What Are Managed IT Services?
A managed IT services provider (MSP) is a dedicated third party that provides comprehensive services such as network, application, infrastructure, end-user systems and security to a client through a service-level agreement (SLA).
The increasingly common practice of outsourcing the maintenance and functionality of a business’ IT environment—via a subscription model—ensures that the day-to-day of your business operations are high-functioning so you don’t have to worry about system downtimes or service interruptions.
A small to midsize business (SMB) can make use of an MSP for scalable support, fast response times and cloud migration services that take digital assets like data, workloads, or other resources to the cloud. This allows your infrastructure to function seamlessly, while keeping your technology up to date.
An MSP is backed by a dedicated team of professionals who are experts in managed information technology services and are able to support a wide range of processes and functions critical to your business. A professional and knowledgeable IT service provider can provide tailored service to your business and oversee mission-critical functions such as:
- Remote monitoring, management of networks, and infrastructure
- Dedicated security services, including threat hunting, monitoring, penetration testing and incident response
- Hardware, wireless, and mobile computing support
- Configuration, monitoring and management of cloud and SaaS services
For most small businesses seeking managed information technology services, taking advantage of an MSP improves operations and reduces capital costs and associated payroll expenditures. An MSP can configure and install a secure, flexible IT network to position your business for success, customizing specifications to your network so all upgrades and IT infrastructure can function without negatively impacting your company’s normal business operations.
Benefits of Managed IT Support Services for Small Business
Principal benefits to taking advantage of a managed IT support service include filling employment gaps in your company and having dedicated 24/7/365 coverage of your IT infrastructure as well as:
- Annual IT budget planning
- Daily data backups and cloud services
- On-premise and 24/7/365 support
- Cloud migration
- Ransomware protection, security testing, and monitoring
- Disaster recovery
With a clear understanding of your needs and desired outcomes, a dedicated team of IT professionals supports your business around the clock. Their expertise across industries means access to a variety of tactical solutions and strategies that can add value to the full spectrum of your operations.
Small and large organizations can leverage managed IT to reduce in-house IT workloads or fill gaps left by existing IT roles and skills caused by the Great Resignation.
Additional considerations for an MSP include compliance with national and international regulatory entities. For this reason, organizations should ensure that potential MSPs properly enforce data protection and privacy standards.
Transition to a Remote or WFH Culture
COVID-19 served to accelerate remote and work from home (WFH) trends that had already captured corporate interest across many professions. It is estimated that by the end of 2022, nearly 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote; this trend is expected to increase into 2023. Supporting your business and empowering your remote workforce will be a critical component to attracting, retaining and optimizing talent.
When choosing a provider, you should ensure they have clearly defined and actionable SLAs to hold them accountable to the highest standards of service. They should also be willing to share data and metrics with you as you navigate through strategic IT planning to maximize the value of your work together.
Unfortunately, not all managed service providers are created equally. Finding a provider with an excellent track record and exceptional communication will be the key to your success.
Considerations for Business Owners Shopping for an MSP
Find a provider with a good track record. When considering a provider, you need to verify their track record with other organizations in your industry and scale. Reliable MSPs should let you know which comparable organizations they are working with. They can also connect you with decision-makers from those companies. If a provider is not willing to share proof of value, you may want to reconsider your options.
Ready to talk about managed IT services for your business? Nettology is here to help—schedule a consultation with one of our IT experts!