What Is Managed IT?
Managed information technology (IT) services involves outsourcing the management of computers, networks, and help desk support to an external provider. When a business partners with a managed IT services firm, that firm will install monitoring agents on all personal computers and servers. These agents continuously track system performance and functionality, sending reports if any devices or network infrastructure exceed predefined thresholds or show signs of problems.
Through centralized monitoring and management, the IT partner assumes responsibility for maintaining hardware and software, applying updates and patches, and addressing issues before they impact productivity or system availability. The agents provide real-time visibility so proactive steps can be taken to optimize performance, identify and resolve glitches, and ensure continuous service levels. By outsourcing daily maintenance and support needs, businesses can focus internal resources on core operations while gaining the expertise and economies of scale of a dedicated managed services provider.
How Is Managed IT Different from Break/Fix?
Managed information technology (IT) services differ significantly from the traditional break/fix model. Through 24/7 remote monitoring capabilities, a managed IT provider is able to proactively identify and address potential issues before they cause disruptions to business operations or productivity.
For example, remote monitoring allows the provider to detect when the storage capacity of an employee's personal computer is approaching capacity limits. Upon such notification, the provider's support team is able to evaluate and implement the appropriate storage management strategy, such as migrating files to a server or cloud-based storage, to prevent a potential system crash and ensure continuous access to data and applications.
This proactive approach allows managed IT services to circumvent disruptions by resolving issues before failures occur, as opposed to reactive break/fix solutions that only intervene after a problem has manifested and requires fixing. Rather than constantly responding to emergencies, remote monitoring enables a managed provider to take a preventative stance and ensure optimal performance, availability and end-user experience through ongoing oversight and maintenance.
How Much Does Outsourced IT cost?
Our pricing structure is based on the number of users requiring assistance, which provides a simple and predictable pricing model. This allows for customization in how different user types are treated. For example, in a hospital setting, some nurses may only utilize computer systems for short periods while an administrator's role requires near constant computer use. These two groups typically have different levels of support needs and are therefore priced differently.
Our pricing model also provides a key advantage for clients. Rather than incentivizing reactive issue resolution, we are best served by proactively providing excellent service and minimizing disruptions for our clients.
For those considering various provider options, a prudent recommendation is to approach with some skepticism any managed IT service offering unusually low baseline support pricing but then charging significantly higher rates for any necessary break/fix support. Focusing on preventative services that reduce overall need for reactive support is generally the soundest strategic and economic approach.
What Happens When I Need Managed IT Support?
Managed IT support calls are prioritized based on potential business impact. A few examples include:
High priority issues involve situations such as a network outage or critical application downtime impacting multiple users. Medium priority concerns an application unavailable to a single user. Lower priority requests encompass additional access to non-time sensitive resources like applications or file folders.
Our support desk operates 24/7 to facilitate expedient issue resolution. Ninety-six percent of calls are answered within ten seconds while ninety-eight percent of technical problems are addressed remotely by our help desk specialists. Staff maintain proficiency across a wide range of technologies through ongoing training. Extensive experience resolving common incidents allows for efficient troubleshooting.
What Happens to Our IT Team if We Use a Managed IT Provider?
By outsourcing day-to-day information technology services to a managed service provider, organizations are able to optimize internal IT resources. With routine maintenance and operations handled externally, internal IT staff gain capacity to focus on strategic initiatives that directly support business objectives and drive organizational efficiency.
A managed service provider takes responsibility for mundane yet essential tasks like applying software updates, installing security patches, and performing regular data backups. By ensuring technical infrastructure runs smoothly in the background, a provider creates space for internal teams to concentrate efforts on high-impact projects. Such an arrangement allows an organization to better utilize technical expertise, empowering employees to more effectively serve customers and advance business goals through their work.
Are We Too Small for Managed IT?
Organizations with 15-75 employees often consider the costs and benefits of partnering with a managed IT services provider versus hiring full-time internal IT staff. While some internal IT support may still be required, leveraging a provider allows for on-demand access to a team of highly skilled technology experts. This single provider can efficiently address multiple, concurrent IT needs across the entire organization.
Recent years have demonstrated that small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, have increasingly become targets of cybercriminals. By partnering with a managed services provider, organizations gain access to experts that dedicate resources towards monitoring cybersecurity threats. These professionals are well-versed in implementing protections against data breaches, ransomware attacks, fraud, and other cyber risks to the business. Outsourcing to a provider mitigates these risks through the guidance of industry experts.
Are You Focused on Cybersecurity?
In today's digital landscape, cybersecurity should be a top priority for any organization. The threat landscape continues to evolve rapidly as bad actors employ increasingly sophisticated tactics to exploit vulnerabilities. A single breach can result in the loss of sensitive data, significant remediation costs, and long-lasting reputational damage. It is critical for businesses of all sizes to take proactive steps to strengthen their cyber defenses.
A robust cybersecurity program requires focus from the top-down. Leadership must make cybersecurity a core part of the business strategy and allocate adequate resources for its implementation. All employees should receive regular security awareness training to help them spot common tactics like phishing and social engineering. Technical defenses also need reinforcement, such as implementing multifactor authentication, keeping systems patched and up-to-date, and enabling security tools to monitor networks for anomalies and threats.
While perfect security is impossible, businesses can significantly reduce their risk by adopting a comprehensive "defense-in-depth" approach. This involves having multiple overlapping security controls to create redundancy. No single control is a silver bullet, so organizations must take preventative measures across their people, processes, and technologies. Maintaining cyber-hygiene and monitoring networks are also important for early detection of any incidents. With the right strategies and ongoing commitment, companies can enhance their security posture to not only protect against today's threats but develop resilience for future challenges. The consequences of inaction are too great - cybersecurity deserves sustained focus from leadership down.
How Will I Know if Managed IT Services Is Benefiting My Business?
At San Diego IT Support, we conduct a bi-annual Client Business Review with each of our managed IT clients. During this review, the client's technology advisor will provide a detailed overview of the client's service. This overview includes performance metrics, data analytics, ticket information and an assessment of how the client's technology is supporting their business goals.
The advisor aims to ensure we fully understand how the client's business is evolving so we can proactively manage their IT infrastructure and systems. Our goal is to continuously optimize the client's technology environment and provide a clear benefit.
We have been in business for 20 years by dedicating ourselves to delivering value for our clients. This allows our clients to focus on their core business operations while we manage their technology needs.
If a business wants to empower their employees with less disruptions and more productivity through optimized technology, then it may be time to evaluate how an experienced managed services partner could help advance their strategic objectives.