If your in-house IT team is struggling to keep up with the ever-changing world of information technology, you’re not alone. With ongoing maintenance updates, ever-expanding innovations and increasing cyber threats, now is the time to protect your network, data and infrastructure with a dedicated and well-equipped team so you can focus your priorities on operating your business.
Read on to learn more about managed IT services, including the types of services available and the benefits they can deliver to your organization.
What Are Managed Information Technology Services?
Managed Information Technology (IT) services is a blanket term used to describe the range of information technology services carried out for a business by a third-party service provider, serving as a complement or replacement for in-house IT.
Managed services extend tech support, often utilizing a monthly fee based structure. Services rendered can vary depending on the exact specifications outlined in a contract but generally include monitoring a business’ network and infrastructure, troubleshooting issues that arise within the network and optimizing network performance. Furthermore, managed IT also typically includes continuous, regular management, maintenance and support.
What Is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
The third-party entity that carries out managed IT services is known as a managed service provider (MSP). MSPs work to deliver ongoing support and carry out active administrative tasks for customers. Services could include network, application, infrastructure and security. MSPs can perform these functions remotely, at the customer site or from a third-party data center.
Benefits of Managed IT Services
There are numerous benefits of working with an MSP. From reducing overall costs to solving staffing issues to ensuring your data is safe from cybercriminals, teaming up with an MSP offers a broad range of advantages.
One of the most sought after benefits of managed IT services involves staffing. Many companies just don’t have the staff needed — either because they don’t require a full-time IT employee or because now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, trained staff are challenging to find, keep and afford. Outsourcing your IT support needs means you won’t have to spend time and money recruiting, hiring, training and retaining internal IT staff.
When IMARK Group — a multi-vertical member-owned and member-governed group of independent distributors in support of the electrical utility, HVAC, plumbing and luxury products industries — needed help growing their IT services without expanding their in-house staff, Scantron Technology Solutions was able to step in and provide help in meeting this goal and streamline the company’s IT processes.
Scantron was also there for Cherokee State Bank, a small community financial institution that needed crucial IT support without having to maintain a full-time, on-site IT department. The IT solutions provided by Scantron Technology services allow the bank to cut costs and get the flexible, expert-support they need, whenever they need it.
Managed IT services allow you to focus your attention on your company’s core goals and objectives. Working with an MSP means that your employees have more time to do the work they were hired to do and leave the complicated, behind-the-scenes tech processes to the experts.
On a similar note, hiring a dedicated MSP ensures your networks and infrastructure are being managed by a professional team with expertise and experience. Managed IT services are their specialty, so they are better equipped to handle any issues that may arise and operate proactively to ensure your operating systems remain up and running at all times. Furthermore, utilizing the services of a third-party provider means you won’t incur any unpredictable service costs, as your contract will outline any and all services allocated each month.
One of the most important benefits that comes from engaging with managed IT services is the peace of mind you get from knowing your network and IT environment are secure. With Scantron Technology Services, we recognize the importance of security and build it into all of our service offerings. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, cyberattacks cost the national economy billions of dollars per year, and small businesses are particularly at risk for two key reasons:
- They store and transfer data that cybercriminals want, such as social security numbers, digital infrastructure and corporate accounts
- They usually lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses
From ensuring secure payment processing to backing up data to controlling data access, small businesses need a dedicated team of IT experts to remain safe from cyber threats.
Different Types of Managed IT Services Available
Managed service providers are experts in a range of IT-related areas, and as such often provide a variety of services to the companies with whom they are contracted. A few of the most common managed IT services include:
- Network and infrastructure (patching and maintenance on physical and virtual servers; setting up LAN, firewalls and other network connections)
- Backup and storage (creating and storing backups of your data)
- Cybersecurity (monitoring for and protecting your systems from common threats like malware, viruses, ransomware, spyware and phishing attempts)
- Support services (help desk troubleshooting IT issues)
- Communications services (implementing communication infrastructure, such as phone, messaging, data and video communications)
- Public and private cloud management (multi and hybrid cloud management)
Managed IT Services FAQs
What kind of company needs managed IT services?
Companies of any size from any industry can benefit from managed IT services. Since smaller businesses have fewer employees and are more likely to face cyber vulnerabilities and threats, those companies may see the most benefits from engaging with a managed service provider. Additionally, companies with strict compliance and regulatory constraints also benefit from the added security and skill set MSPs offer to meet audit requirements and mandates.
What should I look for in an MSP?
When determining which MSP is right for you, consider whether the MSP:
- Has the skill set you need
- Strategically aligns business growth with your technical roadmap
- Offers an appropriate response time to issues
- Has a security mindset (extremely important in today’s market)
- Offers on-site or virtual support options (for small and medium-sized businesses)
- Provides data analytics (tracking and reporting on data to target key trends and demographics to boost business outcomes)
What happens when I team up with an MSP?
A managed service provider is a third-party entity that delivers managed IT services to another company. MSPs fulfill outsourced tech support needs and are often available to assist whenever they are needed.
Why should I choose managed IT services over an in-house IT department?
Managed IT services can help small businesses avoid extra costs associated with hiring and training in-house personnel, allowing the company and its employees to focus on business objectives instead of being concerned with complicated technical issues.
Ready to explore what managed IT services can do for your company? Learn more about Scantron’s managed IT solutions by reaching out to our team today.