As business technology becomes increasingly important for companies, managed IT services have become a popular solution. But what are ‘managed services’? The short answer is that it’s the management of your day-to-day business tech needs, so you are relieved of the sometimes time-consuming work of troubleshooting the issues that technology inevitably throws up. Even if you’ve already heard of managed IT services, do you have a deeper understanding of what’s involved?
A general definition of managed services is ‘any service whereby another party monitors and maintains your IT, to the benefit of your organization’. It’s not simply ‘outsourcing’. Think of email, for example. How many people run their own email servers? Very few – so, in fact, anyone who uses email is a subscriber to their email provider’s managed services. If you don’t manage and maintain the technology in question yourself, you’re actually using a managed service.
For your business technology, the management in question refers to any part of your in-house IT, including servers, end points and peripherals. It can cover hardware and software, databases and cloud-based storage, and other virtualized applications. These are managed remotely, providing you with tech solutions that you might not be able to manage yourself, with the stress and time that maintaining and running business technology can involve.
Managed IT services arose in much the same way that other technologies and services do: because there was a need for it. Previously, most businesses operated their technology on a ‘break/fix’ basis. If an element in the IT system started to play up (or fail outright), a computer technician would come to identify the problem and fix it, if possible. This approach worked well enough, but it had deficits that managed services have eliminated and resolved.
The break/fix approach involved waiting for problems to occur. By the time the technician had attended, the problem could have escalated. Then there was the downtime while the technician identified the problems and sorted them out. It’s a slow and inefficient way to do it. Even worse, the break/fix approach depends on return business. The technician could return numerous times to fix an issue, and the motivation to find and implement a lasting solution isn’t always there.
Businesses that still rely on the break/fix approach might have regular issues with elements of their IT system, because it’s good for (their) business to use a sticking plaster when the wound needs surgery. It boils down to a waste of time and money. IT management services have gained popularity because they are a much better option and more cost-effective option for most businesses.
The efficacy of managed IT is owing to the fact that it’s founded on a proactive approach, not a reactive one. A managed service provider (MSP) will take on managing the IT requirements of a business, allowing it to concentrate on the opportunities arising. IT management can help adapt the business’ IT system to ensure it delivers the required support for embracing those new opportunities. The team from the MSP will have specialist knowledge and extensive expertise in catching problems fast and resolving them. Also, this service is provided at a monthly rate that won’t leave you with unexpected bills to pay, and can be easily planned for in your budgeting.
Without having to helicopter-manage your IT, think what you can accomplish. More effective utilization of your business technology means you can improve client and customer relations and grow your business, without the burden of disaster management if faults surface. Wouldn’t you say that managed services suddenly seem like the only good option?
Quikteks Tech Support is a trusted managed services provider. We provide all of our clients with the IT management resources that large businesses can access, at a price point that small businesses can handle. For help with your business technology, give us a call at (973) 882-4644.