Managed IT services describe a number of outsourced IT tasks that managed service providers (MSPs) offer companies of all sizes. These services help businesses avoid the taxing process of hiring an in-house IT team.
One of the advantages of not hiring an in-house team is that managed service providers monitor your infrastructure around-the-clock. They can also eliminate the growing skills gap in the IT field with licensed experts who understand the specifics of your infrastructure.
But what are the most commonly offered IT services by MSPs and how can you be sure your MSP is the right fit for your business? Continue reading to find out.
What Are the Primary Offerings of MSPs?
Some of the most common IT services MSPs provide are the following:
- Remote monitoring and hardware and infrastructure management
- Cloud service configuration and monitoring. These can operate in unison with outside managed cloud services.
- Around-the-clock support.
- Preventative maintenance that includes penetration testing and threat hunting.
- Security services, including monitoring, penetration testing, threat hunting, or incident response.
What Is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
Managed IT services include any IT jobs outsourced by an organization. Your managed service provider (MSP) will take full responsibility of the IT operations for a company. This includes elements such as real-time monitoring, on-demand support, and pre-incident threat analysis.
For example, at Senroc Technologies, we become your full IT staff with full IT solutions. We examine your budgets, implement hardware refreshes, and perform vulnerability analysis. MSPs should include everything you need for a single price per month and you should receive no surprise expenses. An effective managed service provider should be able to evaluate and diagnose your current infrastructure and provide solutions before threats arise.
A key differentiating factor that separates managed IT services from traditional IT services is that managed service providers act as consulting agents to organizations. They can operate using a la carte pricing operations whereas traditional IT services require hiring an in-house team and having them on demand in case something occurs. With managed IT services, you benefit from around-the-clock monitoring that identifies precisely what you need to pay for throughout the month.
One of the primary reasons organizations are migrating to the managed IT services model instead of outsourcing specific IT activities is because they reduce risk and actively prevent disruptions, such as those caused by downtime—a potential downside to in-house IT operations.
What Is the History of Managed IT Services?
At the start of enterprise computing, IT service and management companies operated with a break/fix approach. Companies would hire an IT service provider to fix specific problems already happening. The technician was often the same person who built or installed the computer system.
When larger companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and Apple stepped into the game, IT SMBs were forced to focus more on the break/fix model. However, this business model wasn’t sustainable. The break/fix model is time-consuming, labor-intensive, expensive, and purely reactionary.
The role of computers in everyday life only increased over the years and the skills gap between technicians grew with it. In the early 2000s, managed IT services providers emerged to fill that gap. The presence of MSPs radically changed the break/fix model. In the new model, businesses began to experience proactive maintenance, scheduled maintenance, systems monitoring, and issue resolution on a more consistent basis.
Automation and cloud computing have only increased these capabilities, and aspects such as remote monitoring have further modified the landscape to provide more efficient IT processes to companies at more affordable prices.
With consolidated resources, fixed rates, and the ability to offer a wider range of services, managed IT providers have the ability to take on more clientele. This shift has increased competition in the IT service industry. The larger companies no longer have the unchecked ability to provide more resources than SMB IT service providers.
What Are the Benefits of Managed IT Services?
Close the Skills Gap
Most companies don’t have the resources or experience to hire and train a full IT team. Managed service providers are the perfect opportunity to implement a full IT team guaranteed to be able to respond to all of your potential IT issues. Managed IT service providers are composed of experts who can analyze your existing IT infrastructure and pragmatically implement the right tools for preventative maintenance.
Managed services typically include a range of cloud expenses. Migrating certain applications to the cloud can save a substantial amount of money because you won’t have to worry about replacing staff or training various team members. You will also be able to plan your budget more adequately. Enrolling a managed service company instead of trying to hire an in-house IT team can be cheaper and the costs more predictable which will inevitably lead to better spending allocation.
With managed IT providers, you don’t have to worry as much about outages because these providers commit to service level agreements (SLAs). SLAs clearly establish the parameters that you can expect from your managed IT service provider. Whereas in-house teams often focus on juggling responsibilities, MSPs can perfect the service and apply patches and upgrades whenever they see fit.
SLAs are contractual obligations, which in-house teams don’t have to provide. Because of these contractual obligations, you can avoid paying for services you don’t need and optimize your budget.
Increase Your Efficiency
When you’re not worried about whether your IT services will be covered, you’re free to focus on the core areas of your business that lead to increased profits and reduced expenses. MSPs can also provide valuable insight into whether strategies fit your business. They will be able to refresh your hardware to ensure your technology infrastructure operates efficiently. Overall, this should lead to productivity and an improved ROI.
Full-time employees go home when they’re done with their business hours. You might be able to convince a few to work irregular hours, but this requires time and energy. With an MSP at the helm, you have assurance your infrastructure receives around-the-clock attention. This increased monitoring prevents disruptions from occurring and reduces downtime when they do occur.
What Are the Different Kinds of Managed IT Services ?
Managed IT services can range from general to specific depending on your needs. The most common types of managed IT services are remote monitoring and server management. Network monitoring, and other support services are also included. Managed IT providers should also provide a predictive approach to maintenance and management, which might include patch management and predictive maintenance.
Since the beginning of cloud computing, companies have also incorporated more “as a service” offerings. Companies might offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in their offerings. These types of services help businesses scale easily so they can meet an increasing demand without a datacenter and other IT infrastructure costs. These services can also give companies greater access to data, analytics, and storage.
Managed IT providers might also provide security services for bare metal infrastructure and cloud services. These services are especially important for companies that feature hybrid cloud infrastructures.
What Should You Consider When Choosing Managed IT Service Providers?
There are four main considerations to keep in mind when choosing your IT managed service provider. Your current strategy, future requirements, a proactive network management strategy, and ongoing support and strategy.
Current and Future Requirements
MSPs should include access to a team that not only analyzes your current IT infrastructure but plans for your future business goals. The same team that analyzes your current strategy will also recommend the appropriate technology for your organization.
Your current and future IT requirements should include a long-term solution to current issues as well as a predictive analysis for your future goals. This should include budgetary information regarding your network maintenance schedules and reports. They should also be able to clearly communicate with you about your strategy throughout an initial interview.
Proactive Network Management
Effective MSPs implement critical network management to reduce downtime and ensure your organization runs smoothly. Your network security should also protect your data and equipment and a strong client onboarding process includes upgrades to your current infrastructure and security protocols.
This type of strategy should focus on patches, updates, and backups as part of a daily routine. You should expect up to date network diagrams, equipment inventories, and status reports on all of your servers, computers, and peripherals on the managed network.
Ongoing Support and Security
Regardless of your industry, your team needs trustworthy IT services to support your work. Does your MSP give you the attention you deserve? Are they always available to respond to your questions and concerns? Can you submit a request with one call, email, or text?
Bottom Line- What Is “Managed IT Services?”
MSPs are critical for any organization that wants dependable IT services without the hassle of implementing an in-house IT team. Your MSP should commit to around-the-clock service and scalable solutions that simplify your technology strategies. Whether through cloud services or on-site, managed service providers should provide clear analyses and develop concise strategies that let you focus on your core business principles.
At Senroc Technologies, we believe that a good managed service provider depends on their commitment to service excellence. That’s why we offer turnkey IT solutions from professionals who provide white-glove solutions. You deserve a provider who can clearly communicate and execute your IT strategy. If you’re wondering how to streamline your IT department, contact us today.