Has your computer stopped working? Has your internet gone out? Did you have to fix it your self or did your IT Service provider fix it for you? It’s happened to all of us at some point in time.
For a business, computer problems negatively affect profitability, staff satisfaction, and client satisfaction. Suppose you don’t have a qualified team to prevent technology problems from affecting your business. In that case, your next downtime may be more expensive than you think.
I’m generally not this long-winded, but this article has lots of juicy stuff to help your business be more efficient and profitable in the new year. Oh wait, I wrote an entire book on the subject!
What are managed IT services?
Managed IT services are services handled by a third party in the context of business information technology services. Managed Services can help any size business improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase productivity, and remain competitive. By offloading information technology tasks to an expert, companies can reduce costs, enhance the quality of service, or free internal teams to do work specific to their business. A company that provides these service offerings is a managed service provider (MSP).
What is a managed service provider (MSP)?
A managed service provider is a third-party company that controls one or more of your business information technology (IT) infrastructure and end-user systems on a day-to-day basis. MSPs are strategic partners that help improve the operational efficiency of businesses of all types, from small to medium-sized (SMBs) to government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Managed service providers have a team of experts that can handle the most complex business processes. Because of their focus, MSPs provide your business access to the best talent and the latest technology at a lower cost.
A managed service provider can help your business stay running smoothly. They take over responsibility for the functionality of equipment, services, and technology. MSPs commonly have defined SLAs with contracts with provisions for technical support, help desk, downtime, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery.
The best Managed Service Providers’ MSPs use ai, automation, and expertise to create self-healing infrastructure. They can detect and prevent advanced cyber security threats, provide employee testing, identify hardware problems, and provide routine care and maintenance of your business technology to prevent issues before they occur. All for a predictable monthly fee.
What are the benefits of using managed IT services?
Managed IT services offer a wide range of benefits to any business.
- Enhanced IT security – Managed services providers specialize in taking the best cyber defense measures to prevent data breaches and other data safety issues. They provide proactive support, such as identifying vulnerabilities or security gaps before they become an issue.
- Cost Savings – Companies can save money by outsourcing tasks to external providers, as they can often do the same work more quickly and efficiently than internal staff. Managed IT services also provide businesses with cost-effective solutions for their IT needs. If you want to maximize your budget and ensure predictable costs, engaging a managed IT service company is the way to go! It’ll free up time spent maintaining in-house IT operations when that money can be used elsewhere.
- Reliability – With a managed service provider, you don’t have to stress out when it comes to system downtime – they keep your services running so that things stay up and running. An in-house IT team often has responsibilities that prevent them from focusing on essential tasks. On the other hand, an MSP puts all its focus into delivering top-notch results.
With the right provider, companies can be confident that their online systems are secure, their data is safe, and they can free up resources for more important tasks within the business.
What are MSPs used for?
Many organizations of all sizes use managed Service Providers, from small to medium-sized (SMBs) to government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
MSPs handle the hard work of IT management, freeing up valuable time and resources. Common responsibilities include:
- Manage servers, computers, printers, networks, and databases.
- Creating custom applications.
- Implement security measures to protect companies from cyber threats.
- Provide regular maintenance and updates for hardware or software systems.
- Remote help desk support services
- On-Site Technical Support.
- Strategic consulting and CIO services.
How do you choose the right managed it service provider?
If you’re looking to outsource IT management, you must choose the right partner for your business. When deciding which MSP best suits your needs, think about their experience level and track record of success, as well as their ability to handle a variety of IT solutions. Here are a few things to look for and verify before hiring a company to manage your technology
Check their Reputation and Ask For References
It’s common to check references when hiring a new employee. It’s even more critical to review them when hiring a service provider. You expect the MSP to have access to and protect sensitive and vital data, so you want them to have an excellent reputation.
You can gather some information by checking the MSP’s website. Such as how long the MSP has been in business and what kind of reviews clients have given them. But even more vital is to get references for previous or existing clients. Once you have that information, speak directly with as many references as possible.
Look At their Location
Even though most MSPs provide almost 90% of support service remotely, getting a local provider is critical for business operations. For example, if you need urgent on-site support, having a local provider means you can get support quickly.
Additionally, having a local service provider can be beneficial regarding local regulations governing your business. As a result, you may find it easier to meet any compliance measures and regulations from local authorities.
Identify What You Need Versus What the MSP Offers
While comparing IT Service Providers, you can use a list of the essential services you need the service provider to cover. This list can act as your checklist, thus, providing a guide on which MSPs to choose. You can look at services like data protection, data recovery, cybersecurity, network monitoring, on-site support, data back-up and migration, and training services for your team members.
Knowing what you need can help ensure your business is supported and protected. While saving money is essential, it is even more important that your business is protected from expensive cybersecurity and ransomware attacks. Sixty percent of small businesses close within six months of being hacked. Cybersecurity attacks are inevitable and happen when you least expect them, don’t go unprotected to save a few dollars.
Check For Industry Experience and Expertise
The biggest problem with IT support is that it’s an unregulated industry. No qualifications or certifications are required to call themselves an IT support company or an IT expert. No industry standard has to be met—no guidelines on how the business must operate.
Just about anybody… anybody… can set themselves up and say they’re an IT support
However, many standards and compliance requirements can be used to understand a service provider’s capabilities. Ask your prospective MSP what qualifications and certifications they have and ask for proof. Ask if the certifications are self-assessed or assessed by a 3rd party. Assessments by a 3rd party are often a more reliable method of determining expertise. Assessors demand evidence, while self-assessments don’t.
Remember, most small businesses are the owners’ retirement nest egg, don’t put your future at risk by hiring an unqualified MSP.
Availability and Support
Businesses are now relying more on technology than ever before to run efficiently. You want to have your network run all the time smoothly, but when there are problems, you need to be supported. The MSP should be able to address any issues as quickly as possible, on-site or remotely.
The perfect MSP will benefit your company and help you grow.
They will also enhance your cyber security and IT compliance by using the latest technology trends.
Your managed services provider will be fully qualified and also be available to address your needs effectively.
Outsourcing your daily IT operations to the right MSP will let your in-house staff focus on your business goals. Looking at it this way, you can say that hiring a good MSP is an an investment that will grow with you. Partnering with a managed IT service provider can boost productivity, cut costs, and improve security.
Are you ready to partner with an MSP that empowers you with secure, reliable, and resilient information systems? Are you already evaluating MSP partners? Schedule a private consultation with one of our experienced CIOs for expert guidance. We’re here to help.