The Real Value Of Managed IT Services
If you’re going to evaluate the real value of managed IT services, then you need to see past the marketing fluff. A lot of IT companies will make different claims, about how managed IT services will “revolutionize your business” or “make your profits soar”.
While these may be true in some indirect, exaggerated way, they’re not really useful ideas. Understanding the value of managed service starts with understanding what they are…
What Exactly Are Managed IT Services?
If you want to understand managed IT services and what makes them worthwhile, you just have to understand how they’re different than the way IT support used to work.
Not too long ago, all IT support was essentially reactive. These services were either called “hourly” support, or maybe “break/fix”, but that’s a bit of an industry term. In either case, the way these services worked was that you brought in your hardware, or called a technician to visit you on site after something went wrong. Even in the best of cases, you still had to deal with the downtime that occurred while you waited for your broken IT to get fixed.
Managed IT services address the core issue – instead of waiting for something to go wrong and then stepping in to correct it, an IT company that provides managed IT services takes on all the responsibilities of a traditional in-house IT department. This means working to prevent issues from happening in the first place.
What Do Managed IT Services Do For You?
Boost Your Efficiency
Downtime is bad for business. Whether you agree or not, it’s a fact – just a couple years ago, small businesses with up to 50 million in annual revenue reported that just a single hour of downtime cost them $8,600.
The main cost of downtime is not the fix itself, it’s the halt in your business’ productivity. If an IT-related or natural disaster occurs and takes critical systems offline, employees will be unable to complete their tasks, yet your normal business expenses will carry on.
During that time, you incur all the expenses of running a business without the revenue you would usually generate. Even if downtime does not grind everything to a halt, some of your staff will have to divert themselves from their normal work to mitigate the problem – again reducing productivity. Furthermore, while your systems are down, you can’t deliver services or sell products to current and potential new clients.
The fact is that downtime is often the result of poorly support IT. The best way to approach downtime prevention is proactively – you need to keep an eye out for system issues that can spiral into total stoppages. You need to implement backup technologies and best practices to prevent outages. You need to enhance your cybersecurity to protect against cybercrime.
Unfortunately, that’s a lot for you to handle on your own, especially when you have other work to see to. That’s why a managed IT services company can be so helpful. They’ll provide 24/7 active monitoring of your systems, business continuity best practices and cybersecurity services that will keep costly downtime at a minimum.
Protect Your Business
Security is one of the most important aspects of technology. While technology evolves and data expands, the number of ways your IT network can be compromised increases.
But to make sure your offsite server is secure, it must be continuously monitored and assessed. Your IT company can provide security services, advise you on the credentials of vendors, and conduct ongoing risk assessments to identify network vulnerabilities.
Working with a managed IT services company, you get access to cybersecurity technologies and best practices that are often limited to enterprise organizations. Whereas affording enterprise anti-virus solutions, advanced email security software, and end-user awareness training would be cost-prohibitive on an independent basis, doing so with a managed IT services company is much more cost-effective.
Lower Your IT Costs
Reducing your IT budget is one of the most appealing reasons businesses work with an IT company. Businesses that choose to outsource can convert unplanned IT expenses to fixed, predictable ones. This frees up capital for other aspects of their business.
While paying for managed IT services may seem like a greater expense, the fact is that it’s actually less expensive than meeting the same needs with an internal staff. Handling IT on your own means hiring (and firing) in-house staff, paying benefits such as sick leave, health insurance, and social security.
In addition, your IT company will be available 24/7, whereas in-house staff may take off due to personal issues or illness.
In the end, managed IT services are valuable not because they fix your IT problems, but rather, stop the problems from occurring in the first place. A combination of expertise, experience and attentive support (like that offered by SMB Integrations) keeps your IT systems in optimal condition.