If you’re an SME, it often feels like your company’s internal IT expertise can be measured on a scale ranging from zero to unaffordable. As though they are the only measurements that are available. However, there are other options. And the more you grow your business, the better sense it makes to explore them. So, we’re going to take a moment to explain why you need managed IT services to alleviate your business’ IT headaches.
What are managed IT services?
Managed IT services allow you to outsource your IT management to an external provider for a flat monthly fee. That can include the remote monitoring and management of your hardware, cybersecurity, cloud services, communications. That’s in addition to trouble-shooting technical issues, proactively keeping your network running smoothly and providing any other technical support you need.
10 reasons why you need managed IT services
1. More clever for less cost
Of course, the alternative to managed IT services is a fine and trustworthy IT manager.
And that’s okay. For between £40-60K per year you can probably find a pleasant and capable human being who can meet most of your needs. In addition to their salary, all you’ll have to pay is for the initial recruitment, ongoing training, pension, sick leave and holidays. And their inevitable replacement in a couple of years. And any additional expertise beyond their capabilities.
But other than that, you’re golden.
On the other hand, outsourcing can give you access to an entire team of IT experts with unique specialisms. All for a single monthly payment that is more cost-effective than your IT manager’s salary. They are responsible for all of the other costs, training and recruitment. You just need to choose the kind of service you need. Which brings us to our next point.
2. You flex. They flex.
Because managed IT services run on a subscription model, it allows you to quickly adjust your strategy as things change. Whether that means scaling up your server, adding more users or cutting back if your business slows down.
You only use the services that you need. And if things change again, then so can you.
3. 24/7 support to infinity and beyond
If you have ever faced a sea of unfathomably blank screens where your work should be, you’ll be familiar with that sense of panic. And when that happens, your IT support shouldn’t be hostage to things like holidays, illnesses or separate locations.
Managed IT services can provide responsive support all year round, 24/7, 365.
If your server crashes while you’re basting the Christmas turkey, you can get help before the first cracker has been pulled.
4. Security. Security. Security.
A good managed services provider (or MSP) will maintain their data centres and network infrastructure to an extremely high standard of cybersecurity. Far higher than what most businesses are capable of achieving by themselves.
Your in-house IT team won’t have the same budget or expertise when it comes to keeping your data safe and your network secure.
5. You can hit the recovery position
Sometimes things do go wrong. Whether it’s a cyberattack, human error, fire, flood or force majeure, a robust disaster recovery plan is the definition of essential. A managed IT service provider not only keeps your data safe by distributing it across multiple data centres. It can help you maintain business continuity when the worst happens (as the last couple of years have reinforced).
6. Centralised access to everything
Because managed service providers operate via a cloud environment, access to your applications and resources can require nothing more than an internet connection.
Employees can work from anywhere, while multiple data centres allow your business to access everything from virtual storage to remote desktops.
Converged infrastructure allows you to centralise IT resource management too, meaning better resource-utilisation, increased productivity and lower overall costs.
7. Easy to predict. Easy to plan.
Scaling your business can be daunting, especially when current events are more precarious than predictable. Nobody wants to make big investments in hardware or software when there’s no guarantee what will happen in six months time.
But managed IT services can give you access to all the computing power and usability that your business needs – without any long term commitment.
You know how much you will spend every month, and you know that it will only increase if you need more support. No surprises.
8. Your systems stay cutting-edge forever
Outsourcing your IT to a managed service provider means that they are responsible for keeping it up to date. In the technology world, obsolescence is inevitable. But your MSP has both the technology and expertise to ensure you stay patched and upgraded.
If they’re good, an MSP will consistently invest time and money into ensuring they have the best technology available. From your security to your infrastructure, they will also make sure they meet the required ISO accreditations.
9. You boost your sustainability credentials
When you outsource to managed IT services, you are handing over all of the processing and storage to their own data centres. And because this is handled in the cloud, you benefit from significant power savings.
Cloud services also make remote working simpler, so employees can commute less and your carbon footprint can reduce further.
10. You do more of what you do best
Downtime is expensive and taking a break/fix approach does nothing to prevent it. But a managed services provider will continually monitor your systems and take a proactive approach to maintenance. That means no more waiting around for problems to be fixed and more time spent on work that really adds value to the business.
A flexible service model allows MSPs to meet whatever IT needs your organisation requires. So once your service level agreement has been decided, your business can go back to doing what it does best.
Let’s get it started
If you’re interested in managed IT services, you should first make sure that your MSP has the qualities to make it work for you.
To learn more about how to make a success of this kind of relationship, get in contact with one of our team.