What are managed IT services?
Managed IT services is the process of outsourcing your business’ IT operations to a managed service provider (MSP). By outsourcing your technology operations, your business can focus on your core operations and the technology infrastructure will BE managed and maintained by a provider. Instead of ignoring your IT needs and issues until there’s a significant issue, managed IT services ensures your IT infrastructure and needs are being met and addressed 24/7
What is a managed service provider (MSP)?
A managed service provider (MSP) is any company that manages a particular service for a company. The service that is managed is often a non-revenue generating part of the business that is unrelated to a business’ core operations. The vast majority of managed service providers are IT providers because IT services is one of the most common outsourced services.
A managed service provider specializes in the day to day IT management of a business, providing technical support and improving the IT infrastructure of a business. Businesses can choose to outsource select IT operations or all IT operations to their managed service provider
Why should you use a managed service provider?
For most businesses, recruiting, hiring, training and retaining an entire IT team is not the most cost-effective way to handle their IT operations. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this, many businesses opt to pay an IT provider to manage their entire IT services and operations.
These IT providers specialize in providing round the clock IT services and they provide the entire technology infrastructure and support for a business. This allows the business to focus on its core business and services and let expert IT teams handle their technology issues
Types of managed IT services:
Managed security: Security is often a key reason why organizations work with IT service providers. With managed security services, all of your company’s security processes are outsourced and managed by an MSP. This includes managing cyber threats, infrastructure security, disaster recovery and more. Your company will have its security monitored and protected 24/7 with managed security.
Managed backup: When companies suffer a breach, a vial mistake they often make is not having backup. Without data backup, any data loss your company suffers will be permanent. This can cause a host of legal and compliance issues for your business. With managed backup, all of your data will be backed up routinely and if your company suffers a cybersecurity incident, you will still be able to return to normal operations.
Managed firewall: Firewalls are important tools in any business’ cybersecurity operations. With managed firewall services, your firewall will be managed and maintained by an MSP. Your MSP will give you regular reporting on your firewall’s performance and identify any threats that may impact your business.
Managed support: IT support is one of the foremost reasons that businesses work with MSPs. With managed support, you can get IT support 24/7 for all aspects of your business. Your business can get in touch with your MSP for any technical support and you’ll get help within minutes.
Managed network: MSPs can provide ongoing network security and monitoring for your business. With a managed network, you can discover any irregularities, suspicious activity and vulnerabilities in your network. This will help your business take a proactive approach to network security and avoid any breach in your networks.
Benefits of managed IT services:
On-demand IT staff:
Using managed IT services allows your business to have access to IT staff based on your needs. Instead of hiring a full-time IT professional, you can gain access to an entire IT team and use their expertise and knowledge for your own specific business needs. This allows you to have on-demand technical support for your business without having the overhead of hiring an entire IT team. This added flexibility and convenience allows you to have all of your technology needs met and outsourced while you focus on the core operations of your business.
A key bottleneck in most businesses is their IT operations. As your business scales, your technology needs will also scale. For a normal business, this means continuing to hire IT staff for ongoing technology support. This is costly and inefficient. A managed service provider can scale up or down with your business. You only need to pay based on your needs and the managed service provider has the staff and resources needed to scale with your business.
Cost: Using managed services costs a fraction of hiring skilled IT staff. Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training and onboarding one IT staff will cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. You can opt to use a managed service provider instead who can give you access to dozens of IT professionals 24/7 for a fraction of that cost.
Versatility: A managed service provider is an all-in-one solution for your IT needs. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your technology infrastructure or need minor technical help, a managed service provider can do it all. A managed service provider can provide network management, help desk support, repairs, assessments, backup and more for your business. There’s no technology problem that is too small or too big for a managed service provider.
Pricing of managed IT services:
There are several pricing models that managed IT service providers use depending on the services and products offered. Some common pricing models you will see when choosing a managed service provider include:
Per user: Some providers will bill you based on how many users they are managing. MSPs expect to provide support for a certain period of time per user, so the more users you have, the more support the MSP will provide. You can expect to pay anywhere between $50-$150 per user depending on the quality of the MSP you work with.
Per device: Another popular pricing model is to price per device managed. The devices chosen for this pricing model are typically the high cost devices like servers. In this model, the MSP will bill you for how many devices they managed for your business in a given month. There are several factors that can influence the pricing in a per device model. This includes if you’re using a physical server, cloud server, additional services, etc.
Tiered pricing: MSPs also like using tiered pricing for their clients. With tiered pricing, there’s usually a few offered tiers and your business can choose which one you’d like. Typically, there’s a basic, intermediate and advanced tier. Each tier will offer a handful of managed services and you can choose to upgrade after any given month. This is one of the more simpler pricing strategies MSPs use.
Flat rate: The most straightforward pricing model used by MSPs is a flat rate. With a flat rate, you’ll be given a quote from the MSP and they’ll go through all of the services they offer you for a flat monthly cost. There are no surprise additional fees in this model. This can be a great model to use if it’s your first time working with an MSP.
Different industries served:
Healthcare: Healthcare is a key sector that managed IT services plays a significant role in. In healthcare, failure in data, systems or infrastructure can have dire consequences because it can result in interrupted care for patients. Managed service providers work with healthcare companies 24/7 to ensure all of their technology needs are met, so they can focus on providing the best quality of care for patients. With nearly 4.2 million jobs in healthcare IT vacant, managed service providers play a crucial role in bridging the IT gap in healthcare.
Law: Law is another data-sensitive sector that managed service providers serve. Since law firms deal with sensitive client data, they need to have stringent cybersecurity for their businesses. A managed service provider helps address all of the IT needs of law firms while helping them improve their productivity. Some ways MSPs help improve workflow for lawyers include email encryption, document management, case management software and more.
Nonprofits: Nonprofit organizations are some of the most important institutions in our society. They include institutions like social services, charities, human rights services and more. Hackers often target these institutions because there’s little to no IT on staff. Managed service providers ensure that these organizations get managed security and support 24/7, so they can continue providing much needed services for our communities.
Financial institutions: Financial institutions are some of the largest clients for managed service providers. Managed services ensure that financial institutions have the best cybersecurity and IT support available. Additionally, MSPs can help financial services providers with the numerous regulatory and compliance needs they have. With the help of MSPs, financial institutions can have a high performing IT infrastructure and provide the best customer service for their clients.