After doing much research on the benefits of partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP), you’re convinced that this is what you need to take your business to the next level. But after sifting through a couple of local MSP websites, you noticed that their managed IT services packages differ from one another.
To help you figure out exactly what you should be looking for, this blog breaks down what managed IT services really means and what it entails.
1. An MSP conducts proactive IT management and maintenance
In the traditional break/fix model, you only contact an IT company when your IT system needs repairs or upgrades. The problem with this approach is that when an IT issue occurs, it disrupts business operations, negatively affecting employee productivity and customer service. Your staff may then resort to using workarounds that may compromise your company’s cybersecurity.
Not only that, but it’s also impossible to budget for unforeseen IT problems using the break/fix approach, so you are leaving yourself open to surprise costs, which may be extremely expensive.
In contrast, with managed IT services, your provider proactively maintains and manages your IT systems by:
- Handling your day-to-day IT requirements
- Reviewing user permissions and access
- Ensuring the security of your data and systems
- Monitoring and controlling internet bandwidth
- Making sure your systems are working optimally
- Conducting regular maintenance of servers, workstations, tablets, laptops, and other hardware
- Updating your software and operating systems regularly
- Establishing a refresh cycle for your hardware
By taking a proactive approach, your company will experience less IT downtime, saving you a significant amount of time and money. This will also lead to more productive employees, happier customers, and ultimately, more sales.
Did you know? A 2020 survey revealed that downtime costs $67,651 per hour for high-priority applications and $61,642 per hour for normal applications.
2. An MSP provides round-the-clock remote IT monitoring and support
Using enterprise-level remote monitoring tools, an MSP keeps track of your IT systems at all times. This allows them to pinpoint potential problems before these cause any harm and to resolve support requests in minutes. But should an IT issue persist, they can dispatch an expert technician to your office location for quick troubleshooting.
The great thing about MSPs is that they can handle any type of IT problem, even the most complex ones, and proficiently deal with multiple technologies and vendors. This is because an MSP is composed of a team of IT specialists, each equipped with impressive experience and up-to-date training and certifications.
An MSP also provides 24/7 help desk support, which you can only achieve in-house with multiple hires who work shifts or are always on-call. And the best part is, you get all of these benefits for only a fixed, monthly fee. You don’t have to cover the costs related to hiring, training, salaries, benefits, leaves, and overtime.
Further reading: MSP vs. in-house IT: Regular IT tasks that MSPs do better
3. An MSP offers a comprehensive array of IT services
When you avail of managed IT services, make sure your provider has an intimate knowledge of your business. They should be able to answer these questions:
- Where are you now? – What you are currently doing and the results you are getting
- Where do you want to be in a year? – Your key performance indicators and how you are working toward them
- What is your vision? – Your medium- and long-term goals
- How can we help you get there? – Their recommended actionable steps in terms of IT to help you meet your business objectives
This deep understanding of your company allows your MSP to effectively deliver the following IT services that are typically included in managed IT services:
- Security assessment – Identifies and eliminates vulnerabilities to protect your data from cyberthreats
- Data backup and recovery – Ensures that you have restorable copies of your data in the event of a disaster
- IT planning – Strategizes, plans, and budgets your IT needs to support your firm’s future growth
Based on your organization's unique needs, an MSP can also offer add-on IT services such as:
- IT consulting – Helps you make the right IT decisions with expert recommendation, guidance, and strategy
- Cybersecurity – Equips you with advanced threat detection tools and training programs to protect your data and employees
- Business security – Protects your office, assets, and staff against physical threats 24/7
- Cloud computing – Leverages cloud solutions that reduce costs, enhance security, and eliminate downtime
4. An MSP uses clear metrics to measure the quality of their service
When you work with an MSP, you can expect metrics tied to their service level agreement (SLA). An SLA is a contract that lays out the standards that your IT provider should be able to meet. It answers questions like:
- Are they available 24/7?
- What kind of support do they provide: remote support, on-site assistance, or both?
- What is their guaranteed response and resolution times?
- If they fail to meet their committed service levels, are there corresponding rebates or penalties?
- What is their escalation process?
- What are their contingency plans?
MSPs offer competitive SLAs, so you can expect speedy resolution times for all of your IT concerns.
Ready to benefit from managed IT services? Partner with Florida’s premier MSP, Integrated Computer Services. Since 2002, we’ve been providing businesses with customized technology solutions that enable them to work more efficiently and securely. Sign up for your FREE consultation now!