What Are Managed IT Services?

As busy people, we often look to others to fulfill needs in our lives.

When we want a gourmet meal, we take a trip to a fancy restaurant that employs a trained, experienced chef. When something in our home breaks, we call a repairman with the tools, skills and knowhow to make the fix. When our pets get sick, we take them to a vet who knows exactly how to test, diagnose and treat them. Rather than learning the art of fine dining, going to trade school, or studying veterinary science, we hire experienced experts who can save us the time and money of doing it ourselves. This leaves us with more time to spend on other things, like going to work, maintaining the house and enjoying our free time with friends and family.

The same principle can be applied to managing your small businesses’ IT needs. When a small business owner with limited time needs to support their organization with efficient, cost-effective ongoing IT support, they hire a managed IT service provider for a fixed, affordable monthly cost.

By hiring a service provider, small business owners have access to industry experts and time to run their businesses. This is called the managed service provider, or MSP, model.

The Definition of Managed IT Services

Managed IT services is an umbrella term used to encompass a wide range of IT services, including system tune-ups, network monitoring, software updates and installation, virus removal, cloud services, remote data backup, data migration, network design and installation, network security, and many others. A managed service provider will be able to assess your small business’ specific needs and provide specific solutions that will improve your uptime and productivity for less than the cost of a comprehensive in-house team.

Benefits of MSP Services

There are a large number of benefits to choosing an MSP model for your small business, from cost and time savings to increased agility, risk reduction, and expertise. In this blog, we’ll explore several of these benefits, and explain how managed IT services can let you get back to running your business and improve your bottom line.

1. Reduces costs

An MSP model allows small business owners to take advantage of the expertise of IT professionals around the clock, rather than relying on costly, limited in-house hires. By adding someone to your payroll, you’re not only paying for their time and work, but for their benefits, equipment, and management time, too. These additional costs can quickly increase the total investment cost, but may not necessarily produce the results you’re looking for. This is because an in-house hire will likely not have as much experience, time, or knowledge as an entire team of specialists.

If you already have IT personnel working in-house, hiring a managed IT services provider can still increase your ROI. The MSP model will enable your in-house hires to narrow their field of focus. Instead of rushing to fix problems all day, like removing viruses or solving computer malfunctions, they can focus their objectives on worthwhile projects, allowing you to get more out of your investment.

2. Better budgeting capabilities

With the MSP model, you’ll likely have a predictable monthly cost that covers many of your ongoing IT needs. A monthly retainer provides you with a number of ongoing services, ensuring that any issues that come up throughout the month will be taken care of quickly and efficiently. An expected monthly cost provides you with a straightforward budget for the year, giving you a more accurate idea of how much you’re truly spending. For any additional equipment or upgrades, services are clearly discussed and priced ahead of time, meaning you won’t have any surprises at the end of the month.

3. Proactive instead of reactive

In a reactive environment, you’re constantly working to keep processes running, and you probably only focus your attention to your IT when an issue arises. As a small business owner, your time is divided across multiple, equally-worthy functions. Most of the time, building your business will take priority over your IT, leaving it to work until it doesn’t. You find yourself in a game of IT whack-a-mole, only paying attention when a problem needs to be pushed down. In an MSP model, the environment is shifted to take a proactive approach instead.

When you start working with a managed service provider, they have the dedicated time and expertise to create a unique plan for your business. They’ll provide recommendations specifically for your business that will focus on improving your systems and automating maintenance, which will avoid issues or slowdowns in the future and help increase your uptime.

4. Increased agility

As any small business owner knows, things often stray from the plan. Your business needs can change in a moment, and you want to hire vendors that can keep up instead of vendors that slow you down. Working with a managed service provider can help increase your agility. You’ll be putting their efforts where you need them, when you need them, as opposed to shifting the focus of your in-house team, which could disrupt your business goals.

5. Reduces compliance and security risk

Another benefit to the MSP model is an increase in security and a reduction in compliance risk. An MSP will place a significant focus on your network security, while placing an equally significant focus on maintaining compliance. If your business is required to follow compliance regulations, like HIPPA, you know how much time it can take to stay up to date on changing rules. By placing the responsibility with your expert vendor, your time will be freed, allowing you to focus on what matters: building your business.

6. Provides peace of mind

With the MSP model, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable partner to count on. You’ll feel good about increased network security, increased uptime, and straightforward costs. You won’t have to worry about handling IT issues when they arise, allowing you to stay focused on running your business.

Let Xecunet be your managed service provider of choice.

For more information on how Xecunet can help your small business with managed IT services, reach out to us by calling 1-877-932-8638 or getting in touch with us online. We’re here to help you find the solutions that are right for you.