Regardless of your industry, size, or working culture, productivity and efficiency are always one of the primary goals and working standards, or at least, they should be.
The IT component of businesses gets overlooked all too often, and we have to wonder why when it’s just as important to your operation as your accounting or sales teams.
It’s likely that every role in your organisation is reliant on your IT infrastructure in one way or another, so it’s important to understand how IT services can impact the day-to-day operation of your business, as well as the future.
At IT for Business, we’re all about simplifying IT and doing better business, so let’s break it down for you with everything you need to know about managed IT services.
We can’t really tell you everything you need to know about managed IT services, without first explaining managed IT services to you.
To put it plainly, managed IT services provide businesses with ongoing support provided by a company specialising in IT, for a fixed monthly cost.
A managed IT service can save your business time and money in a vast range of ways while providing support and improving everyday operations.
They can provide IT help desk solutions, user and device management, monitoring and maintenance, and keep IT systems operating at peak performance, all in line with your service agreement.
Whether you’re simply looking to outsource the technology element of your current setup, wanting to scale your business further, or simply want to mitigate risk and improve your company’s functioning, managed IT services are a great way to level up your business.
In many areas of business, we rely on our software and systems as much as our teams, and often one can’t function well without the other.
Ensuring your business has an up-to-date IT system which is responsive and best suited to your business is critical to productive and profitable outcomes.
IT managed service providers execute many tasks which are crucial to the everyday and long-term functioning of your business. This includes, but certainly isn’t limited to:
There are many different types of managed IT services as every business has different needs for IT support. Firstly, let’s talk about the Managed Service Provider and what they do.
The Managed Service Provider (or MSP for short), is responsible for the IT service delivery that will meet the customer’s IT support requirements. The services included are what makes up the Managed Service plan.
Managed Service plans are ideal for medium to larger businesses who need consistent technical support and coverage for all staff in the business. A Managed Service Plan will vary in price depending on the size and requirements of the business, with inclusions not limited to providing ongoing updates, security control, onsite visits, firewall management, help desk support and monthly management meetings. As these IT services are also managed under a fixed priced schedule, they are ideal for forecasting and help businesses make important technical decisions.
If you’re running a smaller business and require a smaller scale service, a cut down version of a Managed Service plan might be a better fit. IT for Business provides a Managed Service Plan – Lite version which could be the way to go. Managed Service Plan – Lite provides the necessary IT services that the full suite managed service plan does, but with no on-site visits, no management meeting and less ongoing hours
It is important for a business to have an Managed Service plan that can monitor and maintain systems to ensure they are running smoothly. Device management on both servers and desktop, patch updates and capacity and storage maintenance are some of the support activities a good MSP can provide.
Besides the disruptions it can cause to operations, a loss of data can often cause irreparable damage to your business.
With a Managed Backup and Recovery service, data is copied from a primary location to a secondary one, often a secure network-attached storage unit or a cloud backup solution.
This protects businesses from accidental loss, acts of sabotage, and any other threats to data. It also reduces downtime as the data remains accessible and restorable following an outage or failure, as it is located off premises.
By providing online data backup, storage, simulation and recovery services, Managed Backup and Recovery gives you peace of mind knowing you can restore your data if the worst-case scenario occurs, and get yourself right back to business.
Firewalls are often misunderstood and in turn overlooked by many businesses, but the reality is they are a crucial aspect of cyber security. A combination of software and hardware, firewalls are a 24/7 sentry, protecting your business against unauthorised access to your network and data theft.
Firewall management is the process of configuration, administration, operation, monitoring, and maintenance of your firewall infrastructure.
Your business firewall is not a set and forget operation, as new cybersecurity threats emerge, firewalls should be constantly updated to ensure compliance, traffic regulation, and the protection of sensitive data.
At IT for Business, for example, firewall management is available as part of Managed Service plan, or as a standalone Managed Firewall Service.
Your business has the choice of either depending on your business requirements, network configuration, location of information assets and business technology needs. These might include:
It is vital for a business to have a business continuity plan (BCP) and a disaster recovery plan (DCP) in the event that a disaster occurs, which could lead to years of lost progress. A BCP details how to sustain regular operations during or after a crisis while a DCP includes an infrastructure diagram and outlines how to restore information systems. A good MSP can provide both a BCP and DCP and provide information to you and your employees about avoiding disasters and in the event of one, recovering.
If you want to learn more about the types of service an IT managed service can provide, see our article: “6 examples of managed IT services”.
Some businesses may be smaller and prefer an ad hoc solution, or break/fix service model, and that’s totally understandable.
Others may require consultancy or a temporary IT service for a specific project or location. Ad hoc services can be extremely helpful in covering peak periods of service, or changes to scale or structure.
That said, ad hoc IT services don’t fall into the same category as managed services, and are quite different in their delivery and in their nature.
While a consultant or break/fix model service provider will join you for a single project or resolve a specific issue, managed IT services are about the partnership and accountability of an ongoing symbiotic relationship.
At IT for Business, we believe the proactive nature of managed IT services is the highest value to businesses, as we are able to monitor and prevent issues, work with your future goals in mind, and provide a continuity to your IT system that ad hoc methods simply can’t.
While we work with some of our customers in an ad hoc manner in addition to the managed service plan they are on, it is generally temporary as we assist them in growing their business and work towards complete managed services.
To find out more the difference between Managed IT Services and Ad Hoc IT services, check out our blog Managed IT Services VS Ad Hoc Services.
The benefits of managed IT services go beyond peace of mind and profit, these include but definitely aren’t limited to:
Managed IT services are becoming increasingly popular nowadays for good reason, the benefits far outweigh the investment in just about any case.
Thinking about your business, the way it operates and the impact that a loss of data or security breach could potentially cause, it’s not hard to see just how beneficial managed IT services can be no matter your type of business.
If you would like to find out more about how managed IT services can benefit your business, get in touch with us today.
Anyone that’s used some form of technology knows that while it enhances our capabilities, it is prone to issues and downtime.
In the early 90’s, as more businesses adapted to using computers, they then began to encounter maintenance issues and repairs, and this brought about the break/fix model of IT support most of us are still familiar with.
The traditional IT support model made sense at the time, as there was less reliance on computers than we see today, and businesses would often leave issues until they could not be ignored, and required an IT technician, hence the name break/fix.
As technology has evolved, and as our reliance on computers has increased, traditional IT support has been replaced by managed IT services.
Managed services are a far more proactive method of service, and pretty much all encompassing, as a Managed Service Provider essentially becomes responsible for all IT requirements of the company, according to the Service Agreement anyway.
To read more about the difference between traditional and managed IT services, follow this link.
Yes! Managed IT services are a great option for both big and small businesses looking to relieve the pressure of undertaking the tedious task of monitoring and maintaining their hardware and software.
Regarding small businesses, IT for Business’s MSP lite services are often affordable and can help expand and increase the efficiency of the business by providing communication and support services.
The difficulty of maintaining and monitoring network security is one of the many reasons small businesses fail early and an MSP can prevent a security breach or in the event of a breach, save the businesses’ data and take steps to prevent another breach from happening in the future.
For medium to large businesses, managed IT services are basically essential, even if they have an existing IT department in-house.
Considering the size of the business, number of staff, client interaction, industry, and potential for growth, self-managing IT infrastructure is borderline impossible in many circumstances, so an MSP helps to ease the load.
A managed IT service provider can help take the pressure off the business and ensure the business keeps running smoothly by undertaking the many IT responsibilities and providing support if there’s any issues.
If you’re a small or large business looking at managed IT services or have any questions or queries, contact us today.
Yes! Managed IT services can definitely be a career.
As many businesses are in need of IT experts to help ensure their businesses run smoothly, there are plenty of job vacancies either as part of an already established company or if you have created your own managed IT services company.
We’ve certainly made a career out of it!
Obviously it’s best to do your research before committing to any service for your business, especially during the initial stages.
If a new business is having a tricky start or struggling to stay afloat, seeking the assistance of a managed IT service provider can help the business use resources more effectively and better communicate with staff and customers.
Managed IT services can also provide communication services in the forms of Voice over IT Protocol (VoIP) or messaging services which could help a new business reach out to more clients.
New businesses can also be susceptible to cyber attacks and managed IT services can keep networks, software and hardware protected preventing data leaks or viruses.
If a new business owner isn’t particularly tech-savvy, then a managed IT service provider can provide support and assist the owner in getting to know computer technology and answer any questions and resolve any issues they may have.
Like any decision a new business faces, it’s about prioritising cash flow and investing wisely so that the business can grow sustainably.
If you’re a new business looking for a managed IT service provider or have questions in relation to managed IT services, contact us here.
As much as technology is meant to make our lives easier, it can cause some real headaches sometimes, and many issues can pop up that can be quite frustrating.
However, with a dedicated managed IT service provider issues can be resolved quickly, and in many cases they can be prevented from occurring in the first place.
These issues can include:
It’s important to select an appropriate managed IT service provider for the problems that are most detrimental for your business.
For example, you wouldn’t really want MSP lite services if your business was a larger one with many IT support needs.
The same goes for enlisting the help of a full scale IT management service when you’re a sole trader, it just wouldn’t make sense.
That said, we offer a range of service levels to suit the way you do business, whether it be working with your in house IT support team, or bridging the gap as you expand your business.
We’ve written a post on this subject, which delves a little deeper into “Common issues that Managed IT Services Can Help With”, so check it out for more information.
If your business is having difficulty resolving IT related issues or want some more information as to how to prevent them, contact us here.
If you’re looking for a managed IT service provider, you want to make sure you pick a company you can trust, after all, they’re handling your IT needs and data which could make or break your business depending on how they’re looked after.
Luckily for you, we are here to provide you some tips to distinguish between the good and not so good. Although, if you want a shortcut to a great managed IT service, you could just contact us.
Checking the reviews of a managed IT service provider on their website is a great way to gauge if they are the right company to choose or not. Reading people’s experiences with the company can help you decide if they’re the right choice for you and get an in-depth idea of how they work and act with clients.
Before engaging the services of a managed IT service provider, contact them and see how they converse with you.
If they’re polite, punctual and open to answering any questions you may have, then it’s a good sign. Remember, you want a provider that is patient, they’re the ones who are going to be helping you resolve your IT issues, so there will be plenty of back and forth communication.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy and reliable managed IT service company, contact us, we would be more than happy to answer any questions or queries you may have.
Hopefully you have learnt not just about what managed IT services are, but also how they can benefit businesses and about the different types of IT services that exist, so that you can make a more informed decision on what will work best for you.
If you are interested in learning more about managed IT services or are thinking of finding a provider for your business.