Your 6-part guide to managed services

You’ve probably heard buzzwords like “managed IT services” or “managed service providers” — but you may not completely understand what the business benefits of managed services are. So let’s take a quick look.

1. What are managed services?

Managed services is a way to outsource IT operations to specific and experienced service providers. In many cases, a managed service provider (MSP) assumes full responsibility for a company’s IT (in other cases, only certain facets of their infrastructure).

Initially, businesses only relied on break-fix services instead of managed services. A break-fix service provider may have been a group of self-taught technicians who built temporary fixes for recurring IT issues.

2. Why break-fix no longer works

With break-fix services, technicians come in, address the current problem, and fix it. Although they fix your current issue, they never take a deeper look to address underlying problems (that is … unless you pay for the service at an hourly rate).

As a result, their solutions rarely include future needs. And what’s worse is that these “quick fixes” may end up causing more issues down the line. This is because the break-fix technician might simply put a band-aid on a much deeper issue.

3. The benefits of managed services

Managed services emerged once IT experts realized a need for much more strategic IT solutions. With so many devices, solutions, and varying technologies within one infrastructure, IT has become very difficult to manage internally. As a result, managed services was born, and businesses everywhere have started to realize its inherent advantages over break-fix services.

The benefits of managed services include:

  • Reduced costs as MSPs proactively monitor entire operating systems at a flat monthly rate
  • Convenience of 24-hour monitoring which reduces issues like network outages, phone and printer disruptions, internet issues, and more
  • Minimum downtime and a reliable outlet for helpdesk support

4. Pricing for managed services

Managed services are not quick fixes but rather, long-term business solutions. This is important in a changing business climate where there are technological advances and ever-evolving cyber threats.

Creating a long-term partnership with your MSP can help establish long-term commitments, shared values, and consistencies. MSPs offer reliable IT solutions for your business, and pricing typically varies based on your “package.” This price will be weighted based on business size, industry, type of equipment, amount of users, and more — but they’re almost always delivered at a flat, monthly rate.

5. Are managed services right for you?

MSPs can help your organization successfully pull off IT upgrades, cloud initiatives, and infrastructure expansions or renovations. They can provide your team with the hands-on support, expert advice, and strategic guidance you need to run your business efficiently.

This being said, if your company is on the hunt for a dedicated IT support outlet, then you need a managed services provider.

6. Why you should avoid bargain shopping for IT support

Quick fixes typically do not address underlying issues and hidden network problems — which means you should avoid bargain shopping for IT support and invest in a long-term IT partnership.

Be careful with break-fix providers and “dial-in” services that offer preventative one-time services and 24-hour technical support. Your network may do better with consistent and dedicated network monitoring and automated problem resolution — especially if you’re working in a heavily regulated industry.

Want to learn more?

If you think managed services might be right for your business, then why not do a little more research? Check out these 4 things you need to know about MSPs.