Whitepaper: The Many Benefits of IT Managed Services
The Many Benefits of IT Managed Services
As technology has become a major driving force for competitiveness, companies must now constantly reinvent themselves in order to keep up with recent IT developments. There are some businesses, however, that are not properly equipped for delivering more efficient and productive business operations. As many SMEs usually work with limited resources, it means that coming up with a steady and reliable IT management team or system can be quite a challenge.
The ideal solution is to hire third-party providers that can help manage your company's IT needs and tasks. Also known as managed support services, managed IT services or MSPs, this is a very popular option in today's business landscape: In 2016, it was reported that more than 64% of businesses relied on managed services for their IT support. Additionally, the growth of managed services is expected to increase dramatically before 2020, where the market is predicted to be worth more than $190 billion.
This is proof that more and more businesses are becoming familiar with MSPs and what they can bring to organisations of every size and industry.
What is Managed Services?
How much time can your company lose before it starts impacting revenue?
Well, imagine this scenario happening in your company: Your IT staff is completely swamped with tasks, and, in addition, your network suddenly starts slowing down. As all your data is online, your employees are unable to perform their tasks. Most likely, you must wait several hours before all the problems are fixed.
Imagine the chaos. Imagine the frustration. Can you afford that?
A reliable managed service provider is the perfect solution for the above scenario. They are the ideal partners for companies, perhaps especially SMEs, that can easily become overwhelmed by how their IT needs are being limited by resources. When delegating IT tasks to MSPs, these providers will manage, monitor, and repair anything the company’s computer network needs – in real time.
In a highly advanced technological world, losing precious time due to IT problems can lead to severe losses for your business. But with a reliable IT managed services provider, important IT functions such as network monitoring, data storage, cyber security, email hosting, backup and disaster recovery, can now be within reach at any time of the day.
Managed Services as Compared to Traditional Solutions
Before managed services became popular, companies mainly relied on more traditional solutions: calling in the technician.
For small businesses, the practice is usually to hire a technician from outside the company who then physically goes to the office and attempts to fix the problem. However, this can be a costly method as IT technicians tend to charge by the hour. If a problem isn’t fixed within two or three hours, he can return the following day and (hopefully) bring a solution – all while racking up billed hours.
With a managed service provider, the situation is likely to be more stable – including the fees. MSPs are always on-call and are charged a fixed monthly fee. As such, it won’t matter how many times they fix a problem – their rate remains the same. However, the reactive and agile response of most IT managed service partners means that potential issues can often be fixed in their infancy, meaning they are often completely mitigated before they have the time to wreak havoc in your system.
In other words, if your company relies on IT for its day-to-day operations, you can greatly benefit if you hire a managed services provider.
What Can IT Managed Services Offer?
Outsourcing your IT requirements can bring many benefits to you organisation, regardless of size or industry. Let’s take a closer look at what IT Managed Services can bring to the table:
Managed services can lead to a cut in expenses
Companies that work with reliable managed services providers will no longer need to worry about a high capital budget and an increase in operational costs and IT-related expenses. As MSPs charge a fixed monthly fee, you’ll know what the cost is month after month, and you won’t go over your budget.
Managed service providers allow businesses to focus on its core responsibilities
As your daily IT requirements will be handled externally, your employees will have more time to focus on their primary tasks, thereby helping increase their efficiency and productivity.
The main responsibilities of managed services include
- Network setup
- General maintenance
- Data backup
- Devices coordination
- Network security
With a dedicated outsourced IT team to work on these matters, it will be easy to ensure your network is always running.
Managed services help keep your network safe from online attacks
Cybersecurity remains a great challenge for small business owners, as a recent survey revealed that 43% of all cyberattacks are directed towards small business. As such, it’s essential for companies to work with partners that can provide an extra level of security. And this is one of the things that MSPs offer.
Your managed service providers regularly monitor your system – and they can provide you with updated security reports, too. Likewise, they can perform security, compliance and risk checks. Your provider has highly functional and efficient security measures in place, thereby ensuring that your network is always secure and protected.
Managed services providers are on-call and immediately available when needed
Compared to traditional IT technicians who work on a schedule, managed services providers are available anytime you need them. In addition, online support is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You won’t have to wait for their schedule to free up before they can work on your need because they will readily honour your agreement of continuous high-quality service.
In other words, the response time of managed services providers is faster than that of traditional technicians. Downtimes and slowing down of network are efficiently prevented.
Managed services use the cloud and offer backup of data
Storing and managing data is now easier thanks to cloud computing. And this is something that MSPs take advantage of. With cloud technology, you’re assured that your business won’t lose data (whether by accident or otherwise), shareable content will be easier to administer, and accessibility on the part of your employees will no longer be a problem.
Perhaps the biggest benefit companies can get from managed services is proactive service. This means whatever technical issues arise are immediately addressed so possible negative effects on your company or organization are prevented.
How Do You Select a Managed Services Provider?
Of course, if you want the best results for your company, you will have to take time to choose a reliable and good managed services provider. To help you start, here are some useful pointers:
- Find an MSP that truly understands your company’s goals and objectives—including staying updated with the latest developments in technology.
A good MSP is one that fully understands and believes in your company’s goals and objectives. It is essential to choose an MSP that is as passionate as your organization in providing only the best options for its consumers and stakeholders.
In addition, a reliable managed services provider should know how to keep you updated or in the loop with the latest developments in technology, particularly in relation to the field or industry your business belongs to.
- A reliable MSP is available and can be depended on all the time.
Your managed services provider is your partner in working towards the company’s growth and success. As such, you should choose one that is available (and reachable) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
Work may not take up all 24 hours of your daily life, but the company’s computer network is up and running all the time so MSPs should be available all the time, too. Besides, there may be instances when immediate service is needed, especially in times of tech emergencies.
An additional bonus for a good MSP would be remote monitoring capabilities, which is essential in ensuring 24/7 reliable services.
- A good MSP quickly responds to your company’s needs.
Response time for your chosen managed services provider should be faster than the usual. If you choose one that merely passes calls to a call center, then you shouldn’t expect a fast and efficient response. The ideal MSP is one that has its own 24-hour response or action center; one that can quickly provide the help your organization needs—especially the ones that require emergency action.
- A good and reliable MSP should have solid procedures for backup and data recovery.
In case your company’s network or system encounters data failure and other similar problems, your managed services provider should be prepared at all costs. To save your organization from further troubles when things like this happen, find an MSP that offers a rock solid procedure or program for backup and data recovery. This way, you are assured that no matter what happens, your most sensitive data will be securely protected and backed up.
Find a managed services provider that offers backup and data recovery via a remote server—one that offers cloud services. Additionally, regular screening for security should be provided to help keep your system protected from hackers and other cybercriminals.
- Find an MSP that offers support services for your employees.
Not all of your employees are IT specialists, so there may come a time when they will need help for any technology-related issue. In cases like this, it is always ideal to go with a managed services provider that has prepared support programs for your employees.
It would be an added point if the MSP has the capability to resolve employee technology-related issues using remote access.
How SAS Can Help
Technology is exciting. But as the industry is burgeoning rapidly, it can be rather overwhelming to navigate the market. If your goal is to improve your company’s efficiency, productivity and growth, the best thing to do is find a reliable managed services provider.
If you already have an IT support or Managed Services project underway, get in touch with one of our IT experts today to see how we can help you. Software Advisory Service can provide a shortlist of suitable partners for your business – completely free of charge. Fill in the form to your right, and we’ll get in touch with you shortly.
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