Businesses have become increasingly familiar with managed services over the past several years, and are turning to them more often to manage other it tasks such as email hosting, storage, backup and recovery, and network monitoring.
The demand for managed services shows zero signs of abating. An ever-increasing number of small and mid-market businesses are leveraging qualified it services for a variety of reasons today. That gives them access to new technologies, better time management, and frees up internal it staff to focus on other projects.
While it managed services companies are not a one-size-fits-all solution, they provide clear-cut solutions to a number of key business challenges facing businesses of all shapes and sizes.
In this post, let’s explore what these streaming services are, why they’re useful, and where you should get them.
Definition of managed services
Managed services is the practice of outsourcing day-to-day technology tasks to a third-party as a systematic way to improve performance and accelerate return on technology investment. In fact however, “supervised services” is an umbrella term for different types of offerings.
A managed services provider (msp) is a company that provides on-site, or more commonly, remote management of a customer’s it infrastructure and/or end-user systems. This is usually done on a proactive basis and under subscription mode.
An msp can handle any number of important tasks including remotely monitoring and managing networks and services, providing it advice, and helping to purchase equipment. It can also provide the necessary cybersecurity, data backup and recovery services, unified communications and more – as technology evolves, so do the services of service providers.
However, another concern for msps is cybersecurity. Threats can now arise both inside and outside of a company’s network making businesses more aware of their exposure to hacking or ransomware events. This is why it is important for businesses to pay close attention to cybersecurity and potential threats.
Benefits of managed services
Managed services can be essential to protect a business’s most valuable asset – time. By giving managers more time to focus on core competencies and important business functions, a business can significantly increase productivity.
Small and mid-market businesses have to balance a number of challenges in managing their it work because they often don’t have the skills or resources needed to meet their needs. To solve this issue, many businesses have turned to the support of managed service providers (msps).
Here are the top drivers why smbs are developing managed services:
- Need technical skills
- Systems are becoming more complex to handle internally
- You want to focus internal resources on core business operations
- It wants to reduce the cost of internal it support
- You need help using technology to drive business forward
- It requires specific skills for a vertical industry
- Now that we’ve explained some of the reasons why companies are turning to managed services, let’s explore how you can work with them to get the best results.
Work with a managed services provider
We get it – at first the idea of outsourcing part of your business can be uncomfortable, maybe even overwhelming. To make you more comfortable with working with managed and it solutions for business provider, we’ve compiled a list of things you should look for in a potential msp.
This is something you’ll want to know early in the process – it’s the best way to protect yourself and your business from any unexpected costs later in the process. The goal here is not to be surprised by unknown prices at the end of the month.
Also, if you have a clear idea of what your business needs, it will save you a lot of time as managed service providers can differ in how they handle their services. The good news is, the msp should be able to help you do this.
All businesses are focused on growth, even in the future, driving new and stronger revenue growth. When choosing a managed services provider, you will want to choose an msp that will help with your growth plans. As your business grows, you’ll likely add more employees, so you’ll need an msp that makes it easy and affordable to add workstations, employee accounts and/or locations.
You need managed services that offer flexibility for both growth and change. This means that an msp has a plan to keep your business current and professional, based on your budget and needs.
How to know if you need a managed service
A survey by CompTIA found that nearly two-thirds of organizations are using managed services to perform a single it function – not too surprising considering the many options expected of service providers and the increasing reliance on technology.
Msps offer a wide range of services and features, but they also recommend in-house it staff. Does outsourcing some or all of your it needs to a managed service suit your business anyway?
Below are some useful factors to consider when evaluating your options for managed services:
- Do you feel like your in-house it team could use more time to focus on big-picture projects like business development, strategic planning or workforce development?
- Looking to move your data to the cloud?
- Is your business large enough to justify a full-on it team (maintenance, maintenance engineers, software development, etc.)?
- Do you currently have a risk management plan for your data?
- Do you like the idea of a fixed monthly fee for all your it needs?
- Could your employees benefit from a more collaborative and flexible communication method?
- Do you have remote employees? Do you plan to have remote employees in the future?
- Does your business work with transparent data?
- Do you see your it needs beyond your current it solution?