Every company needs a team that takes care of its IT needs. Many businesses opt to hire and build their own internal IT teams. And while that’s a good business move, there’s something better they can do: hire a managed IT service provider. In this article, we’ll talk about such providers and managed IT services. Read on!
Managed IT Services Explained
A company can hire an external organization to handle and provide for its IT needs. This typically occurs on a contracting or subscription basis. Managed IT services to help businesses with little to no IT expertise or team.
These services encompass a range of responsibilities, which include:
- Remote management and monitoring of infrastructure and hardware
- Security services, which may include penetration testing, monitoring, incident response, or threat hunting
- Communication support and troubleshooting
- IP telephony services
- Configuring, management, and monitoring of cloud systems
The managed service provider (MSP) may also strike partnerships with other third parties to complement their services. For instance, an MSP may use infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model in which they provide managed public cloud services along with the likes of Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft.
MSPs can charge in various ways. The typical pricing models are per device, per user, and all-inclusive pricing. An MSP offering remote monitoring services may bill you on a per-device basis, or they can charge on a per-user basis if you’re working on multiple devices. The all-inclusive pricing charges a flat fee for all IT services the MSP provides.
Benefits of Using Managed IT Services
Companies use managed IT services and reap great benefits, such as:
With managed services, you gain access to teams that have the skills and experience that your internal team lacks. You work with experts dedicated to completing the IT responsibilities you give them. This allows your own team to focus on what they do best and bring growth opportunities to your company.
Instead of recruiting and training new staff, you can save money by outsourcing your IT needs to a team that’s already well-seasoned in IT. MSPs have flexible pricing models, and choosing the most suitable one for your IT needs allows you to have predictable pricing. Monthly contracts and subscriptions let you plan and budget ahead of time. Some MSPs even offer on-demand IT services.
You can set contractual terms for IT tasks including service level agreements (SLAs). Both parties can set clear expectations on what IT tasks should be delivered and how success is defined.
MSPs are flexible and often have remote staff that can work anytime. This means they can perform tasks, system updates, and maintenance after hours. As a result, you see greater uptime and fewer disruptions in your workflow.
Factors to Consider when Hiring MSPs
When hiring MSPs, consider the following:
Avoid MSPs that are afraid of accountability — usually, these are teams that refuse to provide metrics or share system data. Make sure that their accountability is made clear in your SLAs.
Strategic IT Planning
The provider should be willing to help you plan ahead for your IT needs. Avoid teams whose focus is to get the current job done at hand without interest in whether or not they’re providing long-lasting solutions. The vendor should understand your business goals and provide solutions with such objectives in mind.
Verify the provider’s track record with other organizations. It’s to ask for references and interview their previous clients: what is this team’s strength? How do they communicate? What areas of improvement should you focus on? Seeking answers to these questions allow you to easily gauge their suitability for your needs, filtering out those that may not be a good fit.