What Are Managed IT Services, and How Do They Help the Small & Mid-sized Business Owner?
The market for Managed Service Providers is valued at $223 billion and is projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 8.1% over the next five years clearly showcasing the importance of the service across the board for all industry verticals.
It is not only the large companies that require technology to compete in their respective markets, reliance on IT among small businesses is also growing, but are the efforts to increase IT support within small businesses moving at the same rate? To keep companies from being overwhelmed due to constrained IT resources, Managed Service Providers, or MSPs, have entered to identify threats and fix potential problems as warning signs arise.
Essentially, Managed IT Services involve delegating IT tasks and operations to a third-party provider who is responsible for around-the-clock monitoring, management and repair. MSPs are responsible for shifting the SMB (small and medium sized business) mindset from break/fix to Managed IT Services. It is no longer a viable option to wait for a problem to arise and systems to fail before taking action. Our increasing dependence on automated systems and digital databases means technology outages can have a profoundly negative impact on business operations. If a network goes down or an email server is inaccessible for substantial periods of time, the loss in productivity and revenue could be devastating. A recent study reveals that the average cost of a cyberattack at an SMB is $54,650.
Benefits of Managed IT Services for Businesses
Managed services are imperative to business operations as they allow companies to discover and address technical issues before they can take a negative toll on the business. Proactive services and regular maintenance are key to ensure seamless and efficient operation of computer networks.
Apart from disaster prevention, Managed IT Services also present other advantages to small businesses:
Cost Reduction – The services extended by MSPs are designed to reduce strain on IT budgets. Typically, MSPs accomplish this by keeping systems updated, reducing hardware costs, maintaining high levels of security and providing expert knowledge all at a fixed monthly rate. In other words, you can request as many services as you need, without worrying about the bills piling up.
System Centralization Allows Constant Visibility - MSPs help centralize your network applications and servers into a single data center. This centralization facilitates speed and accessibility across the board, regardless of the location. A centralized system thus improves data access streamlining staff operations. The system also facilitates secure mobile and web access points so your staff can continue to work on the go.
High-Level Support on Up-To-Date Tech: One of the benefits of constant monitoring and system management is that you can count on continually upgraded IT systems at no additional cost or financial risk. Your IT systems will be guaranteed to be as current as possible, and you will consistently have access to enterprise-level services at an affordable rate.
Minimized Downtime and Significant Productivity Increases – Advanced network security and MSPs proactive approach to addressing potential risks will ensure you don’t have to deal with system failures and shutdowns that can hinder company’s progress. When you minimize technology-related frustrations, you invest in increasing your team’s productivity and efficiency as their focus now is solely on completing tasks at hand and meeting company goals unhindered.
Peace of Mind Regarding Efficiency and Security - It’s a common misconception that outsourcing decreases your level of data security. Instead, you can rest easy knowing MSPs must follow stringent safety and data management regulations and are designed to provide robust backup and recovery systems, making them significantly more capable of protecting your data than an in-house IT team. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about system failures leaving you in a time crunch during an important project, thanks to monitoring systems that address concerns early on.
Extended Relationship with An Expert Service Provider - Since your MSP will become extensively familiar with your business and your system over time, you can count on excellent service that is ready to assist you at a moment’s notice. The specialists assigned to you have greater accountability to thoroughly help your business with any IT issues that may come up, allowing your in-house staff to focus on their daily tasks, rather than changing course to address a technology problem on their own or dealing with a break/fix technician.
To derive any of these benefits, however, you need to find a provider who will give you the attention you deserve and the reliable service that will help you accomplish your tasks unhindered.
Strategies for Choosing a Managed IT Service Provider that is Right for You
Your key assets, procedures, processes and data will be handled by the MSP you choose to operate your IT infrastructure. Trust and reliability will play a pivotal role in this highly critical relationship. Gaining an insight into an MSPs quality upfront is difficult, therefore, the following can help you choose an MSP that is best fit for your business.
Evidence of Experience – In addition to possessing an in-depth knowledge of IT and related advancements, ensure that the MSP has vast experience in operating across various industries. IT operations not only vary with each business, but also differ with industry. Technology isn’t the only thing that is changing rapidly, so make sure you find an MSP that understands your vision on top of keeping up with tech innovations.
Positive Attitude – Challenges are never the same. A team that is willing, inquisitive and enthusiastic can even make up for the lack of industry specific knowledge.
Services that go Above and Beyond - A dependable partner will give 110 percent every single time. At CSG, for example, we always seek to exceed our clients’ expectations. Since there is no way to predict when a tech emergency may strike, we also believe in around-the-clock, year-round service with buzzer-beating response times. Ask your prospective MSP about their remote monitoring and how often they will be available to assist you in times of need.
Look for Long Term Commitment to Growth and Scalability – Find an MSP that strives to keep up with the latest technological advancements with a singular aim to discover new and cost-effective solutions. This way, you can be assured that out-of-date solutions won’t impede your future growth and success.
Approach is key in choosing the right MSP. A service provider which is more inclined to fix a problem than prevent it may not be the right choice.
CSG Technologies helps small businesses navigate the dynamic world of technology through astoundingly proactive solutions with highly focused and tailored monitoring and support services.