Benefits of Managed Services
If you’re still relying on your in-house information technology (IT) team to help maintain the technical side of your business, it may be time for an upgrade.
Technology has undergone many changes since the days of break/fix IT services. As devices and software continue to improve, many internal IT departments need more skills and equipment to keep up. Due to this gap in necessary and available services, businesses find their internal IT departments are reactive instead of proactive and struggle to keep up with modern digital business demands.
While you may feel like you don’t need to outsource your tech support to a third-party provider, especially if you currently have an internal IT department, there are several benefits to making the change. Managed IT services offer a variety of advantages for the entire company, especially if you partner with experienced providers like Kirbtech. Our custom solutions make managing your IT services easy, and we offer support services across Central Pennsylvania. Please contact us today to learn more about our managed IT solutions!
What Is a Managed Service?
A managed service refers to outsourcing business administration and management to a third party. Managed services are not specific to IT and can describe tasks ranging from marketing strategy to call center operations. However, IT is the most common application of managed services and includes tasks such as computer repair and data backup solutions, as well as:
- Antivirus checks
- Active monitoring
- Helpdesk support
The demand for managed IT services has grown significantly in recent years, mainly due to small and medium-sized businesses that require access to the latest technology to maintain a competitive edge but lack a large IT budget. With managed IT services, small and medium companies can play at the same level as larger organizations without overextending their resources. Some of the many industries that benefit from managed IT services include:
Why Use a Managed Service Provider?
Managed IT services benefit businesses because they aid in negating risks. Instead of only outsourcing IT when a problem occurs, having managed services enables you to monitor your network consistently.
A managed IT provider like Kirbtech can handle all technology updates and maintenance as well. This shift of responsibility lets managers focus more on their business instead of worrying about their IT needs.
Managed service providers (MSPs) can also evaluate current processes and anticipate future needs. Providers can offer advice on what products and services companies should implement to increase productivity over the upcoming years. Some additional advantages of managed services for your business IT needs include:
1. Cost Effectiveness
Managed services can reduce costs and make your IT expenses more predictable by packing fees into a set annual or monthly payment. With an in-house IT team, you are subject to frequent and unexpected costs that can shatter even the most carefully planned budget.
Small businesses greatly benefit from managed services because the upfront costs are much lower. Networks consist of a lot of equipment pieces that require maintenance, repair and replacement. Managed service providers include maintenance and repairs in their agreements, so your provider will cover a fix that may cost you thousands outside of a contract. Using this model protects your budget from extreme changes and improves the overall stability of your business.
2. Ability to Scale
The cost of maintaining an in-house IT team is often a significant portion of an organization’s budget, causing many companies to understaff and overwork their employees due to a lack of time and resources. Limited IT resources can lead to significant issues and make it difficult for a company to expand.
Hiring and training even one more employee can cost thousands of dollars, and there is no guarantee they will remain with your company. Partnering with an MSP removes this cost because they provide the team members, so you don’t have to worry about the financial risk of an employee leaving your organization.
Scaling your business’s network also requires significant coordination, equipment and human resources and may take your IT team’s focus away from essential functions such as security. With a managed service provider, you can expand or upgrade systems without hiring and training employees to help with your expansion.
As a result, using an MSP permits your business to stay flexible and accommodate changes an in-house team may have difficulty responding to quickly.
3. Reduced Downtime
Even the most efficient companies are prone to downtime throughout the day due to server failures, computer malfunctions and electrical problems. However, these issues usually have easy fixes, such as implementing redundant equipment to allow systems to switch to a backup when a failure occurs.
Unintentional human errors can also contribute to a significant amount of downtime in the workday. While mistakes are inevitable, employing safeguards in critical systems is a great way to reduce risks.
System attacks are another significant cause of downtime. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to cybercrime, as they have the least protection.
Reducing employee downtime is a multi-faceted task that in-house teams may not have the capacity or experience to handle effectively. Using a managed service provider can reduce costs associated with downtime by preventing it from occurring in the first place.
4. Preventive Solutions
When something breaks, the natural solution is to fix it. With networks and data, however, repairing these systems can cause your budget to take a significant hit. If your systems and data go down because of a security breach, it can send your repair costs into the millions of dollars range.
Instead of calling in an expert team each time an error occurs, it’s wiser to take a preventive approach with a managed services provider. The provider will monitor your system and catch and resolve issues before they become full-fledged disasters to save you money.
5. Trusted Expertise
Hiring an IT team can be expensive and time-consuming, and you generally will only know how good their services are when they experience a serious technical issue. Some IT teams can pass this test with flying colors, while others may fail to resolve the issue promptly, costing your company money you cannot afford to lose.
Even when your IT staff can resolve issues, you may find they lack the skills to operate or maintain newer equipment as you add upgrades. The most common problem with an IT staff is that even the most well-trained employees lack the knowledge and experience of an MSP.
Using a managed service provider can aid in filling any gaps in your team’s expertise. Instead of having your employees learn a new skill set for a one-time project, an MSP supplies access to a group of experts with various skills to meet your project’s exact needs.
6. 24/7 Support
Unlike in-house IT teams, which may only keep an eye on your systems during working hours, a managed IT service uses remote technology to track your systems day and night. This remote monitoring allows real-time alerts to enable your MSP to view and correct issues before they affect your business.
Without constant monitoring, it’s easy for network issues to occur during non-working hours. If your system were to crash in the middle of the night, it could take over eight hours before anyone learns of the issue. Sometimes, if the crash occurs on the weekend or during a holiday, it may be several days before your company knows of the problem, resulting in significant damage. Remote monitoring enables your MSP to take action the second they receive an alert.
A managed service provider can also offer professional cybersecurity support for your company. Some of the reasons why managed services can improve your cybersecurity efforts include the following:
- Updated security standards: A managed service provider can implement security strategies to protect your business from hacking and other hazards.
- Cyberattack prevention: Cyberattack prevention monitors the network for security threats to stop malicious attacks.
- Rapid response: When security incidents occur, your MSP will assess the risks and determine the best solutions to reduce the damage.
- Regularity compliance: Managed service providers with payment card industry compliance can reduce risks with sensitive information breaches.
7. Reduced Business Risk
Using an MSP can help your business mitigate risks and protect your assets. Managed service providers understand the security challenges and regulations of your specific industry and can aid in developing a detailed plan to meet them. Their expertise can help your company keep up with regulation changes while providing a reliable defense against common security issues.
Managed IT services take a proactive approach to cybercrime, meaning they can help you lower your risk of becoming a breach victim. Your MSP will help identify vulnerabilities in your current security system and put the appropriate defenses in place to strengthen it. Creating a secure system can also build customer trust and encourage them to start or continue doing business with your company.
8. Access to New Technology
Buying and updating technology is one of the most significant costs in IT. There is always an upgrade available, and it can be tough to know which upgrades are necessary and which are optional for your business. As a business, you do not want to invest in new infrastructure only to find it does not meet your needs or your team has issues using it correctly.
One of the most significant benefits of a managed service provider is they will supply constant access to the newest technologies. You won’t have to worry about making a poor investment or having your systems become outdated, as your MSP will include the cost of system upgrades in your provider fee.
How to Choose the Right Managed Service Provider
Choosing an MSP to handle your company’s full scope of IT service is a task you should take seriously. Not all managed service providers are equal, and you must weigh considerations such as:
- Industry-specific services: Your managed service provider should understand the needs of your specific business and the wider industry. An MSP can only create appropriate strategies for your business to grow and thrive if it fully understands your organization and has the necessary experience to work with any software that may apply to your industry.
- Current clients: Talking to current clients can aid in determining if the MSP has industry experience or experience with a business similar in size to yours. It is also wise to ask for references, testimonials and endorsements to learn more about the managed service provider.
- Ability to innovate: While you likely do not want your company to be the guinea pig that tests new technology for bugs and other errors, you want to stay caught up with recent developments. Choosing a managed service provider that is on top of the latest innovations and offers advanced IT options will ensure your company remains relevant.
- Proactive approach beyond break/fix services: Forward-thinking MSPs utilize proactive monitoring to spot and prevent issues before they cause disruptions or data loss. Your managed service provider should have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that includes on- and off-site backups.
- On-site services: While remote monitoring and service are excellent for many businesses, there are situations in which you need a technician to come to your site to fix an issue. Make sure your agreement accounts for these in-person situations.
- Provider accountability: As a customer, you have the right to expect the managed service provider to be accountable if they do not meet the promised level of network performance. Before entering any partnerships, ask how the service provider will ensure they meet their pledged level of performance.
- Experience with various office environments: Ensuring your hybrid and remote employees are successful involves more than giving them a laptop and having them plug into their home network — you also need to protect them from security breaches. Your MSP should have a deep knowledge of the unique challenges of remote work, especially cybersecurity risks, and have extensive experience providing remote and hybrid solutions.
- Exceptional customer service: Customer service is a vital factor when choosing a managed service provider. They are the people you will be talking to when something goes wrong, so a friendly and engaging customer service team can be a defining feature. The right provider will have a team ready to anticipate your needs and go above and beyond with every interaction.
Take Your Business to the Next Level With Kirbtech
As a local company, we proudly provide managed IT services for small to medium-sized businesses across Central Pennsylvania. We offer competitive prices and will grow alongside your company to ensure we meet your needs effectively. Our managed IT services are an excellent solution for businesses of any size and will accurately keep up with your data and daily operations. Between 24/7 tech services and helpdesk support, you can rely on us to get you through your biggest technology challenges.
Complete our online contact form to get started with a free consultation. Our team will set up a date and time for an initial call to learn more about your business and then schedule an on-site visit. During this free visit, we will discuss possible solutions and learn more about your specific needs. We look forward to giving your business an edge over the competition!