Managed IT Services: How They Can Help Your Company

 Did you know that 57% of business owners say that technology is integral to their day-to-day operations?

If you're anything like other business owners, leveraging digital media is likely essential to your daily activity. To stay on top of recent advancements, investing in managed IT services is an essential first step. Read on to learn the ins and outs of managed IT and how it can benefit your business.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services outsource a business's information technology needs to a third-party provider. This managed service provider (MSP) becomes responsible for providing business technology services to the business hiring them.

These services include (but are not limited to):

  • Hardware and infrastructure management
  • Management of cloud services
  • Configuring data to the cloud
  • Monitoring sensitive information
  • Performing security assessments and ensuring safety
  • Updating and upgrading applications that store and use data
  • Troubleshooting issues when they arise
  • Preventing downtime and increasing system efficiency

Those providing these services are managed by a service level agreement (SLA). This SLA will outline guidelines for what to do in different situations. They will transparently display the responsibilities of the provider in different scenarios that could occur.

Less Risk for Reduced Stress

If you were to hire an in-house IT professional, you would likely struggle to gauge their qualifications. It's challenging for those who don't know IT to find experienced and knowledgeable professionals. Unfortunately, because tech plays such a key role in business, this can lead to problems that impact both employees and customers.

Reputable MSP firms have already vetted employees for you. They only hire those with appropriate credentials and experience. You don't need to stress about whether or not your IT needs are in good hands.

Additionally, MSPs take almost every technical aspect of your business into their hands. They can create and manage an entire backlog that exists for the sole purpose of ensuring that you don't lose revenue.

This management can eliminate the risk of costly IT mistakes. It also can reduce the probability of losing data that you can't recover. You can instead rest assured that your company is in safe hands, just as your assets are.

Saving Time and Money

Those who invest in outsourcing company IT generally pay a monthly subscription fee. This fee will be dependent on the size of your enterprise and the services that you need. The average is about $100-150 per person each month.

This may sound like a lot, but consider how much it would cost to keep an in-house IT professional employed. You would need to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to train and onboard them, provide long-term benefits, and give them a regular salary.

When you do this, you also would only get one IT professional that worked regular hours. MSPs have a full team ready for round-the-clock support and assistance. This is just one way that outsourcing business IT can save money.

When you perform IT tasks in-house, your team needs to constantly be performing updates and upgrades. They also need to get used to new systems and functions regularly, which can waste a lot of time.

MSPs offer immediate and remote support that saves you time with automated upgrades. You will have more time to invest in customer service, marketing, core product development, and other essential tasks.

You also won't be forced to sit around and wait for issues to be resolved. Most SLAs outline the timeframe for resolving an IT-related issue so that your business needs are always a priority. Plus, the best MSPs offer 24-hour support so that you don't need to wait for responsive service.

Less Downtime

Managed IT professionals constantly monitor your system. They look for hiccups in the trends of regular operations. They can predict downtime in advance with this information and pre-emptively combat it.

For example, let's say that there is a network error on your website causing lag and slow load times. 90% of users will bounce if your website doesn't load within 5 seconds, which frustrates users and costs you potential sales.

24-hour MSP professionals will get alerts that your system is lagging. They can resolve this problem immediately with their expert tools and resources. They also can identify signs of your website shutting down so that they can increase uptime and eliminate issues.

Top-Notch Network Security

Another reason that MSPs monitor system trends is to find signs of potential malware. Cybercriminals often show signs that they're looking for vulnerabilities in your system.

Trends will change and unauthorized errors will start occurring. Your contract agreement will likely outline a timeframe of extremely fast responses to these problems.

A data breach costs a company an average of $4.24 million. This record high means that it's necessary to be more vigilant about security than ever before.

Luckily, managed IT business services aren't just reactive. They also take proactive measures to combat potential cybercrime. Experts have top-notch antiviral software and firewalls that can prevent hackers from penetrating the network.

One of the best proactive services offered by MSPs is ethical hacking. In these scenarios, the provider working with your company will attempt to penetrate your system with a harmless file that simulates malware. The goal is to see where it enters your system so that you can identify vulnerabilities.

This lets you find and patch up any holes in your network. You also can simulate disaster recovery with your team so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a real hack. It's like a fire drill, but for your computers rather than your physical safety.

This stops hackers from ever getting onto your network in the first place. However, if they do, MSPs have plans in place to prevent that.

Cloud Storage and Backup

One of the main services that managed IT provides is top-notch cloud storage. A hosted private cloud can contain all of your sensitive business information in a location that unauthorized users can't access.

Cloud storage is more secure than on-premise alternatives for several reasons, the main one being encryption. All files that the cloud contains have scrambled coding securing them. This makes it more challenging for criminals to access and hack into.

Cloud storage is also more secure because it's easier to monitor. Plus, with a private cloud, you get all the perks of an on-premise hard drive. The main difference is encryption, monitoring, and data backups and recovery.

When you save a file to a hosted cloud, it automatically backs up to the cloud. If the file is accidentally deleted or lost for whatever reason, your MSP can recover it for you within minutes. You won't be stuck without important or sensitive information forever.

Troubleshooting and Response Services

But what happens if against all odds a hacker does manage to install malware onto your system?

Managed business service providers have plans in place to troubleshoot as soon as malware makes its way onto the network. They can immediately reboot the network router or shut it off to minimize the damage that the hacker can do. They can also update router firmware to try and force any unauthorized user out.

Another great response service that MSPs offer is dark web scanning and phishing. Agents can scan the dark web to see if any of your company, employee, or client information is being sold. You can then take action to mitigate the risks that come with this cybercrime.

Compliance With Industry Regulations

Most industries have standards and regulations for data security and backup. These can be challenging to memorize. Even when you do remember all the standards and have them written down, implementing plans to promote them is easier said than done.

MSPs know these industry standards like the backs of their hands. They can monitor and adjust system settings to ensure that your business is always compliant with legal, industry, and company regulations.

Providers also can teach you what you need to do to remain compliant over time. While they will take care of the dirty work, you should stay educated on standards so that you know what's going on.

Manage Your Technology the Right Way

In-house IT can be an expensive challenge for most companies. Managed IT services put you in touch with top-notch experts while saving time and money. However, there's still more work to do if you want to optimize your business tech and stay competitive.

Check out the "technology" tab on our website to find articles about the various systems that you can use to optimize your daily operations. You may also want to check out our "business" tab for some ideas on how to streamline your enterprise so that it can grow successfully.