At the beginning of the World Wide Web, networks were relatively simple systems, and because of their simplicity, managed IT services and IT departments didn’t exist. The way it worked was – the company waited for its equipment to break down, and then they went to fix it. This meant that companies incurred costs through a large amount of lost revenue due to delays and data loss. Consequently, it meant decreased productivity and reduced profits.
However, after a while, in the late 1990s early 2000s, some companies recognized this deficiency and began to change their approach. They started working with dedicated companies – IT service providers that would maintain their client’s entire IT operation. They would act proactively to anticipate, diagnose, and fix problems before they cause any delay in the client’s day-to-day operations. This rudimentary IT service management was the beginning of the managed IT services.
Why Are Managed IT Services Needed?
Today, every modern company has a lot of equipment that must be managed daily. Equipment like printers, faxes, and computers have to be maintained, cybersecurity procedures to be put in place, applications that need to be hosted and monitored, and so on. Managed IT services are outsourced IT services to a third-party provider called Managed Services Provider. These services may be as simple as maintaining IT equipment, but they can also be complex, like cybersecurity, data management, etc.
As technology advances, we can also see the increasing complexity of the IT tasks, and the IT hiring pool can’t keep pace with the growing demand. The predictions are that there will be a shortage of skilled workers of 4.3 million in this decade, which means that many companies won’t have enough employees to cover even the most critical IT tasks. Even if you are lucky enough to get the right IT talent in your team, you would want to keep them happy by not overworking them by doing menial IT tasks.
Why is this important
Alignment of interests. The managed services provider gives solutions to daily IT issues that are unlimited in scope for a flat rate fixed fee for the duration of the contract. These third parties represent organizations whose goals are in line with their client’s goals. In the past, the provider charged an hourly rate for its services, and they were handled on an issue-by-issue basis. The KPI of the provider is directly connected to the efficiency of their client’s IT sector. So, the more problems the client has, the more time and resources the provider will dedicate. Therefore, the provider has to be proactive in dealing with his client’s IT tasks to save time and be more profitable.
Security. The IT field deals with an ever-increasing variety of issues. Over time they increase not only in complexity and scope but also are changed and modified. What you knew about a certain aspect of IT yesterday may be worthless tomorrow. Even if you have some knowledge about this area, you are certainly not an expert.
Dedicated IT providers hire people from every IT field. With their experience and education, they are the best in their respective field. You can also be sure that their experience is not limited to one branch of industry.
With an IT provider, you can make forecasts and plan your expenses more accurately, and you can be sure that your IT issues will be solved promptly and effectively. This means you can focus on your business.
Proactivity. Every modern provider of these services offers proactive support. Take 1-800 Office Solutions, for example. Instead of constantly fixing problems and creating delays, they will try to anticipate and identify these problems before they happen and resolve them without any shutdowns and discontinuity.
Planning. A provider of managed IT services will help you plan your IT needs. They can help you plan the type of equipment and software your company will need in three years and how to implement and install it. They can also help you anticipate new technology trends and help you with cost planning and coming up with a way to finance the purchases.
Complete IT service. A provider of these services, like 1-800 Office Solutions, gives you access to a complete IT department. It’s not just technical support but also a variety of other services like IT consulting, strategy, networking, backup and disaster recovery, compliance management and computer forensics, cloud computing, threat and vulnerability management, document management, printing services, scanning management, and advanced capture technology.
How to successfully implement Managed IT Services
Many providers offer these types of services. But how do you choose the best one to fit your needs?
First, you need to make a detailed calculation to determine the total cost for IT in your organization. This includes what you currently pay for IT support and outside technicians, staff salaries in your IT department, and the cost of lost productivity. You will compare this with the fee asked by the provider.
The second step is to choose the provider you hire based on the result from the first step. As stated above, you need to compare the fees you will pay to your current costs.
With these managed IT services, your company gets an improvement in its operational efficiency by removing any IT issues that will adversely affect your business. This means that you need a reliable partner in the provider who will deliver what was agreed upon. You need an accountable provider.
Before you sign an agreement with a provider, you also need to make sure they have a good track record. This means that they have the knowledge and experience to solve your company’s IT issues and help it grow in the future.