Information Technology 101: What Does Managed IT Services Mean?

An hour of downtime can cost your business about $100,000 in lost sales and productivity. That doesn’t count the damage to your company’s reputation if your network has a major outage.

Your business depends on technology. Whether you’re a blogger or a 500 person company, most of your communications and work runs across copper or fiber wires.

Those wires and the computers connected to them need maintenance and regular updates. You could hire staff to do that or you can hire managed IT services to take care of it for you.

What does managed IT services mean? Keep reading to find out the definition and what it can mean for your business.

What Does Managed IT Services Mean?

How would you like to outsource your IT department to a third-party vendor? That’s what managed IT services means.

When you hire managed IT services, you can hire a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to oversee all of your IT needs or just one specific aspect.

For example, if you’re a large agency with a huge IT department, you may hire an MSP to handle technical support for your staff. A smaller business may need to have an MSP take over their IT needs.

Managed IT services is really a wide range of services that can be tailored to fit the IT needs of any organization.

Why Hire Managed IT Services?

It seems like outsourcing your IT needs would be a great move for your business. Is it, though? These are some of the top reasons why hiring an MSP makes sense for your business.

1. IT Cost Projections

It can be very hard to predict your IT costs from one month to the next. You may have to replace a server one month or perform a migration the next.

When you’re doing your technology budget, you have to guess based on the previous year’s spending. MSPs usually come at a fixed cost, which makes your IT budget easier to manage.

2. You Get Experts Without Paying for Them

How much would it cost to hire IT experts as your employees? At the high-end, you’ll have to pay well over six-figures just for a salary. You also have to have a generous benefits package.

Now, multiply that by the number of IT staff members you need.

An MSP does the hiring for you. You outsource your IT needs, they provide the expertise for a much lower cost.

3. Meet Legal Regulations

Do you know if your business is required to meet certain privacy regulations like HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, or GDPR?

Failure to comply with these regulations and the ones that get passed by governments can result in big fines and bad publicity. You don’t have to know the legal requirements because your MSP will have that covered for you.

4. Limit Your Downtime Risk

MSPs focus on making your networks secure and reliable. You know how much downtime can cost, and an MSP can prevent that from happening.

It doesn’t mean that downtime won’t ever happen. You’ll be able to respond to it faster and limit your risk. An MSP will do regular backups, so if the worst thing does happen, you can bounce back quickly.

5. Grow IT with Your Business

Managed IT services are scalable. You can start small by outsourcing one aspect of your technology department. As your business grows, you can then scale your IT services with the business.

It’s an affordable way to grow without having to hire more staff members.

Hiring Managed IT Services

Before you decide to hire an MSP, you need to know what type of services you’ll need. MSPs come in all shapes and sizes, but they tend to fall under three categories.

Low-Level MSPs

A low-level MSP is more like a monitor. They’ll keep a close watch on your networks and alert you if there’s an outage. They’ll perform basic tasks such as software upgrades.

Mid-Level MSPs

Mid-level managed service providers will work with your IT staff to make improvements to your networks. They can do everything from providing help desk support to managing your voice-over IP operations.

Mid-level MSPs can be hired for all of your internal IT needs or you can hire them for partial services.

High-Level MSPs

High-level MSPs have everything you need. They provide the technology infrastructure, such as servers, and the software to make your business run efficiently.

They’ll do just about everything that your IT department does, they just do it offsite. This is a good option if you don’t want to make a huge investment in building an internal network.

Finding the Best Managed Service Provider

How can you make sure that you’re hiring the best MSP? You need to ask yourself what your organization’s technology needs are. Get together with your IT staff and decide what areas of IT need the most help.

You then want to look at various companies that provide managed IT services in your area. There are questions that you should ask them to make sure that you’re getting the best company for your needs.

Ask them about their current clientele and if they specialize in your industry. You should also ask them about reporting methods so you can see a definite return on your investment.

An MSP can become a major part of your business. You want to make sure that they have a long-term vision for your IT needs that matches your vision for the business.

Make a Difference in Your Organization

What does managed IT services mean? It means a way to save money, scale your business, and limit your risks. Managed IT services is a way to outsource some of all of your IT needs to a managed service provider.

It makes sense for many businesses and it could be a great move for yours. Speaking of great moves, head over to the home page of this site for more great technology articles and tips.

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