The Benefits of Having Your Business’s IT Managed
The pandemic has changed the world in which we live and work — and, as business owners know, blurred the lines between the two.
Though the good news about vaccines leads us to believe that a return to “normal” awaits, that normal will look vastly different than we may remember. In fact, in a recent study from economists at Harvard Business School, after the pandemic, one in six employees will work from home full-time or at least two days a week.
The message is clear — the remote workforce isn’t going away. And if you’ve been trying to piecemeal your IT footprint during the past year, hoping that this was all just temporary, it’s time to consider the impact of permanency — and what you need in order to empower your workforce, protect your data, and service your customers.
Enter the Managed Services Provider (MSP), which serve as your outsourced IT department — no matter where the IT needs may reside. Most MSPs today — Consolidated Technologies included — already know how to support a variety of customers across multiple locations. Supporting a business with employees working from various locations is just another layer to the structure MSPs already implement.
These benefits – and myriad others — have propelled managed services adoption to new heights in the business world, with an estimated 90 percent of Fortune 1000 companies using managed services providers (MSPs) today. That said, only 29 percent of small businesses currently are working with managed services providers — which means there’s a real opportunity to earn your company a competitive edge by being one of the early adopters.
Still not convinced if managed support services are right for your business? Let’s take a look at the essence of managed IT services, how they differ from other solutions and what their overall benefits are. You may find yourself surprised by all these services can provide.
What Are Managed IT Services, and How Do They Help the Small & Mid-sized Business Owner?
These days, it’s not only large companies that need technology to compete in their respective markets. Reliance on IT is growing, but are the efforts to increase IT support within small businesses moving at the same rate? To keep companies from being overwhelmed due to limits on IT resources, managed service providers, or MSPs, have entered to identify threats and fix potential problems as warning signs arise.
Essentially, managed IT services involve delegating IT tasks and operations to a third-party provider who is responsible for around-the-clock monitoring, management and repair. There is a good chance this approach to technical support differs greatly from what you’re used to if all you have ever considered in the past is a traditional break/fix solution. Here’s a closer look at those differences.
A Shift in Mentality Regarding Technical Support Services
Before managed services entered the market, there was only one way to deal with technical difficulties. At the time, if a server or desktop quit operating effectively, the only approach would be calling a professional, trying to explain the problem and scrambling to come up with a solution in record time. While this standard was acceptable at one point, now, it is not enough.
With the technological developments of the 21st century, waiting for problems to arise and systems to fail before taking action is no longer a viable option. Our increasing dependence on automated systems and digital databases means technology outages can have a profoundly negative impact on business operations. If a network goes down or an email server is inaccessible for substantial periods of time, the loss in productivity and revenue could be devastating.
Due to these higher stakes, the need for security and adequate support to prevent system failure and to catch potential issues before they happen is critical. That is a gap managed IT services have come into the industry to fill.
The Difference Between Managed Services and Break/Fix
When technical difficulties arise, you have two service provider options to get your systems up and running:
1. Break/fix services involve the arrival of an outside technician to your location to diagnose and fix your problem, charging an hourly rate.
2. Managed IT services, on the other hand, offer a consistent relationship between you and your service provider as they handle your network on the go for a monthly service fee.
Break/fix maintenance offers assistance only once something goes wrong, leading to decreasing levels of performance while you wait for the expert to fix your issue. Not only is the timing unfortunate, but in the end, these services may not be as reliable as you need them to be for several different reasons.
Break/Fix Compared to Managed Services
You may be wondering why managed security services are on the rise when traditional methods of break/fix IT support have been so prevalent for ages. Sure, break/fix services don’t require monthly fees, but they also reduce your chances of receiving proper service accountability and lower the overall assurance that someone will address your problem efficiently. Here are potential causes for this less desirable outcome:
- More significant issues for you mean higher profit for your break/fix provider.
- It’s not possible to guarantee stable solutions, as break/fix providers get paid every time you call them in.
- An hourly rate may lead to purposefully slowed-down service.
Overall, these factors may mean the cost of your break/fix service is higher and more unpredictable than it would be with the reliable solutions managed IT services can offer. MSPs have a more significant incentive to provide long-lasting repairs and provide better service at competitive rates. If your daily operations depend on reliable IT, bringing an MSP on board may be the best decision you can make.
What Are the Different Types of Outsourced IT Services Available?
Managed IT services come in many shapes and sizes, and MSPs like Consolidated Technologies, Inc. can help you create custom solutions for your business operations. Here are some services you may want to include in your IT support package.
1. Network Security
Perhaps the most significant asset to any business is the assurance of cybersecurity. Don’t allow stolen data to result in a loss or damage your brand. Instead, you can receive the software and support you need to protect yourself against any potential threat. At CTI, we can offer a few additional benefits to keep your data secure:
- Constant remote monitoring and generation of relevant reports to inform you on the state of your systems
- A complete supply of compliance assistance, risk assessment and correlation analyses to keep a steady overview of network activity
- Notifications of maintenance requirements and security alarms
- Active prevention of unauthorized network access
Never underestimate the value of reliably managed network security. With our experience and dedication, you can trust your data is safe and the health of your system is consistent.
2. Network Administration
Backing up your data, coordinating devices and troubleshooting solutions can be a full-time endeavor. Since setup and maintenance of your network can easily distract from other business responsibilities, you may find outsourcing to be beneficial. At CTI, we understand setting up systems and arranging connectivity shouldn’t be your primary job, so let us take the lead through our services like:
- Creating unified communications and connecting mobile devices
- Establishing network security and connectivity
- Offering our network operations center for managing connection hurdles and diagnosing slowdown causes on a 24/7 basis
Thanks to managed IT services, keeping your network running at all times has never been easier.
3. Reliable Response Services
When your team needs extra troubleshooting support, make the most of your time by taking advantage of certified technicians who can assist you in diagnosing and correcting any concerns. CTI offers quick assistance thanks to:
- Our large team, familiar with issues big and small
- A commitment to exceeding expectations in every project we take on
- Controlled communications and an emphasis on customer satisfaction
The best MSP will provide you with efficient response times and smart solutions to any software or hardware errors you may encounter. The CTI Help Desk staff seeks to do just that.
4. Cloud Computing and Data Backup
Until recently, the cloud was not nearly as relevant as it is today. However, companies are increasingly relying on web-based platforms to store and manage their data. Rather than having cloud infrastructure management demand too much of your IT team’s time, allow a reliable MSP to take over the job. Doing so provides you with:
- Increased functionality and administration of your shareable content
- Backups of your information to prevent an accidental loss of data
- Maintaining safe operations to guarantee easy accessibility for your staff
As you navigate cutting-edge cloud-based technologies, don’t let organization and updates bog you down. Instead, have your trusted MSP, such as Consolidated Technologies, Inc., do the work!
Discover More Managed IT Services at CTI
The types of services listed above may cover a lot of ground, but many other solutions allow managed services to improve the quality of your system and streamline your business processes.
Explore vendor management solutions, device monitoring, further network infrastructure improvements and even more responsive server care at your favorite managed services provider in the New York metropolitan area. You won’t be disappointed, especially considering the numerous benefits management services can offer.
What are Some Other Benefits of Managed Services for Businesses?
Managed services are the way of the future because they allow companies to discover and address technical issues before they can take a negative toll on your business. Thanks to proactive service and regular maintenance, you can rest assured your computer network will run smoothly and efficiently.
Apart from preventing disasters before they can strike, there are a few other benefits to think about when deciding whether to take the next steps toward managed IT services.
- Cost reduction for your IT needs: Manage your IT budget more efficiently by establishing a long-term partnership with a reliable MSP that will save you money over time. Typically, MSPs accomplish this by keeping systems updated, reducing hardware costs, maintaining high levels of security and providing expert knowledge all at a fixed monthly rate, meaning you can request as much service as you need without worrying about the bills piling up.
- System centralization allows constant visibility:MSPs help centralize your network applications and servers into a single data center. This centralization allows for faster speed and increased accessibility from all staff, regardless of their location. With a centralized system, access to your company data improves, allowing your employees and executives greater access. The system also facilitates secure mobile and web access points so your staff can continue to work on the go.
- High-level support on up-to-date tech: One of the perks of constant monitoring and system management is that you can count on continually upgraded IT systems at no additional cost or financial risk. Your IT systems will be guaranteed to be as current as possible, and you have access to enterprise-level services at an affordable rate!
- Minimized downtime and significant productivity increases: Because of advances in network security and the MSP proactive approach to addressing potential risks, you can almost guarantee you won’t have to deal with the system failures and shutdowns that can hinder company progress. When you minimize technology-related frustrations, your teams can focus on their work and achieve a higher level of productivity than ever before.
- Peace of mind regarding efficiency and security: It’s a common misconception that outsourcing decreases your level of data security. Instead, you can rest easy knowing MSPs must follow stringent safety and data management regulations and are designed to provide robust backup and recovery systems, making them much more capable of protecting your data than even in-house IT teams. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about system failures leaving you in a time crunch on a significant project, thanks to monitoring systems that address concerns early on.
- Extended relationship with an expert service provider: Since your MSP will become extensively familiar with your business and your system over time, you can count on excellent service that is ready to assist you at a moment’s notice. The specialists assigned to you have greater accountability to thoroughly help your business with any IT issues that may come up, allowing your in-house staff to focus on their daily tasks, rather than changing course to address a technology problem on their own or dealing with a break/fix technician.
To reap any of these benefits, however, you need to find a provider who will give you the attention you deserve and the reliable service that will help you accomplish your tasks unhindered. To do so, you need to know what to look for in an MSP partner you can trust.
What Are the Best Strategies for Choosing a Managed Service Provider?
Before committing an MSP, get to know the company to discover whether their values align with your organization’s priorities. Knowing whether an IT service provider is trustworthy and reliable may take a few conversations, but a few key attributes can help you determine if a particular company is a good fit. Consider the following tips to assist you in your search.
- Look for evidence of experience in your field. With different trends and customer bases, your industry will require a knowledge of specific requirements in your IT support. Technology isn’t the only thing that is changing rapidly, so make sure you find an MSP that understands your vision on top of keeping up with tech innovations.
- Find a provider that takes on challenges with a positive attitude. Even if an IT provider has a limited background in your industry, if they have a go-getter attitude, you may find their services are worth investing in. You may have some unique technology challenges for them to wrestle with, and if they appear willing, inquisitive and enthusiastic about learning new solutions, they may just be the right fit.
- Expect available service that will go above and beyond. A dependable partner will give 110 percent every single time. At CTI, for example, we always seek to exceed our clients’ expectations. Since there’s no way to predict when a tech emergency may strike, we also believe in around-the-clock, year-round service with buzzer-beating response times. Ask your prospective MSP about their remote monitoring and how often they will be available to assist you in times of need.
- Search for a long-term commitment to growth and scalability. Don’t settle for a company that is stuck in the past or focused on increasingly obsolete technologies. Rather than only addressing former successes, your MSP should aim to discover new advances and prepare for future generations. That way, you can ensure out-of-date solutions won’t impede your future growth and success.
- Pay attention to the company’s qualifications, service options and contract terms. The ideal MSP for your needs will understand the software that is most widely acknowledged in your field, and they will have the right certifications to service these products. Additionally, their contract options, whether month-to-month or annual, will have your budget in mind to maximize your investment. Ask plenty of questions relating to their policies so you can make an informed decision.
Remember, finding the right MSP has everything to do with the approach the provider uses to help you operate most efficiently. If they are more interested in fixing problems than preventing them, you may want to continue your search elsewhere.
At CTI, we use proactive and predictive management tools to make your technology work for you, providing you with the best return possible. Feel free to get in touch with us to discover the most innovative managed IT services available in New York and the tri-state area.
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. Manages Your Systems so Your Systems Don’t Manage You
Enjoy the advantages of astoundingly proactive technology solutions with CTI monitoring and support services. Your business will flourish with advanced and functional system management, thanks to the expertise of our staff and our experience in helping more than 2,000 businesses reach their productivity potential.
Navigating the ever-changing world of technology can be a challenge, and that’s why we’re here to guide you on your journey. Contact CTI today to discover the customized services that will take your business operations to the next level.
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