What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are technical services provided by a third-party vendor, a Managed Service Provider. Basically, managed IT services acts as your tech department without needing the internal oversight from your team. Managed services allow you to offload some or all of your tech operations, such as infrastructure, cloud computing, help desk, on-site support, consulting, and more. Your MSP (managed service provider) will assume responsibility for monitoring, managing, and/or problem-solving your technology.
Managed IT services began as break-fix support – if something went wrong with your computer or your network, you’d give them a call. This is when the networks that needed fixing were simpler systems. Over the years, procedure and programs were developed that employed on-site visits to obtain system reviews, logs, and user information in order to predict more serious issues down the road and prevent them. This evolved into the proactive care and consulting that many MSPs use today.
Benefits of Outsourcing IT Services
When you outsource your IT with an MSP, your tech will run smoothly without time and energy put into it on your behalf. You are able to focus on what’s important to your business with no tech distractions.
An entire team of specialists will be at your service. From experienced consultants and account managers to many front-line engineers, outsourcing IT services gives the benefit of a well-rounded team of experts who are able to collaborate and bring together many areas of expertise for your benefit.
- Virtual Chief Technology Officer:GadellNet offers vCTOs (Virtual Chief Technology Officers) to our clients. These are C-level technology consultants that you don’t have to pay as full-time employees. Your business needs will be met while your technology budget is kept well in hand. vCTOs consult you on your technology and help to create a 3-year IT roadmap that includes your business goals, compliance needs, and budgets for legacy technologies.
- Account Manager:GadellNet offers dedicated Account Managers who act as a laision between organizations and the technical team. Account Managers deliver quarterly reports to show how things are going, listen to your evolving needs, and more.
- Diverse Technical Staff:GadellNet employees tier 1, 2, and 3 engineers, specialized technical staff, strategists, analysts, project managers, and more. These team members round out a holistic technical team that can tackle any technical issue you might face.
Remote monitoring, remote maintenance, and preventative care are three major benefits you’ll enjoy with a managed service provider. Through remote monitoring, potential issues and threats are dealt with long before they impact your organization. Remote maintenance allows for very few disruptions or distractions.
For many organizations, outsourcing offers peace of mind. Between the security patching, new user sets ups, and backing up data– it can be a lot of stress. When one single cyber security attack can cost on average $9,000, it brings many small and medium-sized business leaders peace of mind knowing there is a team of experts monitoring and caring for their cyber security needs. Many MSPs offer 24/7 support, meaning that no matter when you need them, they will be there.
Outsourcing your IT costs less than break-fix support. How? Although break-fix is where managed services got its start, they are very different services now. Break-fix manages issues as they crop up, often meaning it’s an emergency and that something was neglected long enough to cause an emergency. An emergency will cost you more, fixing the rest of the systems that are down will cost you more, and the increased downtime will cost you a lot more.
Who Should Outsource
The short list: small and medium-sized businesses who want to maintain their current size or grow.
Although managed IT services used to be reserved for Fortune 500 companies and the like, small businesses need technology to operate just as much as large companies do, if not more so. Small businesses have to run more efficiently and work harder on a smaller budget in order to compete when compared to larger organizations. Smaller organizations are also usually targeted by cyber criminals more often. Well managed technology can aid small businesses in achieving an efficient organization with added insights that may give them a competitive advantage.
Smaller organizations are faced with increasingly complex IT environment with email servers, customer relationship management systems, financial applications, and the like. Outsourced IT takes this complicated mess and ensures that it’s a well-oiled machine that is working hard for your organization.
Many small businesses have an IT person or a small technical team on-staff, but at a certain point, many small and medium-sized businesses outgrow the abilities of their IT person or small team. Whether they need more man power or they need someone with more specialized skills to work within their tech environment, we see small organizations outgrowing their IT often. There is usually a tipping point when it makes more sense to bring in a MSP than to continue to make your small staff struggle to keep up. Oftentimes the small business has grown enough that the technical team could use some support, but the organization doesn’t have the capital to bring in another full-time employee. Full-time employees need salaries, and in the tech space, those can often be high salaries; they also need insurance and all of the other benefits you give your employees, costing money. A managed service provider can be brought in for less than a full-time staff member, but offer a team of specialists.
Some small to medium-sized businesses never add that technical employee or team because they think they’re too small to need it. Outsourced IT can make these companies much more efficient and bring in solutions to help them grow and meet their goals.
Benefits of Locally Outsourced IT
Sometimes, people hear outsourced IT and think that means the team they will be working with are far removed from their location. This isn’t the case with many MSPs. Many MSPs are local small businesses, just like yours.
Locally outsourced IT has many benefits. On-site support is one of the most obvious benefits. If you outsource your technology needs to a local managed service provider, there will be someone in your neighborhood who can provide on-site support. This can look like weekly scheduled visits, visits when you have a complicated issue, on-site consulting meeting, and more! With the added benefit of on-site support, you can have peace of mind knowing if anything goes wrong such as a water mane break or outage (we’ve seen both before), someone is close by to help with your technology needs.
A company that is operating in the same community that you operate in will also have better insights into what you need to thrive in your community. They will be able to bring relevant ideas to the table.
When you outsource locally, you are putting dollars you have to spend anyway right back into your community. At GadellNet, our staff live and work around our two offices, located in Indianapolis, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri. These are people who serve on boards of nonprofits, volunteer at the schools their children go to, and might even go to the same gym that you go to. These are people with connections in your same community.
In conclusion, outsourcing your IT will enable you to grow your business, meet your goals, run efficiently, have peace of mind, and help to support your local economy. Your organization will be able to thrive with a technology company behind them doing the heavy lifting and ensuring you can focus on your business goals. A team of technology experts will be in your corner for everything from consulting on the best stack of applications to where to mount your wireless access points.