In today’s digital world, businesses face many challenges that can impact their success. From cyber threats to scalability issues, it’s more important than ever for companies to have a comprehensive IT strategy.
This is where IT managed services come in – a solution that offers businesses peace of mind by providing enhanced security, improved efficiency, and increased scalability.
All these benefits might not come across as the obvious ones, but by leveraging managed IT services, businesses can take advantage of a range of services that can help them stay ahead in the ever-changing digital landscape.
How, exactly, does that happen? In this article, we’ll explore what managed IT services are, the benefits they provide, and how businesses of all sizes can pick the right partner to give their business the best chance of success.
What are IT managed services?
IT managed services refer to outsourcing a company’s IT needs to a third-party provider. This can include services such as network or synthetic monitoring, security management, data backup and recovery, software updates and maintenance, and help desk support (e.g., IT ticketing for schools can be provided in the education sector).
Managed service providers vs. own IT, service providers
The third-party organization to which a company’s IT needs may be outsourced is known as a managed service provider (MSP). They will be responsible for providing and managing a set of business technology services to the outsourcing company.
These services can either be chosen in advance, decided upon proactively, or determined as the MSP deems necessary, all following a service level agreement (SLA) covering the functionality and maintenance of all services and equipment as well as provisions for coping with any downtime that may occur.
Managed IT service providers typically provide a higher level of service than the company’s own IT team or personnel could. This is because a managed IT company specializes in providing end-to-end solutions, deploying cutting-edge tools, and monitoring through a network operations center to meet their clients’ IT needs quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Choosing such a custom software development company can be beneficial for your brand.
Emergence of MSPs
Since application service providers (ASPs) emerged in the late 1990s, IT managed services have been gaining traction as a way for businesses to outsource their IT needs. As technology has become more complex and companies have sought to gain a competitive edge through innovation, the need for managed IT services has grown drastically.
As a result, managed services have come to encompass a range of IT-related functions such as network security, data backup and recovery, cloud computing, software development and maintenance, and more. This shift has been driven by the goal of achieving greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness through security, scalability, and performance.
Benefits of IT managed services for businesses
Using a third party provider for IT services can offer businesses many advantages, such as increased security, improved scalability, and better performance. Let’s now look at them in more detail below.
Managed service providers can run remote monitoring of your systems 24/7, identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, and take proactive steps to mitigate them before they become major issues. This matters not only for protecting valuable data, but also to maintain customer trust and comply with industry regulations.
IT managed services can streamline processes, reduce system downtime, and improve the speed of responses whenever IT-related issues arise. This helps businesses stay productive while allowing them to focus on growing their business without worrying about technical problems.
Having an IT managed services in place can significantly benefit businesses by reducing Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). With expert support and proactive infrastructure monitoring, issues are swiftly identified and resolved, minimizing downtime. This streamlined approach ensures smoother operations, increased productivity, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
As your business grows and evolves, so too will your technology needs! In a managed services model, you’ll have access to cutting-edge technology without having to invest heavily in hardware or software yourself. This makes it easier than ever to adapt and scale your operations as needed, but without straining your budget.
Speaking of budget – that’s where IT-managed services also come in handy. Outsourcing your IT needs, allows you to access the latest technology while also reducing capital expenses and having more predictable operating costs. In times of economic uncertainties, having an accurate budget forecast can make all the difference.
With IT managed services, you’ll capitalize on a team of experienced professionals who can provide expert support whenever you need it most. Whether it’s help desk support or more complex technical issues, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s always someone available to assist you.
Your competitors might not be using similar strategies. It takes as little as starting leveraging managed IT services, and that’s how you can give your business the edge that it needs to stand out in the market and stay ahead of the competition.
How to find the best managed service provider for IT
The process of finding the best managed service provider for your IT needs can seem like a daunting task. It is crucial that the company you pick has the right expertise and experience for your specific requirements, hence it is first necessary to be clear about what they are exactly.
Then, there are several more aspects to consider that we are about to dive into.
Step 1: Determine your IT needs
Before you start searching for a managed service provider (MSP), you need to spend some time on determining your specific IT needs and how they relate to your long-term goals.
Understanding your unique requirements and objectives will better equip you to evaluate potential MSPs and find one that can deliver the services you need.
Step 2: Assess your existing infrastructure
It can be tricky to find out where to start with such a managed services provider. Start by assessing your current infrastructure and identifying any gaps in expertise or resources.
Doing so will give you a clear picture of what services you need from the provider, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), cloud computing, and/or utility services.
Step 3: Research MSPs
Evaluate potential service providers based on their ability to deliver the services managed you need using the latest IT services tools available in the market. Also, check if they have mobile device management solutions and offer service level agreements that guarantee dependable service levels.
Keep in mind that internal IT teams are limited in scope and cannot compete with managed service providers when it comes to providing comprehensive IT support that is tailored to meet specific business needs.
Step 4: Narrow down the options
Research companies that specialize in the areas where you need the most support, such as cloud platform management or social engineering attack prevention. Consider factors like experience, industry expertise, and customer reviews when evaluating different providers.
Look beyond just pricing and consider factors like vendor management, system monitoring, desk services, and expertise in complex IT tasks. Leveraging expert knowledge allows service providers to provide value-added services that go beyond what in-house teams can offer.
Step 5: Discover additional services
IT managed services’ providers can offer flexible SaaS platforms licenses and subscription packages that are tailored to the needs of medium-sized businesses operating in today’s global market environment.
MSPs should have agent software installed on endpoint systems for real-time monitoring of network performance issues (without you needing to read, e.g., a guide to Prometheus metrics), thus ensuring maximum security against social engineering attacks. Data backup solutions should also be provided to safeguard critical business information in case of any unforeseen events.
Step 6: Verify compliance
Check if the chosen service provider has channel partnerships with leading technology vendors or regulatory compliance certifications from governing bodies like HIPAA and GDPR standards, which are especially critical if you deal with sensitive data.
Check if the service provider is certified in multiple regulatory compliance standards, as this assures that your data will be safe with them.
Step 7: Determine capabilities..
Assess their capabilities in critical areas like regulatory compliance, data backup, and disaster recovery, and, as mentioned before, endpoint system management. Check providers that offer a centralized platform for managing your IT tasks and distributing software updates across all computing devices. Also check if they have their own platforms or use cloud-based interfaces.
Step 8: Consider pricing models
Pricing is an important consideration when selecting a provider. Verify companies that offer transparent pricing models with no hidden fees or surprises. Check if they offer subscription packages that fit your budget and are flexible enough to accommodate changes in customer workload.
Assess support services.
Do they monitor systems proactively? Does their internal IT team have the requisite expertise and resources to quickly respond to customer queries? Can they provide 24/7 support? How do they ensure optimum uptime and security when dealing with mission-critical applications?
Another critical factor to consider is the level of support provided by the MSP provider. Verify that they offer expert technical support around-the-clock. Above all, make sure their customer support team is available 24/7 to answer any queries you may have.
Verify scalability and flexibility
With cloud services, MSPs should be able to provide rapid scalability and flexibility on demand. Check if their infrastructure is designed to automate tasks, optimize workloads, and offer rapid scalability when needed.
Look for a service provider who can provide differentiated services that blend the best of both worlds – cloud computing solutions coupled with traditional IT support. In addition, consider the range of service plans they offer and decide which fits your business needs.
Check industry credentials.
Ensure that any potential MSP provider has industry credentials, such as channel partnerships with leading technology vendors. Also, look out for providers who leverage untapped global workforces to deliver services at lower costs while maintaining high-quality standards.
For example, a company with a proven track record of certified technicians and security practices should be your preferred choice. A good partner should also have experience in managing cloud-based solutions and provide services tailored to the needs of specific verticals or industries.
Check their reputation.
Finally, consider the service provider’s track record when making your decision. Ensure that they have a solid reputation and that their operations comply with industry standards and regulations.
Take your time and do thorough research before deciding which MSP provider you want for your business. Compare prices and services offered, and assess customer reviews to confirm that you make the best choice possible. Check their experience with other services, for example Cyware.
With the right managed service provider, you can enjoy all of the above benefits for your business with the added assurance of reliable service delivery and exceptional customer support.
Over to you
IT managed services providers can be invaluable partners for companies looking to streamline their IT operations and reduce costs. They provide many services, such as cloud hosting, network management, patch management, security monitoring, regulatory compliance, etc.
When selecting an MSP provider, you must do your homework to ensure they are the right fit for provider’s your business. Consider the provider’s expertise, services, and pricing model before deciding. Also, look for certifications and secure experience in managing cloud-based solutions, and data backup options that are secure and reliable.
While there are a lot of options to look for, you might want to keep an eye on Polcode.