Considering all of the threats to your business’s IT infrastructure and how much money it could cost you, it’s easy to see why so many small and medium-sized business owners turn to a managed IT services provider to protect and maintain their network and systems.
But what are managed IT services, and what benefits do they offer for your business? In this article, we’ll discuss what a managed service provider (MSP) is, the suite of services they offer, and the many benefits of managed IT services.
What are Managed IT Services? Understanding the Managed IT Services Definition
During the discovery process, many businesses wonder what the true managed IT definition is. The short answer is that it can vary from one provider to the next. However, the primary objective of managed IT services is to deliver:
- Proactive technical support
- Assistance with managing day-to-day IT functions
- Continuous remote monitoring and management that maximizes uptime
Technology management is a full-time job, and can take time away from managing vital business functions. This is especially true if company leadership prioritizes IT performance over managing the business.
The managed services business model eliminates this problem. It provides an effective way for companies to offload or outsource infrastructure management to a team of experts so that they can focus on mission-critical tasks.
In order to ensure consistency, managed services are typically governed by service level agreements (SLAs) which generally cover but are not limited to:
- Average response times
- Network downtime
- Technical support
- Business continuity
- Disaster recovery
Typically, the client is charged a consistent flat fee per month for their services. However, some providers will offer block hour deals, where the customer purchases a set number of hours of technology services and support.
What is an IT Managed Services Provider and How Managed Services Work
A managed services provider (MSP) is a third-party company that provides quality managed IT services in a variety of areas, with the goal of serving as a single source of truth for all forms of technology services.
MSPs offer a variety of services that include:
1. Network Management
Managed IT services will provide your company with remote monitoring and management that ensures your network receives round-the-clock protection against threats or issues.
2. Helpdesk and Technical Support Services
A helpdesk is available to quickly respond to urgent IT issues as they arise. This could include something major like a network outage or a smaller task like an end user experiencing technical issues with hardware and software.
For larger, more complex issues, many MSPs can dispatch field technicians to your location to identify and solve the problem at the source.
3. Business Continuity
If your business is affected by a natural or digital disaster, a managed services provider will be able to get your business back up and running with data recovery and full system restoration.
4. Cybersecurity Services
Disaster can strike during off-hours, so it is vital to have managed security services monitoring your critical systems to ensure issues are identified and dealt with accordingly.
Some MSPs offer advanced security services, such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), managed detection and response, and access to a Security Operations Center (SOC).
The Benefits of Managed IT Services
Besides understanding the managed IT services meaning, it’s also important to know some of the major benefits of managed IT. These include:
1. Lower Costs
Hiring an internal IT staff and training them is an expensive prospect for most companies. For small and medium-sized businesses, hiring a third-party IT firm to do this work will result in tremendous cost savings, both upfront and over the long run.
2. Access to Experienced Technicians
Third-party IT firms have professional technicians who know how to handle pressing IT problems. By hiring a managed service provider (MSP), you can rest assured that specialized and certified technicians are doing the right work to keep your network running.
3. Faster Response
Managed IT services typically include help desk support that responds to urgent issues. For example, if your network goes down, a technician can be dispatched to your location to address the issue if it cannot be resolved over a phone call. This allows your company to get back to work faster.
4. Fewer Problems
One of the goals of managed services is to prevent IT problems from surfacing to begin with. This is accomplished through proper network management and identification of potential risks through audits.
The MSP can also perform upgrades and patching, and conduct system monitoring to uncover potential issues.
What Managed Services Offer: Use Cases
IT management is among the many reasons why business owners partner with MSPs. However, there are additional use cases for managed IT services, including:
- Aligning technology with business growth: As your business grows, your IT needs to grow alongside it to help you meet demand. If your IT is underperforming or in need of an upgrade, it could affect your business and its competitiveness.
- Dealing with departing IT leadership: If members of your internal IT team are considering retirement or leaving the company, you may be left without access to a dedicated IT specialist. This especially holds true for small and medium-sized business owners.
- Difficulties with hiring or retaining IT staff: Retaining the services of internal IT professionals can be challenging, especially when you consider that there is a very limited pool of available talent. MSPs solve that problem by giving you access to a team of seasoned professionals who can address your IT needs.
Interested in learning more about managed IT services? Check out these blogs:
Your Trusted Source for Technology Services in Utah
Finding the right managed services provider (MSP) for your business can be a challenging process, especially if you don’t know what managed services are necessary for your business.
However, now that you understand the managed IT services definition and how managed services work, making the decision might be a bit clearer.
As a leading MSP in Utah, Protek offers a wide range of services that provide enterprise-level support with a small business focus. From managed security to network management, our experts can help you manage your IT more effectively.
Get reliable IT management today for a better tomorrow by partnering with Protek. Contact us today for more information.