this improves efficiency. No one argues against the benefits of having good IT support staff members. They are essential to the continuity of the work cycle. They guarantee that your employees are able to focus on their jobs instead of trying to get a computer to stop locking up. There’s nothing more frustrating!
With the salaries of IT specialists coming in at around $60,000 a year, lots of business owners are rethinking the age-old practice of having their own internal IT department. There are some reasons to check out managed IT service providers:
- Salaries of IT techs are rising. In order to get the best talent, you must offer insurance, benefits, bonuses, etc.
- After a few years of working at your company, your IT guru might decide that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Once he jumps ship, you have to start all over hiring and training someone.
- There’s no way to know for sure if your IT department is patching and repairing your programs the way they should be. Are they really monitoring your network for hackers? You have to be able to trust these people, but an investigation into the Experian data breach found that their large in-house IT department wasn’t doing their job and that led in part to the data breach.
Why Should You Consider Outsourcing IT Services?
Outsourcing your managed IT services offers a strong range of benefits including:
- IT Stability: Fewer outages, less downtime, better working environment for your staff.
- Predictable Costs: Whatever managed IT services you choose, you can count on paying one monthly flat rate.
- Better Security: Your managed service provider will provide a layered security approach to avoid breaches. Your employees should be regularly trained about phishing campaigns.
- Maximum Uptime: You and your employees can get more done without frustrating delays.
How Do We Get Started?
If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing all or part of your IT department, then a good starting place is to sit down with your team and discuss your pain points. What’s really stopping your business from moving forward? Are there one or two issues you could resolve that would make a big difference?
Lots of companies are moving to the cloud and most MSP’s can help you with cloud managed services. The cloud provides 24/7 access to your data from any device or location. This means your staff can work on the go. They’re no longer tied to their desks. Cloud services use centralized network services and applications from a single data center. It’s a pretty efficient way to handle your IT infrastructure. And it’s definitely worth checking out.
The world of Information Technology is changing. It’s hard to keep up with all the breakthroughs in this field. If you’re really serious about working with a managed service provider, then look around your area. Check out those providers who are most highly rated by consumers. Most MSPs are happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.