The increasing pace of technology advancements makes it harder for in-house IT teams to keep up with the IT innovation landscape. As a result, many IT departments become reactive in their approach rather than proactive. They often struggle to meet the demands of business growth and focus on maintaining systems instead of driving innovation.
This is where outsourcing IT tasks to a third-party provider comes in handy. If you think that your current IT structure is lacking or you’d like to optimize it, managed IT services are likely the best form of outsourcing for you.
Read this article to learn what managed IT services are all about, how they differ from other types of outsourcing, and how to pick the right provider for your company to give your business development a boost.
Table of contents:
- Managed IT services – what are they?
- 6 benefits of managed IT services
- How to pick the right managed service provider?
- Managed IT services – wrap up
Managed IT services – what are they?
Managed services focus on outsourcing management responsibilities to a third-party managed services provider. This definition covers a much larger ground than just IT. The term “managed services” can be used to describe practically anything – from a marketing strategy to supply chain management. Still, managed IT services are the most prevalent type.
Managed IT services include:
- server maintenance,
- network monitoring and security,
- systems administration,
- cloud storage management,
- infrastructure management,
- data backup and disaster recovery.
The demand for managed IT services is growing – the global market is projected to reach a smashing $329.1 billion by 2025.
The increase in demand for managed IT services comes from the broad digital transformation efforts of smaller and medium-sized businesses. They want to access the latest technologies to stay competitive but don’t have the budget to meet these innovation goals in-house.
Managed IT services allow smaller businesses to play in the same field as middle-market and enterprise-level companies without breaking their wallets.
Managed services vs. break/fix services - key differences
When a company faces technical challenges, it can choose from two different options to get its systems up and running:
- Break/fix services – This service involves an external team that comes to your location to diagnose and fix the problem. They usually charge an hourly rate.
- Managed IT services – In this scenario, you develop a consistent and long-term relationship with a managed services provider that handles your network, infrastructure, and more. You’re usually charged a fixed monthly fee.
The key difference between these two models is that break/fix is a temporary maintenance offer. The technicians only come by when something goes wrong. As a result, you might experience poor levels of performance while you wait for experts to fix your issue. In the end, your services might not be as reliable as you need them to be, and your reputation might suffer.
This risk is the reason why managed services emerged on the IT scene. The cost of break/fix service is ultimately higher, and the service is far more unpredictable than the reliable solutions managed IT services can offer. It’s simple – providers are incentivized to develop a long-term relationship with your company and will offer better service at more competitive rates.
Types of managed services
- Network security
Cybersecurity is critical in every business sector that deals with sensitive data. A breach can damage your company in many ways, from your brand reputation to credibility in the eyes of customers and business partners.
A good managed IT services provider uses constant remote monitoring to identify any problems and generates reports to share information about your systems requirements for security alarms and health to supply compliance assistance and route risk assessment.
- Network administration
Providers also help to back up your data and coordinate devices or troubleshooting solutions. They’re also in charge of establishing network security, creating unified communications, or connecting multiple mobile response services.
If your team needs some additional troubleshooting support, the provider is there to help you diagnose and address any problems. The advantage of managed IT services is that you get efficient response time and tailored solutions that match any software or hardware errors you’re experiencing.
- Cloud computing and data backups
As more and more companies migrate to the cloud, they need to invest in cloud infrastructure management. This puts a lot of strain on IT teams. Fortunately, a provider can take over this job with specialized cloud services. The company can create backups of your data to prevent any accidental losses and increase the functionality of your cloud resources.
6 benefits of managed IT services
1. No more resource constraints
As your company grows, your IT requirements will grow as well. Some of this increased workload will land on the plate of your IT team. So, sooner or later, team members are going to feel overwhelmed with work.
Scaling the IT department in line with your business needs will distract you from your core business objectives. This is the key advantage managed IT services bring to you – they free up your employees to let them focus on doing what they were hired to do.
You can use managed services to fill in the gaps as they emerge. A qualified partner will offer you a flexible service model that allows you to freely determine the level of service you need. That can mean anything from maintaining your IT infrastructure to outsourcing the entire application development to another team.
2. Access to top IT talent
As new technologies emerge and take the industry by storm, they bring new challenges to your in-house IT team. Your people might not have the experience to solve new issues or implement innovative approaches.
And even if you invest in a brand-new solution, you’ll be facing the problem of its management and maintenance. Whether your systems are on-premises or in the cloud, you will need resources to support your business solutions. This might put an additional strain on your IT department.
How to solve both problems? By recruiting new members. But if you’ve been in the business of IT recruitment, you probably know how time-consuming and expensive hiring and training new employees is. Then there’s the constant talent shortage in IT skills.
This is where the managed service model helps. It allows you to hire an entire team of professionals at just one flat monthly rate without any administrative or management overhead.
Managed IT service providers allow you to add or remove specialists from the team in line with your changing needs. You can hire technical, architectural, functional, and training consultants to keep your systems up and unlock the full potential of your IT team.
3. Lower IT costs
Managed services remove the administrative and overhead costs you’d be facing if adding new members to your in-house team. You also don’t need to spend any time on sourcing, attracting, hiring, and onboarding new candidates. Your business can get new skills on board instantly and scale the team with just one email sent to the provider.
Many vendors offer hybrid models that mix onshore and offshore resources. That way, you can reduce the costs even more and increase your pool of tech talent.
The service level agreement you sign with a provider can be made custom to match your unique requirements. You’ll never have to worry about any unexpected costs cropping up in your invoices. This opens the door to transforming from the capital expense to the operating expense model – and, consequently, running a leaner business.
4. Full scalability
Just like your business, your technology needs will evolve over time. Managed services providers can respond to these demands in real time, so you never have to worry about downtime or delivering a poor experience to your users.
Many vendors offer advanced services like reporting, monitoring, upgraded service release management, and more. This gets maximum value and scalability out of your partnership.
5. No more downtime
Downtime is expensive and might have disastrous consequences for your business and reputation. Network downtime can cost you even $5600 per minute – or a smashing $300,000 per hour!
Instead of sitting around and waiting for something to go wrong, a provider takes on a proactive approach. The company maintains your IT infrastructure and uses remote monitoring tools to quickly spot, diagnose, and troubleshoot potential problems. All of this happens before they snowball into a real problem. Now you can see why outsourcing this part of your IT infrastructure is such a good idea.
6. Increase your security and achieve compliance
The most valuable asset of any business today is data. But gathering data comes with many responsibilities. Data needs to be maintained securely and collected in compliance with industry regulations that are relevant to your sector and geographical location.
A managed service provider can team up with your legal team to discover which regulations you need to take into account and take precautions to make sure that your systems meet them all and are fully compliant.
How to pick the right managed service provider?
We’ve already hinted at some qualities managed service providers should offer. Here’s a complete list of the most important aspects to review before teaming up with an outsourcing company:
- availability of a flexible service model,
- a shared approach to management services,
- reliable strategic relationships with your service package across managed solutions or cloud solutions,
- many skilled consultants on board,
- advanced cloud and managed security services,
- data analytics, database, and data management services,
- technical support services for multiple time zones,
- around the clock support services,
- use of remote security monitoring and management for proactive maintenance,
- excellent backup and disaster recovery strategy and skills,
- reliable single point of contact dedicated to your organization,
- potential to work with your legal team to address security and compliance issues.
Managed IT services – wrap up
The IT industry is growing increasingly complex as new technologies and approaches arise. Building an in-house IT department capable of experimenting with new solutions and maintaining your existing systems is only going to become more expensive.
Why bear this cost when you can outsource so many of these responsibilities to a managed IT service provider?
More and more businesses are going to take advantage of this outsourcing type and free their internal resources to work on what matters most: growing their products. Contact us and let’s see what Codete can do for your business!