Are you finding that your internal IT teams are getting weighed down by day-to-day IT issues? Are you lacking time to deal with pressing issues such as strategic planning, transformation, and organisational growth? If you answered yes to either of the above then outsourcing your IT to a third-party managed IT services provider (MSP) might be a great way to free up your internal resource – without taking on additional overhead in-house.
Having a managed IT services partner on hand 24/7, could be just what you need. This article will outline how to identify the best managed IT services provider for your business. Let us start with explaining what Managed IT services is.
What is a managed IT service?
IT services that have been outsourced to a third-party organisation or a managed IT service provider are referred to as the managed IT services. Unlike traditional IT services, managed IT services give providers the privilege to take strategic business decisions in addition to providing IT support to the clients. Some providers act as technology consultants to their clients and operate on a continuous contract with allocated resourcing as opposed to on-demand providers of IT support.
A leading managed IT service provider (MSP) will have a team of skilled engineers and professionals that work in partnership with the IT department of the client to create a collaborative relationship on a basis of continuous communication. An MSP can also provide managed networks services to larger organisations.
Why do you need managed IT services?
Managed IT Services can transform the way you run and operate your business. Unlike the traditional in-house IT teams, moving to managed IT services can offer many benefits.
Focus on important IT tasks
Outsourcing IT services to a third-party organisation allows you to focus on other important tasks. It can provide you clarity and objectivity that may not be available for a team emersed in day-to-day operations. As a matter of fact, the company will have more time to plan and innovate rather than worrying about their everyday IT requirements or issues.
It also gives you immediate access to a breadth of specialist IT technicians, developers, project managers etc, who have experience across industries, in providing expertise to businesses of varying scales.
Often when you move to a managed IT services model, your IT support partner will handle all relationships with your IT technology providers, including billing, purchases and contracts. This means that you no longer have multiple suppliers to manage for your leased lines, phones systems, cloud services and IT equipment – but a single point of contact, with support available 24/7 should you opt for an outsourced service desk. This reduces your admin and allows you to focus on matters that really drive your performance.
Help Mitigate IT Risks
With your data security being totally reliant on the security of your IT infrastructure, it is vitally important that your network security is robust and secured.
Understanding the constantly evolving complexities of modern technology and the ever-changing cyber security threat is a full-time job. It is not realistic for most organisations to recruit a network security specialist in-house. By outsourcing this capability, you can ensure that you are equipped with the latest relevant advice as and when you need it.
You will have security in the knowledge that you will always have someone who is available and monitoring your company’s cyber security. The team will be utilising the latest tools and technology to protect you and your clients, for example, network security, anti-virus protection, filtering, and penetration testing. In the event of a major incident, your managed IT service provider will also have a full plan for Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR), this assures you and your clients that, should you face a crisis, you will be safe hands.
The MSPs take immense care about security standards like PCI and ISO compliance. They should also adhere to the standards and assure that the organisation abides by the regulations, making sure that all policies are adhered to.
Regular updates to your IT
As well as mitigating potential cyber security risks, managed IT service providers conduct regular updates to your IT equipment, and IT infrastructure. They assess and monitor the IT ecosystem making sure software is current and functioning optimally. This guarantees that your staff are always using IT equipment that enables maximum productivity and that any issues or upgrades are dealt with, with minimum impact to your staff.
Your managed service provider is well placed to select the best IT technology providers as they are experts in the field and stay informed on the latest innovations and what IT products are best value for your money.
Cost-effective IT departments
By integrating managed IT services within your business, you can uplift your efficiency and capability, whilst retaining a lower financial exposure. The wealth of knowledge and experience provisioned in a managed IT services partnership can lead to changes and improvements in process and technology that enhance your business and raise your outputs.
If you are an IT manager for your business, you will be able to concentrate on adding true value and relieve your responsibility for the day-to-day technical IT processes of your department.
Irrespective of whether you are a small-scale start-up or a well-established organisation, managed IT services offer effective solutions for all. Where an in-house team can provide a valuable conduit for internal discussions, outsourcing regulates your overall expense – making it a win-win for all.
Components of an ideal managed IT service model
Managed IT services experts help business enterprises with their IT day in and day out. But what should you be looking for from a top managed IT service provider? Here is what an ideal end-to-end IT service model should include:
A full spectrum of IT services
Make sure that the service provider you go ahead with – provides an extensive set of managed IT services outside those in your requirements. For example, an all-in-one managed IT services provider that offers end-to-end consultation on the existing network infrastructure but is also able to provide the equipment and the support to make the changes required.
Your Managed IT provider should work alongside your IT department, as an integrated part of that team, to understand the overall infrastructure and highlight the pain points to further improve the functionality of the business. By choosing a provider who has a full spectrum of IT capability you will ensure that you create a relationship with an IT partner who will continue to drive your business forward into the future.
24/7 Support Services
Your managed IT service provider should always be ready to provide support. Whether you seek to outsource your technical IT issues for resolution entirely externally or want to work in collaboration – round the clock IT technical support services will help you in making sure that your business operations never get affected because of the hired team.
Providers should offer a dedicated account representative, support service dashboards, online and telephone support, and onsite resource.
Planning to migrate to the cloud or looking for cloud advisory services? Not sure whether to go for a hybrid cloud model or move all your data onto a hosted cloud?
Your managed IT services partner will be able to support you in your objectives to future proof your enterprise. They will have in-house IT experts for cloud-based solutions, helping you to modernize your IT infrastructure and migrate both data and applications to the cloud infrastructure. Preferably, they will have a separate team of professionals that work closely to identify gaps and assist you in making the move.
From consultation to Integration, implementation, management, and support, they should be able to provide all types of cloud-native solutions. By using a managed IT services partner who understands your business, you can strip out complexity and effort from an already challenging modernisation.
Network Security Review
Network security is crucial to every modern organisation, the best managed IT services providers will complete a cyber security review. By conducting an end-to-end assessment of the existing infrastructure, scanning all endpoints internally and externally testing software applications, and reporting on the robustness of the IT infrastructure – they should be able to handle everything.
Additionally, they should provide suggestions to close gaps and strengthen the IT infrastructure of your organisation – keeping you free from doubt with your data security.
Compressing your IT supply chain by providing a single point of contact
An ideal managed IT services partner must have services to fulfil all your requirements. They will be able to take on responsibility for your IT equipment suppliers or negotiate new contracts to reduce your overhead and improve your technology and productivity. They will be able to give you expert advice on the most effective partners and help design your IT services to include IT technology which works most effectively for your business. Whether it’s your telephony or VoIP solutions, leased lines or cloud software provider, your IT partner will help you build excellent business relationships and deliver outstanding customer experience through the provision of expert IT support services.
Consultation and development solutions
Whilst it is not mandatory, we think it is advantageous to choose a managed IT services provider who has this capability in-house. If you find a team that could deliver consultancy or custom development services, it will ensure that you get the most for from your partnership.
We always make sure that we are equipped with experienced leading industry engineers and software developers to help organisations develop technology and implement change smoothly and effectively. That way, we enable clients to run lean and agile IT departments in a cost-effective way.
Cost and business hours
Finally – you should make sure that the rate model followed by your chosen IT infrastructure solutions provider must match your budget and preference. If that’s not the case and you still want to go ahead with a particular team – ask if they could provide custom offers or if things are negotiable. We recommend you seek an inclusive service with a fixed budget per month to ensure that there are no hidden extras
We recommend going with a service provider with an all hours active policy. It will ensure that all your vital tasks are carried out without disrupting everyday operations. Such providers can give you an outsourced service desk and an option for 24/7 support.
The Final Word
Managed IT Service providers help businesses operate with ease by managing your IT services in their entirety. As our reliance on IT technology and software across all aspects of a business increases, the need for specialist, trustworthy support for IT services and related infrastructure is becoming imperative.
By taking care of all the aspects outlined above, a managed IT service provider can act as your technical IT support and guidance – leaving you to focus on driving your business forward. Whether it’s network design, 24/7 IT support, hardware & software management, Wi-Fi services, cloud services, communication enablement, or development – the right managed IT services partnership will improve your operations, revenue, and performance as an organisation and help your company soar.
To learn more about managed IT services and the value it can bring to your business…
Contact ITVET now and get your free IT audit.