Virtually every company needs technology to operate, whether you’re a small business that just got off the ground or you’ve been around for 30+ years. But with ever-expanding networks and the heightened presence of cyber threats, organizations may not have the proper resources to manage their technology ecosystems independently.
That’s where Managed IT Services come into play. In this post we’ll look at what Managed IT Services is and is not, as well as provide detailed examples of where Managed IT Services would be an ideal and not-so-ideal fit.
What is Managed IT Services?
Managed IT Services enable organizations to outsource IT tasks to a third-party vendor, also known as a Managed Service Provider (MSP). You typically pay an MSP a monthly fee for IT help that is specifically geared toward your organization’s particular needs.
MSPs allow for in-depth expertise that in-house teams don’t typically have, such as cybersecurity policies and industry compliance. They stay up to date on the latest information and technology trends, making for the most efficiently run technology infrastructures.
By implementing Managed IT Services, you can free your organization from the responsibility of managing IT solutions completely, making it easier for you to focus on your customers and overall business objectives.
What is Included in Managed IT Services?
Several types of IT tasks are provided by MSPs, and they vary depending on the particular Managed IT Services company’s offerings. It is important to work with an MSP that is upfront about what services are included and transparent about what they can accomplish for your business. A big misunderstanding many people have is that everything related to IT is going to be included in their monthly managed services price, but that’s not the case.
Some common IT tasks that may be included in Managed IT Services:
- Help desk support
- Monitoring, alerting and reporting
- Disaster recovery
- Hosting solutions
- Overall IT security
Additionally, Managed IT Services are also offered as co-managed IT services, which lessens the workload on your internal team by outsourcing some of the work.
Many small-medium businesses (SMBs) do not have the resources to handle these systems in-house, so they turn to Managed IT Services companies to take over the mundane day-to-day operations.
Three examples of organizations that are a good fit for Managed IT Services
When it comes to fully understanding the ins and outs of Managed IT Services, looking at distinct scenarios where an organization may benefit from these services can be helpful.
While some example scenarios outlined below can be seen across multiple industries, plenty of specific industries would successfully grow from having a managed service provider take over, while others may not be the best fit. Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive, and it’s essential to consider your own company's needs and practices when assessing whether Managed IT Services would benefit your organization.
1. Organizations that want to keep their data secure
For many industries, regulatory compliance is mandatory in ensuring consumer data remains protected and secure. An MSP can step in and advise an organization on the particular regulations for their industry, such as the necessary protocols that govern data management and storage.
Managed IT support takes the responsibility of keeping data secure and accessible during unfortunate events, such as server failures or cyberattacks, which allows you to focus on business-specific initiatives.
Organizations in the Finance Industry
Financial service companies, such as banking institutions, work with customers’ sensitive and personal data daily. When data breaches occur, customers' personal information and finances are put at risk.
Cybersecurity attacks may cause other disruptions as well, as customers may be unable to access banking services and their perception of their banking institution may turn negative as a result. Losing the trust of your clients can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s best to ensure your technology is secure with the expertise Managed IT Services can provide.
2. Organizations that want to improve the customer experience
Allowing a managed IT service provider to take over or co-manage an environment that prioritizes customer care would alleviate the pressure placed on these industries, as data would be better organized and safeguarded from potential threats.
Organizations in the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is another business sector that deals with sensitive data, such as patient medical records and other personal information. Healthcare facilities are entrusted to guarantee their patient’s data is secure and protected from potential threats, making the implementation of strong cybersecurity initiatives crucial.
A well-managed IT infrastructure may reduce some of the stress placed on healthcare providers and will help them gain a sense of comfort knowing that their technology will work when it’s needed. By confirming your IT ecosystem is protected, you’ll be able to guarantee the effective delivery of high-quality care by mitigating disruptions that can have a negative impact on clinical outcomes.
3. Organizations that need help with IT help desk support
Industry-specific help desk software can be used by companies to offer end-user support through fast, reliable and secure technology. For your business to thrive, exceptional customer service is necessary in helping improve retention rates and maintaining a loyal customer base.
Organizations in the Hospitality Industry
Providing excellent customer service and support is important to every organization, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors. When individuals check into a hotel or book a flight, they may have queries regarding the booking procedure or changes they want to make.
IT services, specifically help desk support, can assist in ensuring customer requests, user issues and customer feedback are always collected and tracked properly.
The tourism industry needs to offer great customer service through help desk support features, as well as network bandwidth through high-speed Wi-Fi. A good MSP can help with both needs.
Three examples of organizations that may not benefit from Managed IT Services
Some organizations just aren’t a good fit for Managed IT Services to fully take over their IT environment. They may have a need for an in-house individual or team to help support them, or they may consider co-managed IT services to augment their in-house team.
1. Organizations that require extremely timely responses for daily requests
Having an internal IT team that’s readily available at a moment's notice is crucial to the success of many organizations. If the culture of an organization insists on having an IT person ready immediately when users are experiencing a problem; it may be hard for them to see the benefits of outsourcing their IT.
Organizations in the Legal Industry
Imagine an attorney is on their way to court to represent their client, but their laptop is having major problems and they can’t access any of the files or documents they need. In this instance, they need someone to assist them within minutes. If they don’t have someone there to help them immediately, they won’t be able to properly represent their client and might face repercussions.
However, the legal industry can still benefit from managed IT services. Law firms may utilize help desk support to aid them in document management, litigation support, records management and document creation. Since they require a sense of urgency for solving issues, outsourcing monotonous tasks while keeping the time sensitive tasks in-house can help firms maximize their productivity.
2. Organizations unwilling to see the advantage in improving technology
If an organization is unenthusiastic about improving their own applications and systems, outsourcing IT tasks can be difficult. Companies must see the usefulness in updating their technology and they must want to do so on their own, otherwise providing support can be an impossible job.
Organizations in the Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing is a sector that often finds it difficult to take advantage of managed IT support, although it's not impossible. It can be a challenge for these organizations to transition to the cloud and other relatively new automation.
Dealing with technology that is internally developed or technology that’s seven years or older can be difficult to support, as the applications and software are not mainstream. Before consulting an MSP, it's best to assess your infrastructure and make sure your systems are updated.
3. Organizations that already have full IT support
While MSPs are great for organizations that don’t have IT support within their infrastructure, they aren’t necessarily the best option for organizations that do.
Organizations in the Technology Industry
Many businesses within the technology industry, such as telecommunications or computer software, may think to themselves, why would we outsource IT tasks when we have the bandwidth and resources to do it ourselves? They’re right, fully Managed IT Services probably aren’t a service they would consider to be worthwhile.
Even if you have an IT team, co-managed IT services can still help you with the tedious, monotonous day-to-day tasks. By outsourcing the standard tasks, you maintain majority control over your operations and take on the tasks that are specific to your business.
Evaluating whether a managed service provider is right for you
Although fully Managed IT Services provide a great way of ensuring your business is protected from potential threats, as mentioned above, it isn’t for everyone. Taking an in-depth look at your current IT needs, budget and technology infrastructure is the first step in determining whether managed IT support is a good option.
Consider these three questions when analyzing whether outsourced IT services would be a good fit for your business:
- How strong is your current IT department; do you even have one?
- Does your organization have more technology needs than your team can handle exclusively?
- What is your budget for IT management?
Ultimately, organizations that are a great fit for Managed IT Services already see how their business can benefit from advancing their technology. They have an IT budget or are willing to spend money to improve their organization’s security and protect their data.
Lisa is a Sales Leader at Loffler Companies, with a passion for the value that Managed Services brings to its clients every day. She has experience ranging from SMB to Enterprise markets with an emphasis in Managed Services, Unified Communications, Security, and Professional Services. She leads an award-winning team that takes pride in their technical experience as well as delivering world-class service to their clients.