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Inside the ProServ Process

Managed IT Services: An Introduction

No matter what size of business you operate, IT or information technology will play a large part in your daily operations. From calculating payroll to filing tax forms, from storing financial data to using specialized software for your business processes, a robust computer hardware system is needed for anyone doing business today. Outsourcing the management of your IT infrastructure is the best way to preserve efficient computer and business operations while reducing the costs of doing so adequately and securely.

When companies think of their IT environment as merely a few computers in a backroom that magically run operations without human interference, they quickly find they have underestimated the role that computer technology plays in modern business. Internal networks, servers, software applications, websites, firewalls, and storage of sensitive personal and financial data are the minimum needed to operate in today’s fast-paced digital business environments safely.

At the same, many other businesses believe they are running an efficient, robust, and secure IT infrastructure until something brings all of their operations to a grinding halt. This could be a cyberattack or data breach that occurs due to a non-existent patch management program or a loss of profit and customers due to incomplete network coverage, or a lack of system testing and monitoring.

Managed IT services allow anyone from independent businesses or large corporations to quickly scale up their IT operations and stay up to date with the latest in IT business technology. Companies get access to the computing experts they need without the added costs of hiring, training, or paying the high salaries these IT professionals demand.

WHAT IS MANAGED IT?

Managed IT services are a solution provided by companies that offer outsourced IT services to cover the management of a business’s IT environment. These Managed Services Providers (MSPs) are third-party computer experts that staff employees trained in a wide range of IT skills such as cloud applications, server and network management, and digital data security. But Managed IT services are not only for large organizations or complex computer management tasks. These service providers can handle the daily operations of even the smallest of businesses. This may include setting your company’s regularly scheduled backups, rolling out new software on all company computers, and ensuring all your hardware (printers, laptops, desktops, and other office technology devices) is connected to your business LAN or enterprise-wide WAN. Managed IT allows your employees to stay focused on your business objectives, with the peace of mind that trained, experienced, and certified experts are supporting them to ensure computer downtime is minimized and any technical issues receive fast, professional attention.

While some services provided by a Managed IT provider are completed in-house and hands-on, the greater majority of the computer maintenance and support is done remotely. The MSP already has all the software and tools needed to access, manage, repair, and maintain your computer systems—no matter where you are located. This reduces the amount of time necessary to resolve most problems.

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF MANAGED IT

Managed IT services can provide a wide range of computer administration functions for a flat-rate, monthly fee. Your company benefits from dependable and predictable services that are within the scope of a mutually agreed-upon service agreement. Typically, IT management is not a one-size-fits-all contract. The size and structure of your company, the type of business you own, and the magnitude of your IT needs are all factored together to create an IT maintenance and service program that fits your needs.

The goal of the best Managed IT service providers is to transform your IT environment into an efficient, robust, and hardened system. They accomplish this through measures such as:

  • Infrastructure maintenance that includes the management of physical equipment, such as computers, printers, and networking equipment
  • Computing platforms and operating system installations to execute beneficial programs such as Linux, Unix, Windows, and cloud storage
  • Software applications and database rollouts to fulfill business functions, administrative tasks, and customer/vendor data

Managed IT Services go beyond the physical selection and maintenance of your computer systems. It also includes soft services that make all the difference in how well your company operates. Services such as:

  • System hardening with patching and operating system upgrades
  • Computer help desk support to reduce downtime and increase productivity
  • System administrative tasks to manage servers, hardware, and networking equipment
  • Network monitoring to detect and resolve bandwidth issues, security threats, or performance problems
  • IT system lifecycle management of all hardware and software products to maintain current technology

Depending on the size and structure of your company, other IT services can be provided as needed, including backup and disaster recovery, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, and compliance support.

WHY OUTSOURCE YOUR IT?

Today’s business computing systems and networks feature complex hardware and software products that need to be installed correctly, managed daily, and upgraded regularly to be protected against emerging cyber threats. A properly managed IT environment is crucial to your business operations and subsequent profits. When your operations are not supported by the right computer hardware systems and software applications, your business can expect to lose money, employees, customers, and your reputation.

The depth of the function of your Managed IT services provider is decided by you. You can contract full IT services that act as your complete IT team, or you can select the services your company needs help with to support your existing internal IT team. Either way, there are many benefits to outsourcing some or all of the management of your IT environment, including:

  • Keeping up with ever-changing technology like cloud computing and new business trends like remote workers
  • Gain access to expert IT talent without the high salary and benefits package costs
  • Reducing the daily tasks of overburdened IT departments by supplementing them
  • Allowing your in-house staff to focus on high-level or long-term IT objectives by outsourcing some functions like help desk support

You can’t underestimate the importance of information technology in today’s digital business world. Technology will only continue to change, and without managing, upgrading, and protecting your computer infrastructure, your business will be at risk of falling behind the competition. Contact ProServ Business Systems today to learn more about how our Managed IT services can help your St Joseph business.

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