A few thoughts worth sharing
Managed IT services is a solution in which a third-party is hired to handle some or all of a business’s IT needs. This solution can range from remote monitoring and management, help desk support, backup and disaster recovery, to even building custom machines and software for a company. The scope of the services included depends on what the individual business needs and the contract they negotiate. That said, some common themes recur in many Managed IT contracts.
For starters, Managed IT services virtually always include analysis and consulting. Businesses—especially small- and medium-sized businesses—need access to IT expertise they don’t have available to them in-house. Their IT services provider is an obvious resource to mine for that expertise and strategy; it is one of the leading appeals of a Managed IT services engagement.
Based on the advice and suggestions presented by the IT service provider, there are an endless amount services and solutions available to a business through Managed IT services. These providers have the resources and know-how to solve a vast array of specific challenges and problems that plague companies.
WHAT DOES IT SERVICES INCLUDE?
We have already looked at the very most common IT service included in a Managed IT services partnership: consulting. That expert technical advice is invaluable, but it is just one of a myriad of solutions available offered by the typical Managed Services Provider (MSP). Other solutions include:
- Help Desk Support. This is the term for an IT service that allows the business to call on a team of professionals for technology troubleshooting and help as problems arise. A computer crashed? Your network goes down? Infected with ransomware? Simply call the help desk to get any of your IT issues resolved by trained and certified professionals.
- On-Site Assistance. The help desk offers support over the phone. When that is insufficient, a technician or team can come directly to your office to fix a problem in person.
- Asset Management. Asset management is where the service provider keeps track of your IT equipment and helps you plan to maintain and replace it as needed.
- Account Management. Your service provider can help you keep track of the accounts your business needs to function. This can include internet service provider accounts, software accounts, and anything else you would want to fit into this box.
- Security. Cybersecurity is a scary prospect for many businesses. A good service provider can take care of it for you and ensure compliance where it matters—such as HIPAA compliance for medical providers.
- Backup and Recovery. IT stands for information technology. This information is key to your business, and you want this data to be safe and reliable. Backups and recovery plans can prevent companies from failing when disaster strikes, equipment fails, hackers attack, or humans err.
While these are some of the most common services that might be found in an IT services offering, they are far from the limit. The underlying purpose of managed IT is to provide you with everything IT-related your business needs to function. But IT services offerings can also be trimmed to conserve resources. It is reasonable and common to tailor the contract to streamline the services you deem most valuable while cutting everything else to make your partnership more affordable. Many small businesses will use managed IT solely for cloud computing, help desk support, or consultation. With a customized approach to IT services, this business model can accommodate virtually any business, regardless of its size or industry.
HOW IT SERVICES CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
Looking at a list of services, you can immediately understand some of the problems Managed IT services can solve for your business. Consulting with tech experts is a good way to ensure you aren’t using outdated or obsolete technology. Or even worse, setting yourself up for some tech-related disaster. And any business that underestimates the dangers of a data breach is just asking for trouble. Still, other essential problems are regularly solved by Managed IT services and considering each of them can help you shape an idea of what you might want from your own MSP.
TECH SUPPORT FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
Most businesses want to grow over time. While you have a great idea of what your company can do for customers or clients as it grows, the prospect of investing in technology that is scalable enough to keep up with your evolution is often daunting. Do you have to keep buying new hardware and software every year? How often do you have to shut down operations for critical upgrades? Will you run out of storage space for vital information?
Your IT services provider can answer all of these questions and help you strategize. Aside from offering you direct services, they will also work with you to make a growth and scalability plan. Their job is to ensure you are armed with the knowledge and understanding to make the right IT decisions. Perhaps you can save money now but will have to invest more later. Maybe you are opting into tech systems that organically grow with your business. There are many decisions to make, and your MSP should be involved in helping you to make the right choices.
AUTOMATION AND DELEGATION FOR EFFICIANCY
Efficiency is the key to profit in any business, and as a company grows, the potential for inefficiency grows too. Your Managed IT services provider can help you explore technology that improves automation and/or delegation to optimize efficiency. For example, you might not need to host your own web server. Instead, you could delegate that to a third party with a competitive contract.
Similarly, your accounting can probably be streamlined through a better software investment, but you don’t have time to try every single accounting suite available on the market. Your provider can do that research and narrow your options based on your business model. This same concept can be applied to scheduling, timecards, HR processes, billing, marketing, and every single aspect of your business. If there’s a technology solution that can bring more efficiency to any of these processes, your MSP can help you take advantage of it.
IT, when leveraged correctly, can improve everything you do as a business. Your IT services provider is the resource that empowers you to make the most of that. If any of this sounds promising, contact Proserv Business Systems today to learn more about how we can help your St Joseph business.