IT services are the backbone of modern business.
That said, not every organization has the budget to hire an IT support team. But there is something your business can do. You can consider a range of managed IT services that deliver the same level of technical expertise as an in-house team but at a fraction of the cost.
Better still, you’ll get to work with the best in their domain while avoiding the operational overhead. ‘But what are managed IT services?’ we hear you ask.
Let’s start there, shall we?
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are a third-party solution covering network infrastructure, IT support, and other organization-wide technical needs.
Providers typically specialize in several sectors, ranging from cyber security to data backup to VoIP solutions. Truth be told: if you research the market, you should be able to outsource any technical requirement — but to help you know what to look for, let’s cover the nine most common managed IT services on offer today.
9 Common Managed IT Services
There’s no limit to the managed services a provider can offer. But there are nine standard services you’re most likely to need, each described below.
1. Managed IT Networks
This level of service is the most comprehensive. Expect the provider to tackle the set up of LAN, WAPs, and other business connections, alongside offering backup services and cloud storage options, if required.
2. Managed Network Security
Managed network security spans all your security needs. It covers everything from backup and disaster recovery services to cyber security solutions, including antivirus and anti-malware packages, which the service provider should keep up-to-date in real-time.
3. Managed IT Support
Most managed service providers (MSPs) should batch IT support with other solutions, covering day-to-day troubleshooting alongside more complex technical queries.
4. Managed Cloud Computing Services
Now we start to get a little more specific. Managed cloud computing services cover all your computer network, storage, and overall IT needs. Certain providers offer a virtual service, including apps, software, operating systems, and more.
5. Managed Software-as-a-Service
Software-as-a-service refers to software offered under a subscription model. If you use Office 365, then you use a version of SaaS. It’s ubiquitous among distributed businesses and suits more complicated file-management structures.
6. Managed Communications
As VoIP services become ever-more popular, businesses are asking MSPs to set up internet-based phone connections and troubleshoot issues. On some occasions, the MSP even operates as an outsourced call center.
7. Managed Mobile Computing
A managed mobile computing service takes care of implementing wireless connections. This is ideal for organizations that lack the resources to set them up internally; or if a company wants to contract the service to manage internal networks as well.
8. Managed Data Analytics
Big data underpins many strategies. But few businesses have the budget — or year-round need — to hire business intelligence (BI) specialists. A data-focused MSP tackles all BI-related activities, both monitoring performance and creating optimization roadmaps.
9. Managed Print Services
This service doesn’t mean ‘print-on-demand.’ It means comprehensive outsourced remote assistance for managing data and file infrastructure. So if your business has lots of documents to keep track of, this could be the managed service for you.
The Benefits Of Managed IT Services
Few businesses need new VoIP services connections, big data analysts, or even IT support, day-in, day-out.
But by outsourcing these activities to an MSP, you get a scalable, on-demand team that guarantees long-term stability without the overheads. What’s more, an MSP is a domain specialist. Meaning you get to work with the best, leveraging their expertise to improve your business performance, all-the-while averting disasters.
6 Qualities Of The Best MSPs
Much like hiring a full-time employee, you don’t want to onboard a third-party that falls short of expectations.
So if you decide to outsource an IT service, first clarify the criteria the third-party must meet, then look for candidates. By assessing each one against concrete characteristics, you can be sure you’ll find the right one for your organization — here are six qualities we think every MSP should have:
- Responsive: When you contact an MSP to inquire about working together, keep track of their response time. The best providers respond within 24-hours: the quicker, the better.
- Appropriately Priced: Every business has different service level requirements. A provider should recognize this, offering your organization a quote that reflects the resources you’ll need.
- Secure: When you speak to a candidate MSP, ask about their security practices. You don’t want a third-party to be responsible for a data leak or hack. Upfront due diligence is the only way to eliminate the risk.
- Prepared: Even with an MSP, you may suffer an outage. But if your provider uses the right data recovery options, at least you can mitigate the impact.
- Experienced: The most reliable MSPs should have experience in a range of services, which means you can cover most, if not all, your needs in one place.
- Accessible: Even if a third-party manages your data, you still want to be able to access it from any secure connection, be that an office desktop or a smartphone.
Get In Touch For Professional Advice
There’s no avoiding technology in the modern business age. Even the smallest enterprise needs a reliable IT network to succeed but that’s not to say IT resources should come with huge cost or complexity.
In fact, the top managed service providers should all-but-eliminate headaches while keeping expenses under control. If you find yourself troubleshooting basic network errors — or battling an internet connection that just won’t work — it might be time to chat with a managed IT services provider like Mid-Coast Tech.
We’re flexible, we’re affordable, and best of all, we’re friendly 😀
Want to learn more about the IT services we offer? Give us a call at 207-236-0021 for a quick, informal chat.