The Real Benefits Of Managed IT Services
Last Updated on November 2, 2018 by Josh Giesing
Information technology has advanced so quickly in recent years that it has become difficult for companies to keep up with the latest developments. This is a unique challenge for small- to medium-sized businesses that may have limited resources to devote to IT and supporting services while, at the same time, rely heavily on technology to help them compete and succeed. Since business has become more reliant on technology most small business, have started adopting managed IT services.
Typically, a small- or medium-sized business may take some time to investigate the best technology to purchase for their individual organizations, whether it be computers, servers, or software, and spend resources on initial implementation, installation and training. Once the system is up and running, however, these companies turn their attention to their core businesses.
Inevitably, at some point in the future, these small- to medium-sized business will run into a technology-related problem. If the firm does not employ someone dedicated to IT internally, it has to turn to outside IT consultants to fix the problem.
The challenge for these external consultants is that they are not familiar with the company’s IT system, can only observe what is happening at that moment, and are asked to fix one particular problem or issue. In many cases, IT is so complex that many components can be generating error messages, downtime or other problematic symptoms.
As a result, many IT consultants have started offering managed IT services instead of the traditional break-and-fix service model. This model is really about developing a partnership with client companies so that IT systems can be monitored over time and problems can be identified and resolved before the business experiences a significant impact.
Essentially, a small- or medium-sized business gets its own IT department through managed service providers without having the expense of establishing one internally. Managed IT service providers monitor a company’s system around the clock and take care of maintenance and other problems in the very early stages. As a result, downtime can be avoided or minimized, and problems can be more rapidly fixed.
Although some smaller businesses may be hesitant to make what they see as a major investment or commitment to managed IT services, in reality, this service option will prevent more problems and cost less money in the long-run.
In the break-fix model, IT consultants may be under a great deal of pressure to fix the apparent problems to get things back up and running for customers, but these fixes are often simply band-aid solutions that do nothing to correct more dangerous, underlying IT issues. Although something appears to work again in the short run, companies may incur more expensive problems down the road.
The real cost to the break-fix model, however, is in the lost productivity for client companies. When a back-up fails, or a server goes down even for a few hours, these organizations are still paying employees who may not be able to work while the technology problem is being addressed. This is often a significantly overlooked cost for smaller businesses.
Although Fortune 500 companies have embraced managed IT services internally for years, the technology became more affordable for small- to medium-sized businesses in 2005. Today, IT consultants can now use advanced tools to see everything that happens on a company network that may flag a risk or problem and take care of the issue immediately.
Symantec Reported that in 2015 3.3 million mobile apps were malware source
With the growing need for businesses to keep their IT systems compliant, it can be overwhelming for a small business to stay up today on all of the changes in the IT sphere.
Advantages Of Managed IT Services
Managed IT services allow smaller companies to stay on top of regular back-ups, patches, and updates. Also, virus detection and other security measures are constantly checked and updated, keeping the business’ system safer from potential problems. Managed IT services help companies maintain and monitor important technology such as e-mail servers or customer relationship management systems as well as financial software and records.
Technology is now such an integrated part of every business that a competitive edge can easily be lost by something as simple as a glitch in a CRM system for a few days. So much of the technology is specialized, requiring pinpoint expertise, yet having multiple suppliers and consultants working on the same system can cause more problems in the long run.
Managed IT services resolves those problems by bringing in a right partner to stay with a company’s particular system over the long haul, learning its ins and outs, monitoring activity and potential problems on a daily basis, and proactively preventing problems.
Small and medium businesses can negotiate the best managed IT service package for their particular needs. Some consultants work for a flat monthly fee while others consider the number of devices or the time required. Basic packages may provide monitoring services where the company is notified of issues while comprehensive service takes each problem through to its resolution.
Managed IT services typically can provide support with vendors, internet speed, phones and websites as well. The bottom line is that managed IT services means improved operational efficiencies, reduced operating costs, less downtime, and affordable company-wide IT support.