What is a Managed Services Model?
In a managed services model, all of your IT functions are managed by an outsourced service provider. Functions include server management, network management, network monitoring and alerting, backup and recovery, virtualization, hardware and software management and licensing, and carrier services procurement. If you can name a technical issue, we can help you fix it.
What is the difference between managed services and shared services?
Rather than outsourcing your needs to one service provider to handle all tasks, shared services means having one business unit that identifies all corporate and operating needs and then delivers varying IT services as needed.
Managed services are used more often for businesses that use technology on a daily basis to accomplish varying objectives. In this case, your provider typically acts as their own department and ensures their work is directly serving your business goals.
On the other hand, shared services work to achieve one goal. Once the goal has been identified by the business, your managed IT staff determines the best way to incorporate IT functions to achieve it. Their job is to then ensure all IT resources are allocated properly and all IT related activities are completed to specifically serve one united goal.
What kind of managed IT services do I need?
Managed IT support is usually offered a few different ways: outsourced IT services, co-managed IT services, and virtual CIO.
Outsourced IT services are most helpful for businesses that do not require a full-time IT staff, but do need someone to manage their technology on a day-to-day basis. Co-managed IT services are a bit more involved, in that the provider empowers your current IT staff; this allows your staff to focus on strategic needs, while your co-managed IT staff handles everything from projects to specific tasks.
Lastly, virtual CIO’s are exactly what it sounds like: they manage your IT needs remotely. This type of managed IT support shouldn’t be overlooked however; they also help prioritize technical tasks, identify new technology, create road maps, and more.
What are the benefits of managed IT services?
1. Fixed cost
As business owners, it is not very often that we get bills for the same amount every month. Hurdles and challenges happen, lights are left on overnight, and before you know it, you’re paying hundreds of dollars more than the previous month.
Fixed costs do not fluctuate, so you can know what to expect every month. This means easier budgeting, more stability, and more confidence in your financial planning. No matter what happens in your business, your fixed cost will not be affected.
This amount is always decided upon up front and is based on your everyday IT needs and functions, your business goals, and the level of support, expertise, and involvement needed.
2. Business goal driven
Randomly outsourcing, meaning with different companies for different tasks, can be beneficial; the IT problem at hand gets solved or the task gets completed. However, it is not a stable approach for the long-term success of your business.
Choosing to onboard a managed IT staff instead can bring you far more internal benefits than inconsistent outsourcing. This staff will bring more technological expertise, particularly in your industry, help develop a strong IT strategy, and will support your business goals and objectives.
When your business is growing and technology is at the forefront of your operations, it’s important to know that you have an IT staff that not only wants you to succeed, but also knows how to make that happen.
3. Improved IT service
As we just explained, the benefits of having an IT team that adopts your goals and drive is irreplaceable, but the perks of managed IT services don’t stop there.
This level of support also comes with familiarity, knowledge, and responsiveness – all of which directly contribute to your day-to-day operations. A team that is familiar with internal communication methods knows who and how to contact the best person when a problem arises. An IT staff that has specific knowledge about your technology can contribute to your IT strategy. A provider that responds immediately to errors prevents larger issues from occurring.
4. Technological advancements
Having managed IT support means having direct access to the latest technology and all that relates, whether knowledge, connections, or strategy. This also means being able to acquire better software or hardware than what you may be able to on your own.
It is in every IT staff member’s job description to be aware of changes in technology, and how those changes can affect your business. In addition, it is their responsibility to ensure your business is optimally incorporating technology on a day-to-day basis.
5. Reduced risk
This one is actually a double benefit.
The first is the risk reduced due to the consistent monitoring and managing all IT functions around the clock. This greatly reduces the risk of a larger issue occurring due to a missed error or malfunction, or an unfortunate happening occurring. You can feel good as a business owner knowing you have an IT team that is always preparing for and preventing negative disruptions in your business.
The second reduced risk is in the form of liability. When a managing IT staff causes additional error, makes a poor decision that causes consequences, etc., they assume responsibility for their actions so long as it is written in detail on the contract. Of course this liability is limited, but it is far better than knowing that Steve, the guy in marketing who sort of knows computers, is tinkering with your network.
As a managed service provider who has seen a few networks, we’ve learned to deliver IT needs with a personalized, human touch. It sure beats a long phone call with a robot operator or days of unanswered service requests from different providers.
We’d love for you to reach out for a first-time consultation so we can get to know your company’s specific needs and goals and how our team can best fulfill these. Contact us or give us a call at 949-236-7700.