If you’re a new business owner and you’re looking for someone to help you with your IT, you might have come across a lot of companies offering Managed Services. What are Managed Services, and how do they differ from IT support? What does a Managed Service provider do, and why do you need one?
What Are Managed Services?
Managed Services can cover a number of different services. Here are the basics that are usually covered:
- Maintenance of your technology for a set monthly fee
- Monitoring the health of your computers, and alerting you to any problems
- Providing preventative maintenance for your computers and networks
- Applying all critical patches, fixes, and updates to your systems
Most MSPs will work remotely, as an outsourced service, so you don’t have to wait for them to come to the office every time you need help.
What Are The Benefits Of Managed Services?
As well as keeping your systems up to date, a Managed Service Provider can monitor your computer systems and alert you to any potential problems. With modern technology, an MSP can monitor your critical functions 24 hours a day. This reduces the risk of system failure and downtime causing your business problems.
Another key feature of using an MSP is that they will maintain your system for a flat monthly fee, making your IT expenses predictable every month. You will still have to for any major moves or changes, but your maintenance should be included. This means that if anything stops working, you can get it sorted out quickly by your MSP for no extra charge, which can be a huge relief if something major goes wrong. With all this, your IT budget stays stable month after month, which is a massive plus for the owner of a small business.
How To Choose The Right Managed Service Provider For Your Business?
Now you understand some of the benefits, you might be wondering what to look for and how to make you get the right IT support for your business. Here are the things you need to consider when you’re looking.
- Can and will they monitor and patch all of your equipment?
- Will they provide reporting in a way that makes sense to you, and shows you the information that you actually want and need to see?
- Do they have a simple ticketing system in place for you to use so can easily create and track any service requests?
- Are they able to explain their work to you in a way you understand?
- Do they have experience working in your industry? It helps to have someone who understands what you do, and what your unique needs might be.
- Do they have a serious back-up system and strong plans for disaster recovery?
- Is there a standard contract you to review before deciding to work with them?
- Do you feel comfortable with them? Small businesses are all about relationships, so it’s important than any service provider you work with is someone that you trust and feel comfortable with.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
As with anything in businesses, there are advantages and disadvantages to Managed Services.
- Control. If there is an incident with your computer systems, then there’s not a lot you can do yourself if you’re reliant on an MSP. An MSP should be able to address your computer issues in a much speedier timeframe than an IT team you have within your company, but it can be annoying to not have any visibility of the work being done to fix serious problems.
- Flexibility. Managed IT services are usually offered as a standard offering which is available to all their different clients. They might be able to personalise their service a little for you, but outsourcing like this is usually a less flexible than having a more customised solution for your business.
- Reliability. If anything happens to your service provider, then you could be left scrambling to find an alternative solution without much time.
Outsourcing many services can be very useful for small businesses, especially when it comes to IT. Managed IT Services, when provided by the right company, can help you to have access to the latest IT solutions, without paying for them yourself, as well as expert support in the event of an emergency. MSPs can monitor your systems, guide you through a recovery plan, and take care of all your IT needs. You can hire a company to manage all your IT or work alongside your in-house IT team, depending on your needs.