Managed IT services allow businesses to delegate their IT operations to an expert third-party organization that specializes in handling these responsibilities. These third-party organizations, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs), are responsible for the entirety or portions of a business’ IT systems, as agreed upon in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). IT equipment is typically procured by the client, and depending on the SLA, Managed Service Providers may provide round-the-clock monitoring, issue resolution and reporting, and more.
According to the SLA, managed service providers charge a flat fee for delivery of their services over a set period. The SLA defines exactly what services will be furnished and the degree they will be offered, as well as metrics for measuring the success of these services.
Cloud computing has allowed managed IT services to expand beyond the regions and borders that would constrain the average break/fix IT through the adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies, as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service(PaaS) also. These capabilities allow managed IT services to scale at a rate dramatically larger and faster than in-house IT operation or break/fix providers.
It aligns the outcomes of the organization
An IT company is incentivized to do a very good job; they want to minimize problems for your organization because they have KPIs directly linked to the efficiency of your IT.
IT experts give you peace of mind
You’re not an IT expert. Managed service providers take care of your IT so you can focus on running your business.
Managed services offer proactive support. So instead of your IT firm constantly fixing problems, they will try to identify problems before they happen, keeping your systems up and your problems down.
Strategic IT planning
What IT systems do you need in 12 or 24 months? Managed services help you think ahead and give you advice on what you need to be planning from an IT department. This links to proactive support and ensures that your IT infrastructure and software are upgraded and updated to minimize risks such as downtime, viruses, and crashes.
Complete outsourced IT
Managed services give you access to a complete IT department. You don’t just get day-to-day IT support; you also get an IT manager and a virtual CIO so you can think strategically about how IT fits into your organization.
There are several decisions that your organization needs to make when moving to a managed services IT contract. Here are a few things to consider:
Complete the total cost of IT to determine the real cost of IT for your organization.
Identify potential providers; request an audit of your current systems.
Choose a managed services provider and complete the onboarding process with the provider on.
The first step in moving to managed services is to perform a total cost of IT analysis. This is a calculation of what you are currently paying for IT support, combined with accounting for the cost of lost productivity and downtime that you may be experiencing. A simple way to quantify this is to look at the total cost of your staff salaries within the organization; then factor in how much your inefficiency is costing the organization every day. It might be as simple as 20 minutes every day due to inefficient systems, but those minutes add up quickly. You should also calculate downtime. Are you down for three hours every month? How much is that worth to your organization concerning your team’s hourly wage?
Once you’ve completed the total cost of IT analysis, it’s time to shortlist some managed IT, service providers. This process is generally about finding a company with which you feel comfortable working, and which has a track record of success and is familiar with your industry and the requirements that go along with it.
You should request an IT audit. This is generally pretty intrusive and will involve an IT professional giving your entire IT infrastructure, software, and systems a full review. It can usually be done on-site or remotely.
When selecting a provider, make sure they meet your requirements. Often, if you are evaluating based purely on cost, you may not find the right partner. Remember that IT plays a significant role in your entire organization now. It’s important to work with someone that has your best interests in mind and can provide a proactive service that delivers outcomes.
Will they be able to help you improve IT efficiency?
Will that increase productivity and minimize downtime?
These are the questions you need to be asking when evaluating providers.
The on-boarding process is the final step. This is about making security changes to ensure that the incumbent IT company no longer has access to your systems. There may be some remediation work that’s required to bring your site up to the best practice level. Then ultimately, it's about collecting and consolidating documentation, checklists, network diagrams, and whatnot to be able to effectively manage your IT environment. This general process should take about 30 days in most instances, meaning your managed service contract would not take effect for at least 30 to 45 days from the time you sign.
We have experience helping organizations make the transition, and help them to see the benefits of increased efficiencies, improved productivity, and minimized downtime.