Most modern businesses today, whether they’re run as a small, one-person shop or an international enterprise, rely on technology. Even the smallest of businesses can have complex technologies that are critical to operations. When network connections are strong and all systems operating as intended, your team can go about its business. However, when something goes awry (as it inevitably does), or when technology advances, your team’s performance will suffer, let alone function at all. In the past, you had two choices for managing your IT: hire your own IT team or outsource IT completely to a third-party company. Both had their downsides. Managed IT services bring the best of both together, forming a hybrid approach that’s attractive to small and medium-sized businesses.
1. How SMBs Used to Manage Their IT
2. Understanding Managed IT Services
3. Managed Services are a Hybrid Approach to IT Management
4. Managed IT Services are More Urgent than Ever
5. Local Trends in the MSP Industry in New Jersey and New York
6. Who Can Benefit from Managed IT Services?
7. Benefits of Managed IT Services
8. Another Reason to Make the Movet
9. What to Look for in a Managed Services Provider
10. Examine Each Prospective Managed Services Provider’s Qualifications
11. Conducting a Requirements Assessment
12. What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
13. The Quikteks Difference
14. Contact Quikteks
Many small businesses have found that staffing their own IT departments is cost-prohibitive and impractical. There’s simply not enough in-house IT work to justify staffing an IT department and paying the generous salaries that IT professionals command. Thus, they’d work with a local computer company, calling for help as needed. This generally meant that they’d call for help when something broke.
Managing your IT in a break-fix manner has numerous downsides. For example:
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to choose between staffing an in-house IT department or reacting to issues as they occur. Managed IT services allow for a more proactive approach and helps you to further benefit from the latest technologies.
What do we mean by managed IT services? According to Gartner, managed service providers (MSPs) deliver “network, application, system, and e-management services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a ‘pay as you go’ pricing model.”
SmallBusinessComputing.com explains managed services as a means of offloading IT operations to a service provider who assumes the “ongoing responsibility for monitoring, managing and/or problem resolution for selected IT systems and functions on your behalf.”
Examples of the various services that can be provided via managed services include:
When you partner with a managed services provider, you work together to determine the best services for your business, budget, and comfort level. For example, you may want to outsource some IT operations to a service provider and take care of others on your own.
With a managed service agreement, the managed services provider provides the service for an agreed upon monthly fee, which is typically far less than what you’d pay to procure the system, hardware, and technical resources to do on your own. For example, if you’ve ever built a website, you know that website hosting is just a few dollars a month, which is much cheaper than buying your own web server and paying thousands of dollars per month for a T1 connection. The same concept holds true for managed IT services.
Managed services are also scalable, so as your business grows, you can easily add capacity.
Like their enterprise counterparts, small and mid-sized businesses need fast, real-time access to sales data, online software, order processing, and other information stored both locally and in the cloud. At the same time, all businesses face an onslaught of security threats every day ranging from computer viruses, hackers, and ransomware to unsuspecting employees who may fall prey to a phishing scheme.
In fact, according to Small Business Trends’ recent Cyber Security Statistics, over 43 percent of cyber attacks target small business. Small businesses spend an average of $879,582 after an attack due to damage or theft of IT assets. As if that cost weren’t already high, business disruption to normal operations cost an average of $955,429. Perhaps that’s why 60 percent of all small businesses go out of business within six months of such an attack.
Cyber threats could result in service disruptions, data loss, compromised financial accounts (yours or your customers’), or even serious harm to your business’s reputation.
Even if you have a dedicated IT team who can attend to these matters, managed services could free them from routine tasks while simultaneously ensuring that crucial security updates and data backups take place regularly and proactively. It’s not unusual for in-house personnel to split their time between IT tasks and performing other business functions. By including managed services in your IT strategy, you’ll ensure that important maintenance and security tasks get done regardless of other projects vying for your team’s attention.
In addition to the urgency due to security threats, managed services help ensure that your network is secure, reliable, and fast — all without huge capital investments. Managed services providers can help you reign in your IT costs while optimizing your systems for performance and security.
As a local tech support company serving businesses in New Jersey and the tri-state area, we encounter many of the same issues over and over — most of which are completely preventable. Below are some of the more common threats local businesses face.
“We see security being at the forefront of our clients’ demands. We will adapt by setting up seamless secure networks that are fluid for our clients and their employees so the end user experience is of high quality.” – Andrew Rich, CEO, Quikteks
Managed services providers serve a variety of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, financial, retail, restaurant and hospitality, warehousing and distribution, education, government, and transportation. Whether you run a medical clinic or a pest control company, if your business relies on computers, networks, or data, it could benefit from managed services.
The following are a few scenarios where businesses can benefit from managed services:
Managed IT services allow you to proactively prevent and fix problems while they are minor and fixable. As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine.
In addition to solving problems before they can negatively impact your business, managed IT services are beneficial in other important ways such as:
Managed Services don’t just benefit your business, your customers benefit, too.
How? Let us count the ways…
Saving money, working more efficiently, gaining access to modern technology without a huge capital investment, streamlining processes for a better customer experience, and protecting your systems and information are but a few of the many compelling reasons to say yes to managed IT services. However, as with selecting any other service provider, you’ll want to do your due diligence.
Just as you’d research contractors before bringing them in to bid on a remodeling project, you’ll want to do the same of prospective IT managed services providers. What services do they offer? What qualifications, certifications, and vendor partnerships do they have? Do they work with businesses like yours or specialize in helping a different type of business customer?
Once you narrow down your list to providers who might be a good fit for your business, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to find out the specifics. For example, what type of technical certifications does the vendor hold? Does the vendor have partnership agreements in place with relevant partners? What type of reporting is included? Is real-time network monitoring with fault detection included? Is a backup and disaster recovery element included? What are the provider’s service levels, availability, and response times? How fast does the provider respond? How do you report issues? Are all of the services managed remotely or are local service calls included?
It’s crucial to match your needs with the provider’s services as well as find a service provider that you are comfortable with.
Every business has its own priorities and processes, making it important for your managed service provider to understand the inner workings of your business. It’s not a simple matter of making sure that Fred in accounting’s hard drive is included in the backup plan; it’s a matter of assessing each business’s systems, risks and vulnerabilities, security requirements, and more.
Thus, you’ll want to look for a managed service provider who tailors each service to their clients’ unique needs. Make sure you are both clear on your business objectives such as projected growth, budgetary resources, competition, and strategic business goals. This understanding will guide you and the managed services provider in identifying the technical requirements and selecting relevant services.
Managed services providers typically spell out the level of services that they will provide in what’s known as a service level agreement, or SLA. This is a contract between you and the managed services provider, and it defines exactly what you will receive. SLAs usually include the following components:
As with any contract, an SLA should be carefully read and understood before you agree to it.
The MSP market in New Jersey and New York is on fire. Companies large and small are outsourcing their business technology solutions to help them become more efficient and economical. Quikteks is up to the challenge of helping you do the same.
We offer managed IT services tailored to your business requirements. We start with a free IT assessment to determine how we can best help your organization. From there, we’ll propose the managed services that will you serve you best such as 24/7/365 proactive monitoring and maintenance, managed server support, or even virtual CIO services.
Since 2002, Quikteks has provided cutting-edge, reliable business technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in the tri-state area. Our support solutions include technical help desk support, computer support, and consulting in order to deliver enterprise-level IT solutions to the small and medium-sized business sectors at affordable rates.
Searching for an affordable managed service IT provider? Contact us today to schedule your free IT assessment.