An Introduction to Managed IT Services
One of the most popular services that businesses choose to outsource is managed IT services.
In this article, we take a look at what managed IT services are and why they can be a smart choice for many businesses.
Why do businesses choose to outsource their IT?
Many businesses choose to outsource standard IT tasks to an external IT supplier for many different reasons. Some of the main benefits of choosing to externally source your IT support include lightening the workload of in-house IT teams, supplementing teams that are unable to completely meet the business’s IT requirements or completely removing the need to have an internal IT team, saving the business money on salary and recruiting requirements.
IT providers which offer managed IT services are known as managed service providers (MSPs), and these providers can be useful for ensuring complete coverage of IT duties.
What do managed IT services cover?
Although specific services and benefits of outsourcing may vary, some of the more popular services that MSPs provide include:
- On-site and remote support
- IT strategic planning and design
- Network management
- Cyber security
- Data back-up and recovery solutions
- Disaster recovery
- Cloud consulting and migration
The specific services your business needs will of course depend on your business type and requirements, and these services should be laid out in your managed services contract.
What is a managed service contract?
A managed services contract is essentially a service level agreement (SLA) between a MSP and the business requiring their services. What your managed services SLA covers can vary depending on your business requirements but generally a SLA will include a specific description of the services to be provided and expected service levels, the duties and responsibilities of each party, standard response times and procedures for things like equipment downtime, system failures and asset management.
Communicating your needs and expectations with your MSP is absolutely integral, as an air-tight SLA can help to eliminate the potential for future issues caused by miscommunication or confusion down the road.
What are the benefits of managed IT services?
There are numerous benefits that businesses can gain from the right managed IT services from your IT provider. If you have internal IT support, outsourcing IT ongoing tasks as part of a managed service can free up your internal IT team to focus on revenue-generating tasks. Your MSP can also provide expert guidance and recommendations to help you optimise your IT strategies to help improve your business practices, leading to increases in productivity and improved ROI for your business.
Managed IT service providers are also often not tied to the same schedule as your other employees, meaning that MSPs are able to perform system updates and maintenance during off-hours, which means fewer workflow disruptions for your business. In that same vein, the benefits of hiring an MSP over an internal IT employee is that instead of just one person, you get a whole team of IT specialists, meaning that you don’t need to factor in things like sick days or holidays which can disrupt and delay important ongoing IT projects.
Key considerations for managed service providers
While managed service providers can offer many benefits, there are also some considerations you should be aware of before you sign your SLA:
Hold your MSP accountable
As we have mentioned, when choosing a MSP you need to ensure they have clearly defined and actionable SLAs.The SLA should include clear reporting of deliverables and expected performance.
Strategic IT planning is key
Managed IT providers should help you strategically plan infrastructure upgrades, configuration changes, and additions to ensure you are receiving full value from their managed services. To achieve this, your MSP will not only need to understand your current business infrastructure but also make efforts to plan for improvements and expansion to align with your business goals and objectives.
Make sure the MSP is the right fit for your business
When considering working with a MSP, you need to verify their track record with your type of business. According to research by American cybersecurity and data backup company Datto, on average, MSPs serve businesses across 5 to 6 different industries. Different industries and business sizes can have vastly different IT set-ups and so you will need to ensure your chosen IT provider has experience with businesses similar to yours. It is also worth speaking to some of their past and current customers, so you can determine whether the MSP lives up to their promises. A reputable IT support company will be happy to provide you with references.
Choose to work with the MSP experts, GPK Group
Looking for IT services? Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne businesses choose to outsource managed IT services for many reasons. At GPK Group, our Managed IT Services offer Australian businesses a comprehensive and streamlined IT solution that takes care of your business’ IT needs from end to end.
Claim your Free IT Network Audit today to find out why it is GPK Group’s managed IT services Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne businesses prefer, or call us today on 1300 000 475 to speak to one of our IT professionals about your business’s IT needs.