What is Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services is the outsourcing of the IT function of a business to an external firm who can provide better results for less annual cost than the business could internally. While at first glance the definition looks pretty concise it leaves room for interpretation by the managed IT service provider and so there is a vast delta in the deliverables and results provided within managed IT services.
The IT function needs to consist of several different roles:
- Support to get users back working when there are issues.
- Management to monitor the network for issues and implement patches to help protect it.
- Proactive audit and alignment to best practices to prevent issues from arising.
- Guidance and direction on an IT plan and budget for what to do next to help your business do more with less.
Results from managed IT:
- Improved response time
- Fewer issues, clearer guidance
- Lower risk
- Greater operational efficiency
- Increased staff productivity.
While less annual costs doesn’t always mean it costs less than what you are spending today, in fact it may cost more. The real annual costs savings are realized in the benefits of the results above. In fact managed IT services, when executed properly, should cover its entire cost within the first 12 months.
The importance of managed IT services
By outsourcing to a managed IT service provider, companies can focus 100% of their time on the things that matter most to their business: growing revenue and delivering their service/product.
Managed IT service providersfocus 100% of their time on delivering the same result across all their clients in a repeatable way. In order to do so they create a disciplined process, best practices, and roles to fulfill all the duties required. In this way costs that would otherwise need to be burdened by each company can be spread across all companies.
Issues affecting one client can be developed into best practices which are implemented across all companies to prevent the issue from ever happening. Likewise workflow and reporting inefficiencies solved once can be replicated across all clients instead of each client needing to uniquely solve on their own through trial and error.
Types of managed IT services
When we boil it down there are really two types of managed IT services: reactive and proactive.
With reactive managed IT services, the provider focuses on keeping the day-to-day running whether that be on premise, in the cloud, or a combination.
In contrast, proactive managed IT services the provider focuses on helping the business run more efficiently, while it still keeps the day-to-day running, the service brings you into alignment to best practices and guides your entire technology spend which eliminates issues before they start and allows your business to do more with less. In this way the proactive provider helps you with all things technology including are we using the right business applications, paying too much for them or not getting the results we should.