Managed IT services are essentially a proactive approach to IT problems. In the past (and in some companies still), IT solutions have been reactive. When something suddenly goes wrong or doesn’t perform as you’d predicted, that’s when the professionals have traditionally been brought in.
Having a managed service provider (MSP), however, means that a third party will be keeping an eye on your IT at all times. They act by stopping problems before they crop up, and largely removing any downtime caused by such issues.
They typically cover a range of IT programmes including anti-virus and anti-spyware software, backup systems, SPAM protection, firewall security, disaster recovery and Cloud systems.
Why are managed IT systems so popular?
TechAisle, a global small-to-medium business IT research and analyst company, has predicted that the market for managed services will have grown from $27 billion in 2012 to $44 billion by 2016.
As companies grow to rely on their IT networks and computer software more and more, the need to ensure the technology plays its part is paramount. Having someone watch this platform of the business to stop problems before they occur largely provides peace of mind and confidence in the system. Plus, if an issue were to fall through the cracks, the MSP would already be familiar with the networks and could start working on the bug without delay.
Companies are always looking for ways to cut down on the bottom line, and a managed IT system may be one way they can achieve this. MSPs generally operate in one of two ways. Either as a flat monthly fee, or a pay-for-what-you-use contract. Either way, this can save on having an in-house full-time expert, it will give you clear IT expenditure bill rather than an ever-changing one, and it will help reduce possible business down times through prevention.
Another major benefit is that of the sheer expertise and experience of a quality managed service provider. With that extra help in a time-consuming area of the business, an MSP may be able to open new avenues of communication within the company, and they will almost certainly let you stop spending time on IT, and start spending time on the core functions of your role.
Do you need managed IT?
Even small companies with tight budgets can benefit from the help of a MSP.
Many will wait until their network crashes or for some other software meltdown before looking for help in this department, but a few savvy business owners will be proactive about their IT management and avoid the problems completely.
If you’re finding that someone in your company is taking too much time away from their own work to look after the networks, it may be beneficial to outsource this task and let that employee focus on their own work.