If you’re running a modern business, you know your productivity is only as strong as your technology. But technology can be vulnerable to all sorts of issues: obsolescence, cyber attacks, malfunctions, require updates, etc. If you’ve struggled with any of those issues, you may have come across people or articles offering a solution: managed IT services. But what are managed IT services?
Understanding the Managed IT Services Definition
Let’s begin with the managed IT services definition: working with a third-party provider that will manage your entire IT stack, assuming responsibility for everything from:
- Day-to-day operations
- Routine updates and maintenance
- Technical support
- Issue remediation/prevention
- Upgrades and technology procurement (including vendor management)
- Project management
- Staff augmentation
- Data protection and disaster recovery
- Cloud computing support
- Full cloud services and management
- Managed security (cyber security services)
- Network monitoring and management
- Mobile device support
- Remote monitoring and management of servers
To name just a few.
To put it more succinctly, the managed IT definition is essentially getting an IT partner to handle all your technology needs with the goal of relieving your information technology management burden while increasing productivity and efficiency.
These services offer your business a powerful competitive advantage over companies that are attempting to go it alone or have a very expensive in-house IT team.
What Is an IT Managed Services Provider
During your search for technology solutions, you may have come across the term managed services provider or MSP. This is just the industry term for your IT partner.
So now that we can competently answer the question “what are managed IT services” and “what is an IT managed services provider”, it’s time to delve into how managed services work.
How Managed Services Work and Complement Your Business
Much in the same way you can outsource your business’s legal demands to a lawyer or file your taxes with the help of an accountant, your MSP is essentially a group of experts that are able to manage an important part of your business, so you and your team can refocus on growth and productivity.
To put it succinctly (again), how managed IT services work is by saving you money/increasing productivity through technology solutions.
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Your team will assess your current infrastructure, conduct an onboarding process, and begin right away solving your legacy technology issues. From there, they’ll offer technology arguments and map out other long-term projects/goals that will enhance your business’s speed and efficiency.
With the plan in place, your team of dedicated experts will begin its implementation while simultaneously ensuring that your day-to-day workflow is unimpeded – and in fact sped up by – your technology assets.
We understand the managed IT services meaning and we can list managed IT services’ benefits – our next step is to talk price.
How Managed Services Work Re: Pricing
There are a variety of pricing models that you can choose from when opting to work with a managed IT services provider.
Also referred to as remote support only or helpdesk only, this represents the most basic services agreement.
With this service package, you’ll only receive remote support and maybe a few additional services like data backup. This is ideal for smaller businesses that don’t run into too many IT issues and aren’t experiencing enough growth to warrant long-term IT planning. Most small, medium, and large businesses will need managed IT support at some point if they are growing with any relative consistency.
In this model, you’ll also miss out on things like network optimization, cloud management, vCIO services and IT project management/planning, etc.
Essentially, you won’t be able to leverage high ROI services that can help modernize your business’s technology environment.
Typically, you’ll pay on a monthly basis that’s generated by an agreed-upon price-per-issue-resolved approach, or an hourly basis.
A La Carte
The next service option you’ll typically find offered is a la carte. Just as it sounds, you’ll select the services you need and eschew superfluous services, developing a package that is fully optimized and tailored to your business’s specific needs.
While the customization aspect is great, you do tend to lose out price-wise when compared to end-to-end management once you begin adding more services/specific services that are more expensive.
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The benefit of the a la carte is of course the flexibility, but the downside is that if you run into IT issues that you hadn’t anticipated or are in need of a technology update due to some new tech release, those individual services can be quite pricey compared to a monthly fee for full management which will already include these services.
For full flexibility, a la carte is solid, but for full dependability and pricing stability, you’ll want to consider end-to-end management as the better deal.
Prices are subject to the services selected, number of users, and number of devices.
Considered to be the most cost-effective plan, you’ll have all your services included in this package, making it the most predictable and stable of the pricing models. It also tends to generate the highest ROI as your MSP can fully manage your business technology, enabling it to create synergies, automation, implement fixes company-wide, etc., which are only possible when they have full visibility of your technology assets.
These packages are almost always priced on a per-user per-month or per-device per-month model.
Best yet, these services are typically backed by service level agreements that guarantee high-quality solutions delivered to your business, so you can rest easy that your IT money is well invested.
How Can IT Services Be Outsourced?
As previously discussed, it’s clear that outsourcing your IT services is a good way to save money.
And that’s, in part, because hiring in-house IT staff (as an alternative option) is expensive and requires a high investment. Typically, you will pay upwards of $90,000 per employee per year!
Another benefit of outsourcing is that you only pay for what you need, and do not have to worry about the cost of health insurance or employment insurance. Plus, you don’t have to pay for vacation or sick leave.
IT workers are busy. This means they often fall behind on messages and support requests. Oftentimes, they watch employees in the halls, waiting for them to drop by with a problem. Larger companies often implement a tiered model of support. This means they have multiple methods of communication, including email, online messaging, and a call center. But many companies don’t realize that they can outsource these three tiers of support to an IT company—and save A LOT of money as a result.
Outsourcing your IT services can benefit your business in several ways. It gives you access to experts who understand productivity technology. It also gives you flexibility in coverage hours. You can also benefit from the expertise of a new team with ideas for improving operations. Outsourcing can help you free up your internal resources, which means you can spend more time focusing on more important tasks.
Before outsourcing your IT services, it’s important to determine how much control you’d like to have over the process. Depending on your company’s needs, you may want to retain some control over your team, while letting your partner have the autonomy to make the final decision.
What Managed Services and AT-NET Can Do for Your Business
What managed services offer is simple: the most effective way to eliminate unnecessary downtime, cut overhead costs, boost productivity, and streamline tedious workflows.
Looking to leverage the power of IT services for your business? Partner with AT-NET. For over 23 years, we’ve been providing comprehensive IT services to companies just like yours. This includes:
- Helpdesk and IT Support Services
- Network Security and Support
- IT Consulting and Strategy
- Cybersecurity Services
- IT Outsourcing
- and more
Now that the basics of “what are managed IT services” are out of the way, talk to us today and set up a free consultation where we can identify your specific business IT needs together.
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